What will your customers think of your brand when they hear, see, smell, or taste it? How do you intend to impact your customers’ lives while simultaneously building your business?
The answer is brand marketing, the conscious and deliberate effort to influence someone’s thoughts, feelings, and actions toward your brand.
While your customers need you to provide value and solve problems, your brand is something that you’re always thinking about, working toward, and aiming to improve. Your brand is what people think, feel, and do when they’re not actually thinking about you or your products.
What is Brand Marketing?
For decades, businesses have used a brand’s reputation, which is the positive impact it has on customers’ minds, as a proxy for measuring the success of their marketing and advertising campaigns.
The logic behind this is that if someone hears about your good deeds in the community or sees your product in an ad and believes it will solve their problem, you’ve successfully influenced them to think positively about your brand.
Similarly, if someone thinks that your brand is a scam or a cheat, you’ve failed to influence them. While this may be enough to get you started, it’s only the beginning.
Now that you’re aware of the power of the mind and the impact of branding, you can better understand the importance of continuously evolving your brand strategy. Keep reading for more information on how to do just that.
Why Are Brands Important?
When customers buy a product from a company, whether it’s a meal at a restaurant or a hotel stay at a chain hotel, they trust you to deliver value and assure that what they’re buying is of good quality and won’t disappoint them.
From the second they place that order and pay for it, they expect you to satisfy their needs and wants.
In the case of restaurant brands, this could mean serving them food they like, and that is of good quality, or it could mean providing them with an experience they’re looking for (like a table in the middle of the restaurant or having fun activities for their kids to do while eating).
When a business fails to provide value or assurances of value, they risk losing customers who might believe that they’re not living up to its end of the bargain. This is why brands are so important you’re promising to provide a certain value or experience, and you have to deliver on this promise.
When you do, you’ll have built a relationship of trust with customers and earned their loyalty, which you can use to get them to come back for more.
What Is A Brand’s Reputation?
A brand’s reputation is everything about the impact it has on customers’ minds, whether this is good or bad. This reputation can be built on several factors, including the quality of your business’s products or services, the value you deliver, and the consistency of these values across all your marketing communications (like ads and website content).
Brands with good reputations are more valuable to business owners than bad ones because they’re more likely to get customers who will remain loyal to them, purchase more products from them, and tell others about their good qualities.
You can think of your brand’s reputation as its ‘brand voice’ – the way it speaks to your customers – which is why it’s so important that you establish a brand voice that is clear, honest, and easy to understand.
You don’t want to speak in riddles or be misleading in your communications because people will misunderstand you, and you’ll lose the trust of your customers.
You can review all of your brand’s public communications, like social media posts and website content, to get an idea of what qualities are most important to you as a brand and whether or not others are connecting with these values.
This will also help you evolve your brand voice and ensure you’re always communicating with the same consistent tone.
How Is A Brand’s Reputation Different From Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness is when a customer is aware of your brand but hasn’t necessarily formed an opinion of it yet.
If someone hears of your brand or sees it in an advertisement but doesn’t know enough about it to form a meaningful opinion, this is brand awareness. They might think that you’re a fast-food restaurant, for example, but don’t know enough about this specific brand to form an opinion about it.
What’s important about brand awareness is that it creates the opportunity to influence someone who hasn’t yet formed an opinion about your brand but is open to being persuaded.
This is often called ‘brand likability’; you can use your products or competitors’ products to see how others perceive you and whether or not you resonate with them. You can also learn how to build credibility and trust through your brand from the best people.
Why Is Brand Awareness Important?
If you want to establish a brand that people want to purchase from, whether this is your own business or a brand that you’re representing, you have to start by being aware of what qualities people will find attractive or repulsive about your brand.
Your brand’s image can be highly influential in shaping someone’s perception of you and your business, so it’s important to remember what people think and feels when they’re thinking about your brand.
In other words, it’s important to be completely honest and straightforward about your brand and what it stands for.
This doesn’t mean that you have to avoid all forms of advertising or marketing because this is how you’ll attract potential customers and get them to know and like your brand.
However, it does mean that you have to be mindful about what you say and do about your brand and make sure that these things are consistent and predictable.
How Do You Improve Your Brand’s Reputation?
Once you have a good idea of what qualities people are reacting to and liking about your brand, you can use this to guide your efforts in two ways:
- You can improve the quality of your products or services to enhance the reputation that comes with them. This could mean hiring better talent to make your products more efficient and effective, investing in new machinery or equipment to enhance the quality of your output, or revising the way that you do business to become more efficient and productive.
- You can also try to reduce the things that people are reacting negatively to, whether through product or service improvements, business model changes, or simply by being more mindful of your public and private actions.
Why Is Brand Mindfulness Important?
When you’re building a brand, you have to be mindful of how others perceive you and your business, so you can improve your reputation and impact your customers’ lives. You can’t assume that just because someone knows your brand, they’ll like or dislike it.
You have to be careful about how you choose to represent yourself to the world and ensure that your actions and the way you do business reflect your brand’s voice, values, and goals.
Being mindful of your brand means putting yourself in your customers’ shoes for a second and asking yourself: What would I think and feel if I were in this situation and had to decide on your brand?
You never know what problems your customers are facing, so it’s important that you find out what they think of your business and if you can assist them in any way, even if it’s just by listening and being there to support them.
Consumers Have Changed The Game
With the rise of the sharing economy and the influence of social media, people have changed the game. Today, customers often rely mainly on online reviews or social media to learn about brands, so it’s essential that you establish a good reputation on these channels if you want to gain credibility and trust.
How Online Marketing Changed Brand Marketing
In the never-ending quest for creating profitable businesses, figuring out how to sell your product is often the key to unlocking the secrets of industry experts. One of the biggest industries to explore this strategy is consumer products, especially when you consider that marketing budgets have increased.
Thanks to digital marketing, which incorporates online and mobile marketing, businesses can now target the particular consumer that they want to approach.
But just because businesses can target the right audience, it doesn’t mean that all of a sudden, sales will skyrocket. In fact, the opposite might happen. To ensure that your online marketing efforts result in a profitable outcome, you must look into the following five pillars of digital marketing.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the ranking of your website in search results for relevant keywords.
You won’t necessarily achieve high search rankings overnight. However, with a little bit of effort and research into the best keywords for your niche, you can start to see significant results from implementing SEO strategies.
On-page SEO is very important because your website’s content, keywords, and overall structure all work together to determine your site’s ranking in search results.
While off-page SEO is also important because Google considers other websites and blogs in its rankings calculations, on-page SEO is imperative for boosting your site’s visibility. You can’t focus all of your efforts on off-page SEO and expect to see good results.
2. Content Strategy
Creating and publishing content regularly is important for attracting and retaining audiences, engaging them in action, and growing a business. However, not all content is created equal, and you need to have a strategy to ensure that you consistently produce the best possible content.
Creating content can be stressful enough without worrying about whether or not the right audience will read it. To combat this, you need to work with a content strategist who can help you develop a strategy for creating and distributing engaging content to your target audience.
3. Performance Marketing
Performance marketing is a holistic approach to marketing that incorporates analytics, measurement, and optimization to enable you to achieve your marketing goals.
This strategy applies to both online and offline marketing, but its main purpose is to assess how well your marketing efforts are performing and determine the next steps accordingly.
To be able to do this, you need to be sure that you are comparing apples to apples. Sometimes companies that are newer or have lesser experience than you will give you biased or vague marketing analytics that doesn’t necessarily translate to successful outcomes.
4. Digital Marketing Automation
Fully understanding your customers’ interactions with your brand is crucial to replicate and optimizing those actions. But gathering this knowledge can be extremely time-consuming, especially because there are so many platforms and channels that your customers might use to interact with your brand.
To save you the effort and speed up the process, many marketing platforms now offer automated digital marketing analysis that can determine the best approach based on your provided data.
For example, HubSpot’s Marketing Analytics can automatically track your web pages, social media posts, and email marketing to see which strategy produces the best results.
Upgrade Your Brand Marketing Strategy Now
Understanding how customers interact with your brand, product, and marketing efforts is vital to formulating future marketing strategies and ROI measurements.
You need to be able to see at a glance which marketing efforts are performing best and what adjustments you might need to make to continue producing more of the same results.
Fortunately, the above four pillars comprise most of what you need to know to create a profitable digital marketing strategy. In no time at all, with the right combination of research, strategy, and automation, you will be able to see steady growth in your business.