It is one thing to be known as a well established company, but a whole other thing to be known as a reputable brand.
The journey from a company to a brand is a difficult, long road.
But a rewarding road if done correctly.
Creating a recognized brand that resonates with your ideal customers can be one of the most important business objectives you ever meet.
What Is Brand Communication?
Your customers and stakeholders are the ones who ultimately determine whether they will accept or reject your brand image.
You as a company need to implement a brand communication strategy in order to persuade and influence your stakeholders to look at you in a certain way.
Brand Communication Definition
Brand communication refers to the activities you engage in to influence consumers opinions’ of your company.
Having powerful strategic brand communication initiatives in place will help you convince your consumers of the specific look and feel of your business that you want to portray.
Advantages Of Brand Communication
A successful brand communication strategy will reap heavy rewards.
Whether you’re a small, local business or a large, multi-national corporation, it can be the aspect of your business that catapults you to the next level.
Creates A Relationship With Your Audience
Communicating your brand in a meaningful way will create a trusting relationship with your audience.
Consumers buy from who they know and who they trust.
If you can create this relationship in a way that you audience resonates with, it will convert loyal customers over the long run.
Differentiates Your Company
The more that you can differentiate your company in the marketplace, the better.
One way large corporations do this is through branding.
You may have similar products and similar prices to your competitors, but what they can never truly mimic is your brand image.
Creating a unique brand image is therefore critical to long term business success.
Gives Multiple Reasons For Consumers To Buy
A successful brand will communicate many different qualities of their business to their customers.
It can let customers know that you are environmentally friendly, family-oriented, health-conscious, financially-minded – the list goes on and on.
Having a brand that communicates all of these important aspects to your customers will give them many reasons to buy from you.
Here is a video that outlines the basics and fundamentals of branding:
How Do I Communicate My Brand?
There are many ways to communicate your brand.
A best practice to move forward with is to think of all the ways in which you can communicate your brand, and build a brand communication strategy around it.
Below, we have listed 17 tips on how to successfully do this.
How To Create A Successful Brand Communication Strategy
A brand communication strategy comes in many moving parts.
It is your job to put all of the individual pieces together to create a seamless brand image to project to your customers.
1. Customer Avatar
Creating a customer avatar is one the most important things you can do when initially creating and setting up your brand strategy.
Who are you marketing to?
That is what the customer avatar answers.
It is essentially the specific characteristics of your perfect, ideal customer.
When creating your messaging, marketing and branding, it should speak exactly to who this person is – AKA your customer avatar.
2. Core Message
Now that you know your customer avatar, how can you formulate a message that will speak directly to them?
What do they resonate with?
What will they respond to?
Any great marketer and brand strategist know what buttons to press and levels to pull to get a positive and actionable response from their ideal customer.
Create your messaging around this person and speak directly to them in all of your marketing material.
3. Unique Value Proposition (USP)
You also need to understand what benefits you have to offer your consumers, what makes you unique in the market, and why your ideal customers should buy from you.
What value are you giving them in return for their money?
This needs to be crystal clear – as the value you communicate to them should far exceed the price you asking them to pay for it.
4. Marketing Mix
Next, you must understand how you will communicate with your customers.
This comes down to the 4 P’s of marketing: price, product, place, and promotion.
The price point that you are selling your products and services at.
The product or service you are offering to your customers.
As the saying goes: “location, location, location!”
Define the point of sale in which you will be selling your products.
Is it in store, online, or both?
The exact marketing activities you will engage in to sell your product.
This includes methods of advertising, deals and discounts, contests and prizes, and more.
5. Brand Personality
Define the personality you would like to portray for your brand.
It should be memorable and something in the realm of which your ideal customer will remember.
A good example of this is Old Spice.
They’re known for their funny and over-the-top manly commercials.
Because of it, consumers remember their brand and their products.
Try to emulate and illicit a similar response from your own target customers.
6. Brand Positioning
How do you want your customers to perceive you as – a premium or low-cost brand?
Brand positioning is the component of the brand communication strategy that will help you justify higher prices if you so wish.
In your messaging, you must brand yourself in a way that aligns with your pricing model.
If you market yourself as a low cost brand, but your prices are very high – this confuses customers and as a result, makes them question your validity and intentions.
And vice versa.
If you have you position yourself as a premium brand but your prices are very low, it is again a cause for concern.
7. Brand Uniformity Across Touchpoints
This is where brand uniformity comes into play.
However it is you choose to brand yourself – you must communicate this across all marketing channels.
An integrated brand communication strategy is vital when you are playing on multiple different platforms.
You need to make sure your messaging is uniform everywhere your customer goes, or risk appearing unprofessional and questionable.
8. Authentic And Genuine
It is important that you actually walk the walk, not just talk the talk.
Consumers are getting smarter and smarter.
With the internet at their fingertips, consumers are more knowledge about brands than ever before.
If your branding is inauthentic and disingenuous, potential customers will be able to see this from a mile away.
Don’t brand yourself in a way in which you can’t honestly commit.
9. Promote Transparency
Promoting transparency helps build trust.
Showing a clear effort to promote your brand in a transparent way proves that you have nothing to hide.
This even goes into owning up to your mistakes as a business.
If there is a product recall, for example, instead of playing the blame game and making excuses, making a public statement and giving the actual reason for why this happened – and why it won’t happen again! – can go a very long way.
Yes, you messed up, but in the long run, customers will notice that you took ownership and did not try to hide.
10. Brand Salience
The best of the best companies have created incredible salience with their brands.
Brand salience is simply the ability to be the “top of mind” or “first to mind” brand when a particular subject is mentioned.
This is extremely apparent in the alcohol industry.
A great example is Corona.
Corona has created brand salience with the beach – whether it be summertime, on vacation, or laying by the pool, chances are, when you think of these types of activities, the first brand that comes to mind is Corona.
This is the definition of brand salience.
11. Valuable And Helpful Content
You always want to provide more value than what the customer is willing to pay.
Knowing your customer avatar, you need to think of ways in which to best communicate with them.
Providing free value on a topic in which they resonate with is a great way to build trust and create a relationship with your audience over time.
12. Have A Conversation With Your Audience
This goes into having an actual conversation with your audience.
Seek their input and involve them.
Providing free value as well as reacting to their responses to this free value further creates a relationship with your customers.
13. Engage Customers
This is where social media managers can come into play.
Having your social media team respond to social media posts, go out and like customer photos, create engaging surveys, and involve them in giveaways and contests are all great ideas to starting a conversation with your audience.
14. Showcase Consumer-Generated Content
The more you engage and create a relationship with your customers, the easier it will be to ask them for reviews and testimonials.
Leveraging this consumer-generated content creates social proof for your brand.
Showcasing this social proof to potential customers will make them feel more inclined to trust you, as so many have clearly done so in the past.
15. Don’t Be Overly Promotional
When you’re overly-promotional, it becomes less about the consumer and more about yourself.
You never want to come across in a way that implies that you’re just trying to make a sale.
Consumers want to feel special and feel like they’re buying for their own benefit – not because you’re trying to grab their money.
This loss of connection with your customer is harmful to your overall relationship.
Never come across as overly-promotional.
16. Show Your Company Culture
Showing your company culture to the world proves that you are actually the way you promote yourself to be.
Your culture matches your brand, and so everything adds up.
This helps further establish trust.
Showcasing your company culture also shows consumers that you are real people – not just a company.
Portraying real people with real lives deepens the connection your brand has with its customers.
17. Tell Stories
The last aspect of the brand communication strategy is to tell stories about your business.
The greatest marketers in the world are storytellers.
As humans, we naturally relate to stories and put ourselves in others’ shoes when a story is told.
Portraying your brand image through storytelling is the best way to relate to a customer, and should therefore always be included in your strategic brand communication.
There are a lot of moving parts to a brand communication strategy.
When done right, branding your company can help you get a foothold in the marketplace.
From your initial customer avatar, to your brand positioning, to your brand salience and company culture – implementing an effective and integrated brand communication strategy can soar your business to new heights and create loyal customers.
If you’re looking for advice on your small or local business’s branding efforts, check out Active Business Growth today.