Branding

Photo for Business Insights blog-Why You Need a Brand to Succeed Online

Why You Need a Brand to Succeed Online

It is somewhat possible to succeed online without a brand but doing this is going to be a lot harder and you will seriously be limiting your potential for growth and for profit.

Let’s assume for a moment that your business model is predominantly online – let’s say that you are selling digital products or affiliate products through a brand. Now in this case, your key objective is going to be to grow the amount of traffic visiting your site and to then establish trust with that audience such that they will be interested in buying what you have to sell.

This will be highly impossible to accomplish however if you haven’t first built a brand and layered it into your site and your content.

This is how it works:

  • Someone finds one of your articles through social media or a Google search, enjoys it and then moves on to other things – no one becomes an ‘overnight fan’
  • During another search or through another post they then find themselves coming across another post or two of yours
  • They read this, enjoy it and remember that they enjoyed the last thing you wrote about too
  • They then come across you a couple more times and are impressed each time
  • They now consider you a reliable/entertaining resource.
  • The next time they’re looking for content in your niche, they will search for their question and your URL
  • Perhaps they’ll take some time to look around the other content on your site
  • They may even then bookmark your site or subscribe to your RSS feed
  • Likewise, they may subscribe to you on social media and/or add their e-mail to your list
  • They will then consider buying your e-books/recommended products when they see you recommend them
  • If they enjoy the product, they will be much more likely to buy from you again in future.

After this lengthy process, you’ve now turned a first-time visitor into a paying customer.

But note how much more difficult this would be without a strong and consistent branding. Without a catchy site name and logo, how would they know that they were reading your website again the second time they found it?

Likewise, without a clear sense of identity and a clear mission statement, why would they consider subscribing?

And if your social media channel is just your personal name with no branding, are they really going to want to follow you?

The same goes for other business models too. Let’s say you’re manufacturing a product. Having a brand will allow you to market the product and generate buzz for it more effectively but more importantly it will enable you to build on your success. Once you’ve built a strong brand and people have enjoyed products from you, they will then know to seek out more products from you in future because they’ll expect that they’ll be similarly high quality.

Why were people so excited about the Apple Watch recently? It wasn’t because it was a smartwatch – there are already hundreds of those on the market.

No, people were excited about the Apple Watch because it was another Apple product and Apple now has a reputation for making game-changing technology with fantastic quality construction and elegant interfaces. In other words, it was the brand that sold the Apple Watch more so than the product.

Having a strong brand also makes it much easier for you to market your products and services, creating new opportunities to make people think about your business. At the same time, your brand will also help you to inspire more emotion from your users and customers. With a brand, you’ll feel that people will get behind what you’re doing and become fans of your products and services. Without a brand, you won’t be able to get that kind of loyalty or interest surrounding what you do.

 

Photo for Business Insights blog-Why Building a Community Is the Best Thing You Can Do for Your Brand

Why Building a Community is the Best Thing You Can Do for Your Brand

A brand is much more than a tagline or a design scheme. It’s a vibrant community that’s flexible and meets the needs of its advocates. If you’re trying to build a viable brand, the best thing you can do is to create a community around it.

Build Strong Relationships

What makes people feel close to the brands they like? We naturally want to engage with brands we love. If you create a community, you give your audience a place to do that.

This can be their venue for celebrating your brand, learning about your products, getting answers to their questions, solving problems, and so on. It creates a solid relationship and your brand becomes a part of their lives.

Save Money on Lead Generation

It costs a great deal to carry out marketing and ad campaigns to attract new leads. It’s much easier and more cost-effective to retain old customer than to get new ones.

By creating a community, you’ll give your customers a place to interact and get their needs met. When their needs are fulfilled, they’ll buy from you again and again. This is a great low-cost method for retaining customers and you’ll see results in your sales.

High-Value Content

Through your group, you’ll share high-value content with your audience. This is essential for keeping them engaged. Studies also show that content is a major factor in purchase decisions, so this will also result in more sales.

The content you share will educate, inform, and entertain, giving you the chance to show your expertise in your niche. Through your community, you can create branded content that’s perfectly suited to your members’ needs.

Personal Connection

Through your community, people will interact with you personally, which is a benefit for any brand. People crave this type of personal interaction, especially in an increasingly anonymous digital world.

You’ll be there with your community each day, facilitating conversations, replying to comments, asking questions, and being an all-around helpful resource. It’ll put a human face on your business.

Feedback from Customers

Since you’re interacting with your members personally, you’ll get all kinds of useful feedback from them about their tastes and needs. You can then offer the exact products, services, and content that they’re looking for. These valuable insights about your audience will help make all your marketing activities more effective.

Word-of-Mouth Referrals

Your group will naturally get you referrals. People will love the experience of interacting with your brand directly and tell others about it. You can also incentivize referrals and identify your main advocates so that this happens more often. You’ll gain more exposure and multiply your marketing efforts tenfold.

A community naturally grows when people love a brand and its products. Create a community around your brand and the products or services it offers, and you’ll boost your brand visibility and reputation.

Ready to start building a community like this around your business? I’m offering a full course on building a brand community that covers everything you need to know. Head over here:

 

[INSERT SALES PAGE URL and CTA]

 

Photo for Business Insights blog-How to Create Brand Messaging that Really Resonates

How to Create Brand Messaging that Really Resonates

Taglines are catchy, but there’s a lot more that goes into your brand messaging than stringing a few words together with enough flair to make them memorable. This is where many marketers get confused during the messaging development process.

Product positioning, key benefits, brand pillars, value proposition, audience, and tone are just a few items that need to be taken into consideration. Together, these elements combine to create a full messaging framework that can guide your marketing across every piece of content and every channel. Everything you create, both internally and externally, should be able to map back to this messaging.

So how do you get started? As you can probably guess, you don’t jump right in and start dreaming up award-winning slogans. You have to put in the grunt work first, which means looking at your brand from three different angles.

  1. The Customer Angle – What does the customer care about? Do you have survey data that can tell you more about their pain points, their favorite product features, and the things that matter to them? Your brand messaging needs to be customer-centric, which means you need to get inside the mind of your audience before you get too far into messaging development exercises.
  2. The Internal Angle – Now look at your brand from the inside out. What do your sales reps find really resonates during the sales process? What is the vision for your brand? Where do you see your brand going over the next year? The next five years?
  3. The Competitive Angle – Lastly, consider your marketplace. Keep in mind that each brand can only own one message, and that message should be unique. You don’t want your buyers confusing your brand with a competitor’s just because your value propositions are too similar.

Once you have a solid understanding of each of these three points, you can start building your actual messaging framework. Let’s look at each element of the messaging framework

  • Brand Promise – Finally, you can work on your catchy tagline! Your brand promise should be targeted toward the customer, indicate your vision, and still convey what you actually do. It’s a tough balancing act, so be patient!
  • Positioning Statement – Your positioning statement defines where you fit into the marketplace. This can help guide both your internal and external messaging.
  • Target Audience – Hopefully, this part isn’t new. Throughout this process, it’s important to keep your ideal buyers in mind so that you’re always working toward messaging that will resonate with their needs, motivations, interests, and pain points.
  • Mission – Your mission statement takes a more visionary angle. What do you hope to accomplish? What is your ultimate goal? What are your core beliefs?
  • Tone of Voice – This is especially important for the copywriting part of your messaging. Define the tone that you want to use for your brand. Are you going for more of a fun, playful brand? Is your audience made up of c-level execs, and therefore requires a more serious tone? Don’t be afraid to have fun with tone development exercises — it can help to compare your brand to different celebrities, songs, other companies, movies, cities, and more get a feel for a tone that would be most appropriate for your business (“If my brand were a celebrity, it would be George Clooney”).
  • Brand Pillars – Start breaking your brand positioning, mission statement, and promise into “brand pillars” that describe the three most important selling points of your product. Keep in mind the customer, internal, and competitive angles discussed earlier. Each brand pillar will then be supported by a key benefit statement and supporting examples. These pillars will really inform the focus points of your marketing content.

Once you’ve completed each of the items above, you’ll have a solid messaging framework in place. Use it to make sure your go-to-market messages are all consistent, and to tie all of your pieces of content together. This will ensure the customer experience isn’t fragmented by mismatched messages, and most importantly, will help your buyers see your brand the way you want it to be seen.

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