Are you confused about how to brand your business? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. When I started working in the digital marketing industry, branding wasn’t even a term people used. Now, I can’t go a single day without hearing or reading about brand tactics.
Using the tactics you’re going to read about will help your business form a brand identity. As you work to build brand recognition, your business should also see customer loyalty improve.
I’ve spent the past 10 years using branding tactics to help companies form unique identities and voices. In no particular order, here are the tips I’ve found to be the most effective.
Table of Contents
1. Come up with a brand personality
If you’re having trouble creating a brand voice, it could be that you don’t have one established. Don’t worry – I’m here to help with this brand strategy.
There are many personalities a company can have. To get you thinking about this, think about the company Apple. Its brand personality is cutting-edge and cool. A brand like Cartoon Network appeals to its target audience (children) with bright visual branding.
Creating a personality for your brand and being consistent with it are the foundations of any great brand strategy.
Stuck coming up with a personality for your brand? Check out these ideas to come up with a unique identity.
- Fun, playful: Some companies appeal to their core audiences with a little humor. This strategy is great if you can pull it off. But using too much humor can turn people off.
- Serious: Certain companies gain more customers by taking a serious approach. You can see serious approaches taken by all sorts of companies, including life insurance providers, funeral homes, and banks. If it involves someone’s life or money, it’s probably good to keep things serious.
- Rugged: Chances are, you’ve seen truck or home improvement commercials that appeal to a rugged audience. These advertisements have somewhat faded out in recent years. But if your target market is full of do-it-yourself types, it’s worthwhile to consider that in your messaging.
The next time you browse a website or watch YouTube, think about the advertisements you see. Over time, you should notice how brands remain consistent in the language and visual elements they use.
2. Build brand recognition by networking
If there’s a marketing strategy that never goes out of style, it’s networking. Being somewhat of an introvert, I didn’t say I’m happy that networking is effective. But it is.
Networking helps create a strong brand because it’s literally introducing yourself and your business to new people. These days, you don’t even have to attend events in person to network with others.
One of the best places to network and develop brand recognition is by using LinkedIn. Regardless of how you feel about this social media platform, it remains one of the best places to network with other people and companies online.
You can also reach your target audience by networking through social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Trust me, if there’s one thing that’s hard for a company to resist, it’s an online shout-out from another business.
3. Speaking at an event
If you want to take the networking step to the next level, you can always speak at an event. Hear me out. I know it sounds daunting. But it’s really not that bad, especially after you get one or two speaking engagements under your belt.
I’m going to tell you something that, for some reason, is a bit of a secret. Ready? People want the speaker to do well. Think about watching someone on stage struggle with a presentation – it’s hard to watch. As embarrassing as a messed-up presentation is for a speaker, most audience members share their embarrassment.
Now, think about watching a presentation by someone who does well. You’re engaged and laughing along with their jokes – you’re happy and so is the speaker.
Stepping away from Alex’s psychology lesson of the day and back to public speaking… So, what should you speak about at this type of event? Any subject you know about and there’s an event for.
The owner of a farming company probably isn’t going to wow an audience speaking at a makeup convention and vice versa. Find relevant events through search engines, social media, and similar sources. If there’s an event happening within your industry, contact its organizers to learn if there are any speaking openings available.
4. Tell the world your company’s story
Every business has a story. I don’t care how boring you think your company’s story is, there’s someone who wants to hear it. To really appeal to your audience, it’s helpful to have the elements of any great story.
This part is where you give your target audience a little background info about your company. Think of this as the intro to your brand’s origin story.
That’s you or your business. Your business is the hero of this story.
Typically, the conflict of a branding story is a problem or challenge your business aims to solve. Try to make this part of your story personal. Chances are, the conflict you mention is what your customer base is also experiencing.
The resolution of a branding story is the place to shine a positive light on your business. What unique characteristics or ideas did your business create that solved a conflict?
If you’re anything like me, it’s helpful to see examples. So, here’s an example of a branding story I might use for a made-up company that sells dog toys.
People only want the best for their pets. Unfortunately, it’s frustrating for pet owners to spend money on toys that dogs destroy in five minutes. It’s also confusing for the dog who has no idea what it did wrong.
Alex’s Dog Toys came up with a solution to these problems. We make our dog toys with durable rubber and exclusive coating for pet-friendly toys that your dog will have a hard time destroying.
Besides the unoriginal business name (cut me some slack), this story speaks to a target audience of frustrated dog owners.
5. Create a brand identity with video content
One of the most effective ways to get your brand message out there is with videos. Even as someone who’s typing up this content, I admit that you can only reach so many people through the written word.
If you want to create engaging customer communications, creating videos will help you achieve this goal. According to Wyzowl, 86% of companies use video content as part of their marketing strategies.
Videos are forms of visual branding that can be effective for small businesses up to massive corporations. Best of all, you don’t need a multi-million dollar setup for this branding tactic.
You can create videos highlighting your company’s core values with a smartphone. Here are a few quick tips to help you create videos that create a positive image of your brand.
Don’t read off a script
Preparing a script before a video? Great idea. Having a script to study helps ensure you get all points of your message across. But that’s just a part of creating a video. You want to make sure to remember the main points of your script. Then, ditch it.
I don’t care how good you think you are at reading a script. People see your eyes moving from left to right and back to left. Yes, remembering what to talk about takes a little extra work. But, I promise you, any video you create will come off much more natural and appealing.
I’ll admit that while I’ve been in my fair share of videos, I don’t spend every day in front of a camera. From my experience and what I’ve heard while working alongside video marketers, it’s a must to be patient.
This patience should also extend to anyone who’s helping you create a video or series of videos. You’re human. They’re human. And, part of being human is making mistakes, flubbing lines, or forgetting to hit the record button.
Roll with it. A company I recently worked with brings to mind a great example of rolling with mistakes. This business recently shot a 45-second video for the homepage of its website. Instead of making things awkward by getting mad at mistakes, they rolled with it.
How? By editing each mistake into a short video and uploading it as a blooper collection. This video makes the brand behind it appear human. And, who doesn’t love a good blooper reel?
Eventually, you’ll hit your stride and finally get your brand video completed. It’s up to you but, at this point, you can choose to upload your video or film just a few more takes.
More often than not, this branding tactic will appear much more natural after you get in the groove of nailing your lines and being familiar with the subject matter.
6. Dedicate a blog for information only
Not every business strategy is about making a sale.
Nowadays, consumers and companies are more involved in a company’s marketing processes than ever. One study found that the average consumer sees over 4,000-10,000 ads… per day!
So, it’s hard to blame the average person when they’re sick of companies using marketing tactics on them. Fortunately, you can increase your brand value while also offering content your customers enjoy.
This strategy is one of the best branding tactics because it takes out any kind of sales objections. Plus, creating a separate blog, website, or section of your website gives you a chance to expand your knowledge base a bit.
Red Bull and eSports
A perfect example of a company pulling off this type of brand extension is Red Bull’s entry into the world of eSports. On Red Bull’s website, you’ll find the eSports section that shows off Red Bull’s brand personality: a high-energy brand that’s about living life to the extreme.
Source: Red Bull
Are all of Red Bull’s customers interested in eSports or sports at all? Probably not. But many of the customers see that Red Bull maintains a consistent message through its involvement in the sports world.
General Electric’s industrial blog
If you’re a big fan of IoT, have I got a website for you.
General Electric is one of those companies that’s everywhere but not one you think about a lot. Plus, let’s be honest, General Electric doesn’t operate in an exciting world like sports cars or video games.
But, that’s okay, GE came up with a great branding strategy. Instead of a cheesy blog that’s trying to upsell you on a refrigerator, GE follows a content strategy that’s about bringing the latest industry-related news to its customers.
Again, will each of GE’s customers visit this blog? Nope. But the people or companies that visit this blog are likely to see GE as a thought leader and authority.
Source: General Electric
7. Send out a monthly newsletter
Another one of my favorite branding tactics is an email newsletter. I’m sure you’ve read at least one of these. Typically, companies send out these emails every month. If done well, newsletters are great for improving your company’s reputation.
Understandably, many people feel that companies only exist to sell them products or services. While those are important business goals, people want to see the humans behind your company.
It’s much easier when you let your core audience know what’s happening within your company. Admittedly, I fought this step for a while. I thought “who would be interested in updates about a company?” As it turns out, more people than I thought!
Before you start creating your first email, you’ll need to have a customer base that wants to receive emails from your company. So, set up an opt-in button on your website to gather email addresses.
Hint: If you struggle to get people’s email addresses, offer them something of value. This is a classic tactical marketing strategy companies use to build massive email lists. If you can’t think of anything to provide, write up a free guide about how to do something in your industry.
There’s nothing wrong with mentioning product or service updates in your email newsletters. The goal of a good email newsletter is to build a strong reputation by humanizing a business.
8. Collect feedback
As you use the previously mentioned branding tactics, one of the best tips I have is to gather feedback from the people seeing or hearing your brand’s messages.
You can gather feedback from your loyal customer base almost anywhere, including social media channels, your company’s website, or through email campaigns.
Depending on the size of your customer base, you should get at least a few existing customers who share their opinions about your brand.
It’s important to note that not all of the feedback you receive might be positive. Don’t go writing up a nasty email – Good and bad customer feedback help a business in the end.
To wrap things up, branding tactics work and are amazing ways to appeal to potential customers or business partners. Give your company’s brand strategy time and effort – it will pay off. For more great marketing tactics and tips, visit Content Marketing Life.
Alex Eagleton is a copywriter and digital marketer passionate about helping companies connect with customers. Throughout the past decade, he’s worked with companies including Referral Rock, Connecteam, and Ramsey Solutions. He’s a versatile writer who understands how to align with companies, truly matching their voices and tones.
When he’s not writing, he enjoys spending time with his dogs, reading, and playing guitar.
You can reach him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.