According to 77% of business-to-business (B2B) marketing leaders, branding is essential for business growth. This is especially true for startup businesses who are still striving to make a mark in today’s competitive market. As the new year unfolds, it’s crucial for startup businesses to build an effective branding strategy in order to stand out from the crowd and be easily recognizable.
Here are a few tips to help you get started with your branding strategy in 2019:
1. Know your audience
As with everything related to marketing and business in general, it all starts with your audience. Knowing what and who your business is all about makes it easier to create a strategy that effectively appeals to your target market.
Knowing your audience, however, does not stop at determining their demographic data (i.e., age, gender, educational and employment status, etc.); you also need to know your audience’s values and motivations at a deeper level. Start conversations with your target market by sending out surveys or conducting focus group discussions to build rapport and know them better.
2. Be authentic
In today’s increasingly digital and artificial world, it’s often hard to come by a brand that genuinely connects with their audience. Authenticity is important for brands in order to build meaningful relationships with customers, and this starts with establishing clear brand values that match with those of your audience’s.
It’s also important to ensure that your brand voice is consistent, from your marketing collateral, your web content, your social media channels, down to how your employees converse with customers both online and offline. Master a personable tone of voice, and ensure that you address every customer concern the best way possible.
3. Leverage the voice of the people
Consumers have become more resistant to advertising and would rather listen to recommendations from friends, family, and people they generally trust and identify with — and this includes social media influencers.
Influencers function both as an ambassador to your brand and as the voice of the people who are interested in your business. This is one of the main reasons why businesses should leverage social media influencers; influencer marketing not only expands your reach but also boosts brand recognition and engagement with your audience.
4. Foster sustainability and corporate responsibility
These days, branding is not just about your business and the needs of your target market; it’s also about contributing something meaningful to the society. With the rising awareness on the environment, it’s important for businesses to incorporate sustainability and corporate responsibility goals into your branding strategy.
This may include using ethical marketing, adopting sustainable production practices, joining a certain cause or donating to an institution in need, or whatever makes sense for your business. What’s essential is that your audience should know and feel that they’re investing in a business that truly cares.
5. Encourage employee advocacy
It takes time and patience to build a solid brand presence and credibility, especially when you’re just starting out. One effective and practical way to increase exposure is to encourage your employees to promote your brand to their own social circles.
Employee advocacy can go a long way when it comes to building a strong brand strategy. It not only helps you reach a wider audience other than your own following; it also strengthens your credibility as both an employer and a business, which consequently fosters trust. The key to a successful employee advocacy program, however, is to establish policies on properly portraying of your brand, as well as providing ample rewards for their efforts.
While 2018 was all about digitization and automation, 2019 sees a shift towards humanizing the digital experience. Authenticity and emotional connection are central themes to branding and marketing; thus, it’s best to embody these within your branding strategy this year.
If you want to know more about effective branding and marketing strategies, visit our website for more information: https://www.ilfusion.com