WHAT YOU HAVE TO KNOW ABOUT BRAND BUILDING
Brand building should begin not with a flashy billboard ad or a multi-million dollar television campaign, but at the grassroots.
Like anything else, brand building needs a solid foundation to develop from. Fail to provide this, and your carefully curated brand is essentially hollow.
Give a customer a positive experience, they tell a friend, and your brand becomes that little bit stronger. Studies show that 88% of consumers find online reviews just as trustworthy as personal recommendations, which gives companies even more scope for brand building reach.
To analyse how to do this, we need to look at the whole buyers journey. This can be broken down into three steps:
The Awareness Stage
For a potential customer, The Awareness Stage is similar to coming down with a strange and unprecedented illness.
They do not completely understand what is happening, they are unsure of the steps they need to take to make themselves well again, but the one thing they are sure of is that there is a problem and this problem needs fixing.
For marketers, this stage is often the first point of contact with a prospect and so is critical in laying the groundwork for a great experience and a strong brand by educating the potential customer of the problem they are facing.
It is during the awareness stage that the prospect requires a high level of care and attention, guiding them slowly towards the conversion by providing the helping hand they are searching for.
Providing content that addresses the customer’s immediate concern is very important. Then, educate them further on exactly what the problem is. Present helpful and actionable steps to steer them them towards the right product or service, and then guiding them into the consideration stage.
Remember that the prospect is well aware of the symptoms they are experiencing, but haven’t quite given a name to the problem they are facing.
Perhaps a marketing manager is searching for a term like:
“How can I improve SEO?”
Then discovering that they don’t have a blog on which to publish regular content and in turn drive better search engine results.
Hard-selling towards a particular product or solution does not work in this instance.
Instead, a demonstration of knowledge and understanding is required, followed by an objective description of the available options and how they can assist in solving their problem.
Getting this first part right, time and time again, is the crucial step toward building a robust brand, converting leads and sales.
The Consideration Stage
The customer is now in the second stage of their journey towards conversion; The Consideration Stage.
This occurs when the prospect has a solid level of information regarding the problem they face, they have given a name to it and begun to understand it.
Continuing the above example, the marketing manager has identified that the problem is that he or she needs to produce regular, evergreen content.
However, their knowledge is incomplete. They have not yet decided on the best solutions to their particular problem.
At this stage, you can now begin to taper and hone the array of product and service solutions offered to the prospect.
Helping the potential customer to eliminate the choices they face, narrowing it down to one product or service.
In this example this when the marketing manager learns that the service to solve the problem identified is “Inbound marketing”
The focus, here, is still on providing helpful content to the prospect but in a way that educates them about the particular service or product without mentioning your brand.
The Decision Stage
The third and final stage of the prospect’s journey is The Decision Stage.
It is at this stage that with a wealth of information now delivered to them through highly relative content — that they utilise this information in making a decision on “who” they are going to buy the particular product or service from.
The transaction at this point is very simple; the customer now knows and understands what is going on and simply needs to decide which industry expert to purchase from to solve the problem.
Now that the potential customer has been completely educated, the marketer needs to turn their attention to promoting their company. Focusing on the quality of aftercare and post-sale service offered by the company or the many other valid reasons why your company stands out beyond the rest.
This could come either in the form of an extended warranty, of closely administered technical support or more.
This model of the buyer’s journey enables marketers to integrate the entire process into one, smooth set of steps, developing an incredible customer experience in the process. This is the approach that builds loyalty, creates a positive buzz, and builds a strong brand.
Want to learn more and to give your brand a tune-up in the new year? Download our eBook, “Building Brand Awareness: The Ultimate Guide for 2017”