How do you differentiate your business from the cacophony of competitors vying to be seen and heard by your customers? It’s all about branding. In today’s digital age, customers’ attention is being pulled in a hundred directions. That’s why it’s essential to stand out from the crowd, and having a solid brand can give you a competitive edge.
So, why is branding so important? Here are some reasons why you need branding to market your business in a world gone digital effectively.
What do brands like Coca-Cola, Nike, Mcdonald’s, and Apple all have in common? Brand recognition. When you see the Nike Swoosh, McDonald’s characters, or Golden Arches, you instantly know which brand you’re seeing. This is no coincidence. These businesses have spent decades building their brand into something instantly recognizable by consumers.
By creating brand recognition, your customers can easily connect with your brand. It fosters trust and loyalty, making them more likely to choose your brand over the competition.
Take a look at McDonald’s. They’ve nailed the art of using familiar and friendly characters to create an unforgettable brand. From Ronald McDonald and Grimace (Happy Belated Birthday!) to those iconic Golden Arches, they’ve built amazing recognition over the years. No wonder people feel nostalgic and keep returning for that heartwarming experience!
McDonald’s uses their character, like Grimace, to create brand recognition
Credibility and Trust
By defining your brand, you are developing a reputation for your business that your customers can trust. Customers who trust your brand are likelier to buy from you, especially with so many scams and bad products vying for their hard-earned money. In fact, 83 percent of customers say that loyalty to a brand is created by trust.
With 81 percent of customers going online to research a purchase before buying, having a presence online is imperative for your business. This means you must have a robust online presence on social media, search engines, and your user-friendly website.
You must create an emotional connection between you and your target audience to brand your business successfully. This means you need to understand that audience. What are their values? Why do they need your product?
Creating an emotional connection to your brand can increase brand loyalty and encourage repeat business. Better still, knowing your audience can help you craft marketing messages that help increase your brand awareness, earning you new customers, too.
For example, the ASPCA uses powerful images and real-life stories of rescued pets to evoke an emotional response in their followers.
ASPCA creates an emotional connection with their followers
A great way to get customers to trust your brand is through digital marketing to interact with them. Social media, blogs, and email marketing are all ways to interact with your customers. Engaging your customers on social media can generate meaningful conversations, address customer concerns, and even gather valuable information that you can use to improve your products, services, and marketing efforts.
Your brand story is an integral part of marketing your business, and using digital platforms to tell that story offers the perfect opportunity to share it.
Your brand story tells your business’s mission and values and makes your brand more relatable to consumers. A brand story goes beyond just showcasing your product or service; it tells who you are and sets the tone for how you want to be perceived.
ELMNTL client, Tourism Authority of Thailand, uses striking images and historical facts to educate their audience about Thailand on social media. By telling the story of Thailand, they keep their audience engaged and excited to learn more about this fascinating vacation destination.
Thailand Insider’s social media uses storytelling to promote their destination
With the digital landscape constantly changing, some brands must pivot their strategies to keep up with the changes. With a strong brand you may be less likely to need to change things to stay ahead of the curve, but always be prepared for change.
Whether it’s to switch things up to accommodate changes in your business model, to keep pace with customer feedback, to expand your marketing to be more diverse, or to add in fun elements to your marketing like UGC or influencers (see below), be prepared to adjust your game plan when and if necessary.
Influencer Marketing and UGC
Using UGC (user-generated content) and influencers to help market your business shows your customers that others trust your brand and thus can be trusted by them. UGC is a great way to use word-of-mouth marketing to your benefit. In fact, studies have shown that 79 percent of people find UGC helpful in their buying decisions. Similarly, influencers are voices that your demographic already knows and trusts and their opinions can hold a lot of weight in consumer decision-making.
ELMNTL paired with Flip.to to help our client, The Halal Guys, create an influencer and UGC marketing campaign to celebrate their 100th store, where fans of the fast-casual restaurant could upload photos and videos of their happy experiences at their local Halal Guys restaurant. Users who entered received a complimentary Halal Guys platter and could share their submissions to encourage extra votes.
ELMNTL also used influencers to promote the contest by extending its reach to their users, helping encourage word of mouth about the contest and the delicious food Halal Guys has become famous for.
Example influencer social media posts for The Halal Guys 100 Stores campaign
When your brand is ironclad, it is harder for competitors to steal your customers and prevent you from growing it because your customers will have already earned your loyalty.
As your branding becomes more recognizable and you earn your customer’s trust, your business will have more growth opportunities. This can open the door to collaborations, partnerships, and increased sales.
As you can see, branding is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Branding helps your customers understand not just the purpose of your business but its values and mission.
A good brand story helps earn the trust of your customers and create an emotional connection to your product that will keep your customers loyal to your brand and help encourage repeat business and word-of-mouth growth.
As technology advances, having a solid brand identity’s never been more critical. While it’s impossible to know what the future holds, having a strong brand voice can help your business navigate the changes in the digital landscape.
To prepare your business for the digital age, contact the branding experts at ELMNTL today.