If you’re a marketer for yourself or for your company, there’s no frustration quite like working for hours, weeks, or months on a marketing strategy only to find it’s not getting anyone to engage with your business. You know you have a good product or service, and great people working for you. So, what’s the problem?
Your branding is terrible.
How does this happen? How do we professional marketers so often end up guilty of terrible branding? In our experience, it’s because marketers tend to look at how they present the business, but not how the public perceives them. Focusing on public perception: improving it, refining it, and focusing it, is the heart of a solid branding strategy.
The good news is, you don’t have to be a big business have a great brand. Here are some tips we give our clients to take their branding from terrible to terrific.
Try to understand the root of your branding problems.
You might be tempted to throw up your hands and scrap your entire branding strategy. But you don’t want to throw out what works along with what doesn’t. As the old adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. You can start by asking yourself some questions foundational to any good branding strategy
- Does my product or service have reach?
- If so, is it reaching the people who actually want to buy/use it?
- Am I getting a good return on investment (ROI) for my marketing dollars?
It’s a good idea, when trying to improve any area of your business, to perform a SWOT analysis. Get your key decision makers and team leaders together to figure out.
SWOT Analysis Breakdown
S: Your branding strengths
W: Weaknesses in your branding strategy
O: Opportunities your brand has to stand out amongst your competitors,
T: Threats to the success of your brand/branding strategy
There are a few areas that of focus that can really turn around bad branding.
Know Your Audience.
One of the most common problems we see when it comes to branding is that people are marketing to the wrong audience, or their audience is too broad. Either way, once you know your audience, it will make a big difference in the clarity, consistency, and effectiveness of your branding. Here are some ways to get to know your audience better:
- Create a buyer persona. It’s a detailed portrait of your ideal buyer that includes everything from demographic info to location to buying preferences to personal goals. Be as detailed as you can, and don’t be afraid to create more than one, depending on your audience.
- Then, look at your site/ad analytics. Chances are, the visitors to your site will help you enhance your buyer persona, and your detailed buyer persona will help you improve your analytics.
- Keep an eye on your content. Does your content appeal to people that match your buyer persona? You want to make sure that the content on your site not only encourages them to explore what you have to offer, but keeps them coming back.
Tugging at the heartstrings.
You want your brand to evoke emotions in your audience. To zero in on this, think about things like:
- How you want your product to make customers feel
- The story you want your brand to tell
- The pain points you want to help heal for your customers
- Show your customers what you’re passionate and excited about doing for your industry/your community/the world
- How you can embrace and celebrate what’s unique about your brand (instead of trying to be too much like your competition)
Hitting people in the face with ad after ad after ad is one of the fastest ways for your branding to fall flat and leave a terrible impression on someone who would otherwise be your ideal buyer. Make sure your content, and your interaction with customers, adds value to their experience of your site and your brand. You can do this a variety of ways: informative newsletters with tips and hints, blogs, eBooks, fact sheets, and webinars are a few of the most common and cost-effective.
One of the most important things to remember is that branding is a dynamic process. While you don’t want to make big changes every day, you should be routinely revisiting your analytics and incorporating customer/audience feedback whenever possible to make sure your brand reflects who you are: a great business whose work is an asset to their community, and who cares about their customers. What is your brand’s key message? Tell us in the comments!