Once you understand your core identity, the next step involves market research and competitor analysis. Here are some useful questions to ask when you conduct market research:. You also must evaluate your competitors to understand where your company is positioned in your industry. We explain these in detail in 10 Tips for Evaluating Your Competitors. We cover competitor analysis in detail in Chapter 3 Brand Identity Research.
Brand health can be measured in numerous ways, including brand reputation, brand awareness, brand equity, brand positioning, and brand delivery. Remember that you should evaluate both internal your employees and external everyone else perceptions of your brand. The insights from these evaluations will help you to understand the current perceptions of your brand and the things you may need to change to improve those perceptions.
Your brand positioning explains how your company differentiates in the marketplace and how you are different from your competitors. Often, your positioning can be summarized in one or two sentences to explain what you do better than everyone else. Knowing what it is can help you sell better to your existing customers, and more importantly possible customers. When you understand your brand and the components that define brand identity colors, typography, shapes, etc. These include your logo, website, product packaging, brochures, and more.
To build a strong brand, you must consistently and uniformly talk about your brand, both internally and externally. This includes picking a consistent brand voice and making sure that your communications are clear, focused, and support your positioning.
Make sure that your brand is clearly and consistently reflected in your marketing. This includes content marketing stories , your offline and digital marketing, and even your product packaging design. Before you dive into designing the elements of your brand identity, you must understand how your brand is currently perceived, your customers, and your competitors. But if you have an existing brand, this is a critical first step in building a more effective brand identity for your business or organization. A strong brand is not a luxury to be enjoyed only by companies like Nike or Coca-Cola. It is a key factor in the success and prosperity of all businesses and nonprofits, regardless of their revenues.
Your brand health is guaranteed to have a significant impact on the consumer awareness of your brand AND your bottom line. It directly affects your ability to sell, to fundraise, to hire the best employees, and to grow. A healthy brand is the hallmark of a company or nonprofit that is prepared to prosper.
If your strategy is to sell commonly expensive services at discounted rates, your brand should reflect a focus on price. It would not be in your best interest to cultivate a brand that appears affluent or expensive. If your business strategy is grounded in creativity and custom work, a brand emphasizing traditional corporate culture would not work well.
A misaligned brand will create cognitive dissonance for your customers and undermine your efforts to succeed. An inconsistent brand is a confusing and unreliable brand. These are traits that drive customers away, not attract them. Your brand needs a cohesive message. If your brand tries to be too many things at once, the message becomes scattered and the brand grows diluted. Or worse, if your brand messaging contradicts itself, you will lose consumer trust and, ultimately, their business.
And, consumers are naturally suspicious of businesses as a general rule. After all, businesses want their money. Image courtesy of Chipotle. If you feature speedy delivery as a central brand message but fail to make good on that promise, people will notice.see url
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And, your brand will suffer. As we explained :. A fabulous logo, expertly deployed and a consistent style guide mean nothing if your business does not follow through on its brand promises in the real world. Remember that your brand should always be true to the reality of your business. Walking the walk is just as important, if not more so, than talking the talk.
Mexican fast-food giant Chipotle has made serving non-GMO foods a key element of their brand promise. No matter how well your brand identity supports your business strategies, or how consistent it is, if it fails to connect with your audience, then your brand identity is not doing its job.
2) Content Overload
Marketing intelligence experts at Datorama recommend tracking your branded impressions, internet search volume, and the performance of branded keywords. You may also want to consider measuring social media engagement and keeping an eye on your online reviews. Your customer service team may also be able to offer some useful insight. The first step to building a strong brand identity is to understand your customers and what they want and need. Here are 6 important, specific questions you can ask your customers.
If you want a deep insight into customer opinion of your business and brand, this is the question you need to ask. A negative customer service experience has a huge reach and travels to more than twice as many people as does praise for a positive service encounter. Head this off at the pass: once a customer makes a purchase, send them a short email asking them about their experience. We want to know whether we helped each customer and any feedback they might have for us. We also do this at the conclusion of every project on crowdspring. Some of the best features and products originate from customer feedback.
The challenge is to be receptive to customer requests for improvements while engaging with them in a meaningful way. For example, crowdspring offers core design and naming services in many areas, including logo design, web design, print design, product design, packaging design, and naming businesses and products. When we started out 10 years ago, we asked only a limited number of questions to help a customer draft a creative brief if they were looking for design help. For example, in logo design projects, we originally asked some general questions. This feedback was very valuable. We changed our questionnaire to be more specific and informative and this improved the experience for customers and also provided important information for designers.
There are a number of services specifically aimed at helping businesses solicit feedback and ideas from their customers. Make your feedback process a conversation so that your customers know that their input is valued. Customers will often take the time to give you input on ways to improve if you ask, but if the exchange feels one-sided to them, they may give up. After all of the market research and investigation, you may think you know who your competitors are. Asking your customers what companies and services they evaluated is a great way to make those unknowns known.
Asking this question gives your customers an opportunity to tell you what they think makes you special.
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The answer tells you about your unique selling proposition USP. Your USP may not be something physical or tangible like a product, but instead, be more thematic or emotional. Entrepreneur outlined this in their look at USP :. Pinpointing your USP requires some hard soul-searching and creativity. One way to start is to analyze how other companies use their USPs to their advantage.
If you analyze what they say they sell, not just their product or service characteristics, you can learn a great deal about how companies distinguish themselves from competitors. For example, Charles Revson, founder of Revlon, always used to say he sold hope, not makeup. Some airlines sell friendly service, while others sell on-time service. Neiman Marcus sells luxury, while Wal-Mart sells bargains.
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And be careful not to adopt the USP of a competitor. Ramon Ray explains:. Which one you choose depends on your goals, who your customers are, and how you can reach them, but here are some ideas to consider. Persona-based marketing can help make sure you target your messaging perfectly for each unique groups of customer prospects.
For example, crowdspring offers design logo design, website design, print design, product design, packaging design and naming services. We work with different types of customers, including entrepreneurs, small business owners, big Brands, agencies, non-profits, and even governments. While there are similarities between entrepreneurs and small business owners, for example, agency clients are very different and require a different marketing approach.
So we tailor our marketing accordingly.
Analytics data allows you to see where your visitors came from. It also clues you in on the valuable keywords they used to find you, as well as how much time they spent on your website browsing around. This data shines a big old light on the inner workings, desires, and interests that brought those customers to you.
The employees on your team who deal with front of the line aspects of your business, like customer support teams, are a critical resource for any business owner looking to get to know their consumers better. Ask your employees the same questions you posed to your interviewees, and add their responses to your buyer personas. The people personas represent may be made-up, but you still need to assign each one enough information to flesh them out.