This article originally appeared on Forbes.com. Please find it here.
Creating a memorable first impression is important in all aspects of business communications. Identifying with your target audience using the right message in the right form can help to not only gain new customers but also unify your existing customers, create long-lasting relationships and build trust.
It’s essential to effectively connect with your target market and highlight what makes your company truly unique. Otherwise known as your “brand,” it is important to get it right, as it not only creates a positive first impression, but also helps your audience remember you long-term.
Think about the top brands from automakers to cell phone companies — how are they connecting with their audiences, building trust and increasing name recognition? Successful brands achieve all of this by developing targeted content and disseminating it across a variety of mediums to “marry” their company to their key audiences, creating emotional ties. That “feel good” feeling is essential to brand loyalty and customer stickiness. There is no shortage of ways to create a winning brand to make an impact and get your company noticed.
Establishing your company brand can take many forms and is essential when starting a business. But as industry and customer shifts occur, there will come a point when you need to refresh your existing company messages and the look of the key assets that make your company stand out. Let’s talk about how to amplify your existing brand.
Your Brand 2.0
Companies that have been around for a while may not need a complete rebrand. After all, you don’t want to alienate those who have already established a connection. Presumably, your customers already identify with your company and trust you. But if your website traffic has decreased, new sales are flat or if your customers are not as engaged with your team, it may be time for a facelift of the existing brand to reset your position in the marketplace. Refreshing a brand can build more momentum, re-engage your audiences and serve as a re-commitment to your existing customers.
While changes to your company branding could be necessary, think about preserving some of the key identifying factors of the existing brand (using a similar color palette and logo) so customers still feel the connection you’ve already built. The goal of refreshing your brand is to get your core messaging to resonate with your customers and do this in a cohesive, unifying way.
To effectively market your brand, understand who you are and the benefits of working with you. Consider a customer survey or a customer focus group to better understand why your customers use your products and services. From there, you can build a campaign with cohesive marketing initiatives to entrench your company further within your marketplace. Campaigns to increase brand exposure and reinforce your position could include refreshing branded elements, such as colors, taglines and imagery, to represent the differentiation and flexibility of your services. These elements can be overlaid into various marketing mediums to drive home the refreshed messaging and further unify your customers and services.
As an example, one of our clients did not want to completely deconstruct its brand, but rather re-assert its voice and position in the marketplace while further emphasizing its strategic focus on its customers. The company set about upon a facelift in both content and look. The company’s comprehensive rebranding initiative led to a number of quantifiable results, including a triple-fold increase in its website traffic.
After conducting a thorough examination of your existing brand, it’s time to plan enhancements throughout your entire portfolio that help tell your story, ensuring consistency and excellence at every stage of the process.
Expressing and communicating your brand can include updates to your logo, typography, website, catchy taglines and well-crafted messages — all bundled up with unifying colors and recognizable graphics. After revisiting all of that, how do you actually get your rebrand noticed?
Your website is, no question, one of the most important assets and the biggest areas to show off your brand. You can drive visitors to it, increase page views and engagements through:
• Social media: Update graphics and taglines to reflect your brand refresh and to help increase followers, likes, shares and impressions.
• Digital marketing: Create social media ad campaigns for lead generation and further brand awareness.
• Newsletters: Inform your customers and partners of milestones, capabilities and latest developments and drive them back to your updated website.
• Email campaigns: Create a series of lead generation emails or drip campaigns leveraging branded trackable landing pages. Include a series of A, B, C email versions to track which messages resonate the most to drive more engagements.
• Engaging content: Thought leadership through bylined articles, e-books and white papers can be promoted using the tactics noted above and also be featured on your website.
The Next Level
To build momentum and take your business to the next level requires people knowing your brand. With the right branding and messaging, you can easily turn your target audiences into customers. By driving campaigns across all marketing tactics and resources, you can create even more awareness around your brand and what sets your company apart. With the right brand and messaging, your marketing team can focus its collective efforts in a coordinated approach to educate the marketplace and drive results.
Embrace your company brand and don’t be afraid to enhance it. It’s all about taking control of the conversation and continuing to tell your story across many mediums and forms. Through actionable goals and an overarching marketing strategy that unifies behind the brand, you can drive results to bolster your position in the marketplace.