What is a brand? Why is it important and how can you start managing yours?
One of the things that we do for clients is manage their brand reputation to make sure that they are represented in the correct way across all marketing channels. This can take a variety of forms as every channel requires different management.
In this Knowledge Is Power article, we’ll be taking a deeper look into branding. We’ll explain what a brand is and give examples of the ways in which we manage our clients’ brands to give you a better understanding of how you can be managing your own.
What is a brand and why do I need one?
We hear the word ‘brand’ being thrown around a lot, but what really is it and why is it important to have one? In short, a brand is the identity of a business or ‘the sum of how a product or business is perceived by those who experience it’.
The most important thing to remember about a brand is that it is one of the things that separates you from your competition. It also helps you to build a strong relationship with your customers. Both of which are very important when it comes to establishing yourself in your market.
How to manage your brand
When talking about branding, people often think about the huge international ones like Coca-Cola or Amazon, but every business has the opportunity to have a brand – including yours.
There’s lots of components to a brand, but we’re going to be looking at brand personality and the elements you need to think about in order to manage it. As well as real examples of how we put theory into practice at Constructive Marketing.
As we’ve mentioned, a brand is a way for you to differentiate yourself from your competition. As such, it should be recognisable among others. The key to this is consistency with everything that you do. From the quality product or service you provide to the customer service and of course, your communications.
There are two main elements of communication that people will recognise most – your visuals and your copy. Consistency with your visuals can be achieved by adopting brand guidelines and sticking to a template for social media posts.
If it’s difficult to stick to a template for social posts, simply using your logo on all the images is a good idea so that consumers recognise it’s your business. Not to mention that by exposing your target audience to your logo, you will be reinforcing your brand to them.
How we do this for clients
For Cheesmur, we developed branded social icons that we use across all platforms for specific post types. For instance, if we’re posting about a finished project, we’ll use the ‘Cheesmur project complete’ logo.
By doing this, a style can be established which allows Cheesmur to be recognised in people’s news feeds. Posting consistently with this style allows the Cheesmur brand to be reinforced to its followers. It also shows their target audience that they are actively working on and completing projects.
Manage the tone of voice
Although visuals are recognised quicker, the way your writing sounds when you’re representing the business is also important. A lot of people like to think of a brand as a personality and so the tone of voice in text is important. It’s how your business sounds and it needs to align with your brand values.
Make sure that the copy you write for all channels is consistent to reinforce your brand and make it recognisable. That’s not to say that the message has to stay exactly the same on every channel as the audience will differ slightly from channel to channel.
How we do this for clients
Take Wall Bros as an example; the message we’re communicating for them is that they’re local flooring experts that have extensive knowledge on flooring. They also deliver high quality customer service and are traditional in their approach (they don’t sell online). We don’t explicitly say these things, but we convey that message in different ways across channels:
- Social media – posts are about current flooring trends and flooring advice (e.g why a customer may choose a particular flooring over another). Showing the audience that their flooring knowledge is up to date and extensive.
Time sensitive updates are also shared (just recently we made people aware that they need to visit Wall Bros as soon as possible if they want flooring before Christmas)
- Blog – the blog includes a variety of posts including trend guides for the seasons. FAQs are also answered through longer form content (for example there is an article about LVT which answers what it is and gives flooring inspiration room by room). Other guides such as choosing the right flooring are also posted.
All of the posts demonstrate Wall Bros’ expensive flooring knowledge and are helpful to the reader/ potential buyer. Which is what Wall Bros strives to be to customers.
- DOOH (Digital Out Of Home) advertising – the ads we run on a local network tell consumers that flooring brings their rooms together – something that is spoken about on social media too. The ads also say that Wall Bros has been established since 1957 and that they stock ‘quality flooring’. Communicating the pedigree of the retailer and the quality of the products they provide.
- Print advertising – to create consistency, the print ads share the same style as the digital ads and use the same text to convey the same message
The thing that stays consistent across all channels is of course the tone of voice. Which is warm and friendly. Hopefully seeing our breakdown of the different channels and what we do on each of them demonstrates to you how your messaging can be communicated through different channels in different ways.
Making sure you’re managing your brand personality is integral to a marketing strategy and helps you achieve your goals.
If you’re struggling with managing your brand, or you need help establishing a marketing strategy, get in touch. Our team of marketing specialists are on hand to give you the help that you need.