Our job as Marketers is to build strong brands. That is, create preference and (ideally) loyalty for our product or service in an increasingly competitive and noisy environment.
In this article I want to share with you my favorite brand building tools.
There is no standard recipe for successful brand building. Your “best strategy” depends on your product, target market, budget and industry.
But before we begin you want to go back to the basics and make sure the fundamentals of brand building are covered.
How to Build a Brand: The Fundamentals
These are the components of the marketing mix that allows your brand to exist in the first place: a great product, a unique brand positioning, competitive pricing (in line with your positioning), and established distribution.
Sometimes we tend to focus to much on communication, without providing a fresh answer to these fundamental questions:
Is my offering still relevant and beneficial to my target audience?
Do I provide my customers with a clear reason to choose my brand over competition?
Does the existing distribution channel allow my brand to be experienced by the end user?
Is my pricing strategy positively contributing to creating the desired perceptions about my brand?
If you answered “Yes” to all the questions above continue reading. Below are my favorite three strategies to build a brand with the modern consumer:
Create Useful Content
While advertising is still a useful tool to generate brand awareness and interest for your offering, consistent and meaningful content is a great way to build your brand reputation and generate consumer loyalty.
People are more adverse to advertising than ever. And with less time to spend on making informed purchase decisions consumers are increasingly relying on advice from friends, relatives and opinion leaders.
Some of the big brands are applying this strategy very successfully.
American Express launched Open Forum, a portal that provides business advice for small business owners. The topics range from Financing to Sales and Marketing.
Another great example is set by P & G, the consumer packaged giant. Their website Home Made Simple offer practical advice with a variety of home maintenance and decor articles.
The goal of your content marketing strategy is to inform and educate your target audience, as objectively as possible. and establish your brand’s reputation in the category. Don’t use blogs and other content distribution platforms into an advertising medium for your products. You will run the risk of loosing your audience quickly.
Like in real life, gaining trust and building a positive reputation takes time and constant dedication. But in the end, it’s worth the effort.
Build a Socially-Responsible Brand
More and more corporations are embracing socio-responsibility as a method of getting closer to the consumer. And consumers tend to respond favorably, as per this study by A.C. Nielsen.
It’s not difficult or expensive to embrace and project your brand’s social dedication. There are great causes that are worth supporting, such as protecting the environment, giving back to the community, sourcing sustainable products, or treating employees fairly.
Just pick the one your target audience is passionate about and develop initiatives to support it.
Start a Loyalty Program
Customer retention is one of the biggest challenge companies face today. It has been proven that It’s cheaper, safer and easier to keep an existing customer than to win a new one.
How to build a brand that consumers love and are loyal to? By designing and implementing your brand’s loyalty program. Such a program should be designed to encourage repeat and increased purchases, which will lead to consumers being brand loyal.
Loyalty programs are also great tool to build long term relationships with your suppliers, distributors and your own employees.
An effective customer retention program can have a huge positive impact on your company’s bottom line. It also gives marketers the possibility to influence their customers’ buying habits to benefit the brand.
I am very interested in hearing about your advice on how to build a brand. Please share your expertise in the comments section below.