Top Tips for Growing Your Brand

Branding is vital to business these days. A recognisable representation of who you are and what you stand for is worth its weight in gold. Being sure that your brand is succinctly different from others in the saturated marketplace is fundamental in positioning yourself above others while getting the customer base you’ve worked so hard for.

There are many techniques for growing your brand; from handling your own social media accounts through to hiring a brand experience agency to manage events and sleek campaigns on your behalf. Some techniques may be more relevant to you than others. Here are a few top tips to make sure you’re making the best of every branding opportunity available to you.

Know your audience

If you don’t know who you are selling to, how do you know who to target? It’s a fundamental tenet of business, but so often companies run based on assumptions of who their customers are. For example, a male gifting chain had been in business for two years. Its stores were sleek and masculine in design; the merchandising and sales techniques were geared towards men and boys. Nothing wrong there? The idea was rolled out to several locations in the early days of the company before questions were asked of the store staff about how they could get the guys shopping there to spend more. ‘It’s not guys. It’s their wives, girlfriends, and mothers’ came the response from one store manager who had been paying attention to who came through their door. There was some head scratching and confusion before the penny dropped, and the brand realised they needed to pivot their focus. Luckily they realised before it was too late and were in a position to change tact.

Asking questions early on can make sure you are directing your business in the right direction. Mistakes can be costly to remedy, and at worst can be the death of your brand.

Knowing who buys your product or service is as important as knowing who actually uses it. They are not always the same person. Having a sense of the age range, gender, location, occupations, and interests of your customers is vital; so do some market research. You might choose to do this off your own back or hire an experienced company to get you the in-depth results you need.

All this information will give you a concept of the type of person who will buy from you. You can understand the types of things that are the most important to them. There is no point pushing a product or service on a career-aspirational angle if your target is family-centric and retired.  The research will tell you if your customers are motivated by quality, cost or by aesthetic considerations. It will show which other brands they relate to and the types of marketing campaigns that will elicit the best response.

Consistent social media

Social media is a great tool when used correctly. It can be cheap to use and has a great reach. It is worth investing time into making sure that you are making the best use of the correct sites.

Knowing your audience is a prerequisite of social media, so make sure you’ve done your research first. There are fundamental differences between the types of people you will find using different sites. For example, Facebook has 2.38 billion users worldwide making it the biggest social media platform; however, while it has the widest range of ages and demographics, it often reported that there are a greater number of older users actively engaged on the site. Snapchat and Instagram conversely have a younger appeal. And while content shared on Facebook has the options to be visual as well information heavy; other sites may require a strong, catchy visual element with a greater sense of immediacy in order to grab the attention of an active, highly tech-literate user-base who are used to a fast-flowing stream of information.

If you find that you use a site, but get very little return or response; stop. Nothing looks worse than an active social media account for a brand that repeatedly gets zero likes, shares, or comments. If you are not engaging your audience, it’s clear that you need to change something quickly.

Whichever platforms you use; be consistent. Post often; but don’t swamp people’s feeds in a manner that causes them to click ‘unfollow.’ Have a style; if there is more than one person posting within the business, make sure you have a guide to ensure your posts meet your brands standard. Remember, keep it professional. It isn’t your own personal social media account, and if you a brand starting out, it is important to realise that everything you say and do will be judged and will reflect upon the brand.

Use referrals

Trust is something that you develop over time. Friends and families take years building up that trust with each other to a level that brands and marketing executives could only dream of obtaining. Becoming a trusted brand should be a goal in every companies growth plan.

Brands grow based on recommendations. Find a way of rewarding loyal customers that bring new customers on board. Your customers are the best brand ambassadors you have; utilise them. If they have an incentive to share their experiences with others, you will be surprised at how useful they will be. Offer discounts, cashback or freebies for bringing new sign-ups on board- this can work particularly well if you are a subscription-based service where customers sign-up for the long-term.

Use social media campaigns which encourage ‘likes,’ ‘shares,’ and new followers. You may need to offer prizes or free gifts; but you can guarantee by your customers sharing your brand, you will win new customers.

Your loyal customers will share your social media campaigns, thus widening your reach for free. They will talk to their friends in person about your services and products. This is the kind of brand growth technique that you just can’t beat. It’s real and it’s organic, and it will carry you far if you manage it correctly.

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