When it comes to creating a branding strategy there a few things that you must have in place in order for it to work. Below are the 7 key concepts that I believe you must have in order to have a strong branding strategy.
- Messaging - decide on what your core message will be and then create every marketing activity that you will do to communicate that message. The messaging must be strong and it should be memorable. If your message is not compelling there is no amount of paid advertising that can fix it so this should be a BIG emphasis for you!
- Community Building - an overlooked part of a branding strategy is usually the community building part because it is perceived as hard work and takes an investment of your time. But if you want to build a long lasting successful brand then you must take this part of your business serious. By building a loyal community you will be able to utilize word of mouth referrals which is the holy grail of marketing because the cost per acquisition of a client is so low and the sales cycle is extremely shortened.
- Invest in relationships - look at all of your most loyal customers and employees and think about how you can invest more into the relationship. By investing back into your top relationships you will be able to keep customers around for a longer period of time while getting word of mouth. Also by investing into your employees you will have a lower turnover rate which will allow you to keep your payroll expenses under control and your revenues higher so make sure to invest HEAVILY into your relationships
- Content Marketing- if you are going to do branding then you are going to need to create content that is either educational or entertaining or both. You are going to want to use different formats such as video, audio, visual, and written. Also keep in mind that when you are creating your content, it is in line with what your messaging is and the image you are trying to put out there for maximal benefit.
- Consistency - If you want your brand and message to be memorable then you have to be consistent because this is a long term play. Some of the big mistakes brands make when it comes to their strategy is they are not investing enough of their time into consistently putting out good content and investing in their relationships. Like anything else in life it takes consistency and patience for good things to happen so if you are not consistent and you keep starting and stopping then your momentum will be halted and your competitors will pass you by.
- Social Proof - most people want to do business with brands that other people either endorse or have used before. In general, people are afraid to take the risk of being the "first" one to try a company out. So in order to overcome this fear you are going to need to display that other people believe in your brand AND some of the ways to do that are gathering testimonials, getting your brand on tv, writing for credible publications, growing the number of social media followers on your accounts, pictures with other people endorsing you, being a published author, or any other activity that shows you have social proof and authority.
- Emotional Attachment - when people look at your brand you want them to feel a certain level of emotion where they are attached to you and your message. Your job is to figure out what emotions you want to create and then make sure to make content that communicates that particular emotion. If you can get people to feel emotional you will have a MASSIVE advantage over your competitors because people buy based off of emotion.