Does your business have a brand

Does Your Business Have a Brand?

Just Do It.
Think Different.
I’m Lovin’ It.

Based on just those slogans, we’re willing to bet you know exactly which three companies we’re referencing. These phrases are so strongly associated with those companies that you will be able to conjure up their name, their logo and what they sell before you’ve even finished reading it. And there’s one simple reason for that – great branding.

We all see examples of branding every day. When we’re shopping, watching TV, reading the news, or searching the internet for a product or service we want to know more about.

So, the question to ask yourself is, do you have a brand?

This might seem like an odd question but bear with us for a second. Because, you see, not all businesses have brands, but all brands belong to successful businesses. Today, we wanted to share with you what a brand is, why it’s important, and what you need to create your own successful brand.

What Is a Brand?

By definition, branding is a marketing practice that includes everything from creating your logo, symbols and other design elements that make it easy to identify your products or services. But at Clever Marketing we think it’s much more than that.

Your brand is the overall experience a customer has of your business – from your name and logo to your website, your social media, the way you answer the phone and even the level of service they receive from you. It’s how you make them feel, what they remember you for and how they pick your business out of a crowd next time. At its core, branding is all about making a memorable impression on consumers and allowing your customers and clients to know exactly what to expect from your company. It’s the way you distinguish yourself from the competition – how you stand out and why you are the better choice. It’s different for each and every company, and while most businesses will have all of that information in their heads, many don’t turn it into a brand on paper.

Why is Having a Brand Important? 

Imagine you’re standing in the condiment’s aisle at the supermarket, looking for ketchup. On the shelves there are hundreds of bottles, all of which contain the same red liquid, most of which were probably made in the same factory. The only difference is the name on the label. Which one do you choose? Most of you would probably go for Heinz. That decision, that impulse is why branding is important.

Branding can change how people view your products and services, or your business as a whole. It can drive new business, increase brand awareness and help you differentiate from your competitors. The most successful companies will leverage their branding to promote loyalty in their customers, with big brands even becoming household names. On top of that, good branding can also:

Create Recognition: This is maybe the most important function of branding – to make people recognise your business and become known to consumers. For this, you need a powerful, easily memorable logo that can make an impression at first glance and stay at the front of people’s minds.

Increase Business Value: Branding is important when trying to generate future business, and a strongly established brand can increase a business’ value by giving the company more leverage in the industry. This makes it a more appealing investment opportunity because of its firmly established place in the marketplace.

Generate New Customers: A good brand will have no problem drumming up new business through referrals and directly. Strong branding generally means customers get a much more positive impression of your company, and if you’re familiar to them then they are more likely to do business with you over others.

Build Trust: Customers need to trust your business before they will buy from you. But having a professional appearance and well-thought through branding will help establish and build trust in you and what you do. Being properly branded also gives the impression that you’re an industry expert, making the public feel as though they can trust you.

Improve Employee Satisfaction: Many employees need more than just work — they need something to work toward. When employees understand the mission of a business and its reason for being, they are more likely to feel that same pride and work in the same direction to achieve the goals the business owner has set. Having a strong brand is like turning the company logo into a flag the rest of the company can rally around.

What Makes a Good Brand? 

So, after all that, how do you create a brand for your business?

A few characteristics of successful branding include:

  • Audience segmentation– if you try to appeal to everyone, your message will be diluted and ineffective.
  • Exposure – You need to be able to reach customers through multiple channels and mediums.
  • Unique approach – Being the same as another brand only means you will be mistaken for them. You need something distinctive and unique to your business.
  • Leadership – Whether it’s the CEO, the owner or the marketing manager, successful branding always has a champion behind it.
  • Passion –While you can build a brand in the short-term without passion, you need it to sustain and grow your brand in the long-run.
  • Unified approach to service – ultimately all parts of your business are part of the branding exercise, so your approach needs to reflect your brand values.

You will also need:

  • A good logo.
  • Strong and consistent brand identity (including colours, fonts, format, communication style and tone)
  • Consistent visual elements.
  • A great website.
  • A marketing, advertising and outreach plan.

But most of all, you need a great marketing team to help you create and implement all of those things.

At Clever Marketing, we provide a full suite of design and marketing services to help you create and maintain a great brand. Our services include everything from initial logo design and developing your brand identity (including colours, typography and other creating visual assets), to refreshing your branding and helping you roll out your new brand company-wide on everything from stationery to signage. Not only that, but once we’ve created your exciting new brand, we can help you write a set of brand guidelines for your business, so you know everything you produce will be consistent and match the brand you’ve worked hard to create.

That’s Clever Marketing

Clever Marketing - Surrey Digital Agency

Find out  how we can help you with your brand and set your business apart from your competition. Just  call us on 01276 534 680 or fill in the simple form with your details and we will get back to you.

The Importance of Branding Consistency - Clever, your brand agency, can help

The Importance of Branding Consistency

When a company visits your website, do they get the same brand experience as they would across your other digital channels? What about offline – is the branding of your brochure or print campaign consistent with your online branding? Brands never want to be predictable but when it comes to marketing strategy, consistency really is essential.

It raises brand awareness giving your company a personality and identity. It reinforces your position in the marketplace, therefore driving authority. It helps attract new customers. An inconsistent message can create confusion and could be seen as a sign a company cannot be trusted. Companies are often time short so how can you ensure brand consistency internally and externally across all touch points all of the time?

The building blocks of a consistent brand identity include messaging, tone of voice and design guidelines. While these must be specific to your company, these are the main elements that should be considered.

Logotype and brand message

A brand message should clearly define your positioning. Think about your logo and rules for using it with or without a tagline too. Consider how it will be applied and if you need different versions (ie; a logo with a transparent background might be a requirement). If your branding agency is designing a new brand identity, consider how it will translate across all touch points. Will one logo suffice or does it need to be scalable?

Design guidelines

Brand design is not just about a logo, design guidelines are a fundamental part of the mix. Typically these should include a colour palette, font type and weight, photography and illustration styles as well as other visual elements. Consider how the colour palette will work online and offline, checking colour matches in programmes such as PowerPoint. It’s worthwhile including guidelines for your website (ie; banners, buttons, web fonts) and print (ie; specifications for the most used collateral). Your brand design agency can help with this.

Tone of voice

As well as the look and feel, tonal values are just as important. Consider how your tone of voice will be applied on your website and in print but also across your social media channels. Think about the personality of your company, what kind of impression you want to give and how should you communicate. Cover off best practices like grammar, punctuation and spelling with your branding agency as well.

Once your brand guidelines have been finalised by your brand design agency, it’s worthwhile considering a cheat sheet featuring the most used elements too. It’s a great way to have a quick point of reference while ensuring brand consistency. Clear brand guidelines should provide everyone internally with a framework to implement activity across all channels.

Clever Marketing, Hampshire Digital Agency - The Importance of Branding ConsistencyHave you seen the examples in our portoflio of branding work?

If you require help with your brand identity or brand guidelines, feel free to contact us on 01276 534 680 today.

How to: Retain Customers and Build Brand Loyalty

How to: Retain Customers and Build Brand Loyalty

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to invest half of your budget in “flashy ad campaigns” or a new sales team in order to build your customer base. The real secret to longevity and expansion for your business may just be customer retention, rather than attraction.

Customer turnover, or “churn”, can be more costly than it first appears.

According to the American Marketing Agency, the average business loses 10% of customers on a yearly basis by failing to nurture existing relationships. When a business focuses purely on acquisition, it limits its growth and therefore may experience financial difficulties further down the line, by having to continually invest in new sales strategies.

But how do you ensure a customer keeps coming back to you, time after time? How do you maintain their interest in a crowded marketplace of competitors with catchy sales pitches and low prices? Here are our tried and tested ways to build your customer loyalty.

Know Their Brand

Taking the time to understand your client’s business demonstrates your commitment to them as a brand. Only by really knowing the company’s history, its challenges as well as its goals, can you provide the most comprehensive and tailored service. Such personalisation makes consistent results more likely, helping to ensure your customer renews their contract with you.

By dedicating time and effort to immersing yourself in your client’s business long after the initial sale, you get the opportunity to become an integral part of their vision and business strategy. Keep providing invaluable support, and you become indispensable.

Part of building this vital relationship with any business is to set realistic expectations from the beginning of your agreement. Customers will remember negative experiences, so always make it your aim to under-promise and over-deliver rather than the other way around. Similarly, small to medium businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on outsourcing and external services, so make yourself an expert in their field. By truly understanding both your customer and their industry, you can cultivate shared values, such as their direction and success, aligning your mutual interests.

Reward Loyalty

Loyal and repeat customers deserve better deals and discounts than new prospects, but this is not how the majority of businesses actually operate. Many companies spend the majority of their budgets on value add-ons and incentives designed to entice new customers, who have not yet shown any loyalty to them, only to abandon them if they cross that first hurdle. If your CPA (cost per acquisition) is at an unsustainable level it’s time to consider your cost per retention, which as you have already converted these customers, can be potentially much less expensive than your CPA.

Reward loyal customers with superior service, rates and quality. Measure your opt-out or customer lapse rates and provide unmissable deals or rewards at these essential touch points to avoid or minimise drop-off. Make your customer feel important and exclusive by offering one, two, or three-year incentives. Consider rewards schemes or a system built on points accumulated over time— such strategies will help you to stand out from your competitors and will also build and maintain customer trust.

Listen to Your Customers

Customer retention is really another term for customer satisfaction. Keep your customers happy and then they will keep coming back to you; it’s as simple as that. The best way to make people happy is to listen to what they want and respond accordingly.

Using customer surveys allows you to pinpoint pain points and target them, ensuring your customers feel you’re listening to them and their needs as a business. Surveys also allow you to identify potential areas of dissatisfaction in high-risk customers before they leave, so you can constantly evolve and improve your product or service. However, as your company grows, it’s important to know how to manage your scalability. Most customers appreciate a large company that delivers a “small company” service that is personal and genuine, even when you are experiencing high growth.

You can incorporate any customer insights you gain into your relationship marketing strategy. Don’t just include existing customers into your general marketing communications – they need specifically targeted information and calls to action. For instance, instead of introducing them to your business again and again on a mass marketing email, serve up relevant information such as expanded services or developments which would be of specific interest to them.

In reality, it is not enough to implement a customer retention strategy; to really ensure results it must become a culture, an essential pillar of how you conduct your business. Take all criticism on board and use it as a learning – in this way, even if you do end up losing a customer from time to time, you learn from the experience. Also, you are much less likely to lose the next one.

Clever Marketing - Hampshire Digital AgencyBuilding brand loyalty takes time. If you need an agency to manage your brand identity then look no further than Clever Marketing.

Take a look at some of the brands we manage and then give us a call on 01276 534 680.