The word “branding” is thrown around a lot in almost every major business sector today, so much that it has started devaluing what it really stands for. It doesn’t help that the lack of awareness is still persistent; there are people who think marketing and branding are interchangeable, i.e. they are the same thing. Well, they are not!
Even though experts know how small businesses and startups can benefit from consistent branding, most tend to underestimate the potential of the same and prefer taking the matter into their own hands.
You have to understand that you don’t get a second chance to create a first impression, and in this digital age where the customers can find new brands with just a few clicks (or taps), you have to make the most of the only chance you will get. You absolutely need the right tools for branding for companies because:
The Stakes are Too High
The margin for error for startups has diminished too much to leave any room for experimentation. Your customers are always online, on the social media, blogs, video streaming websites, etc. However, so are the other brands, i.e. your rivals. In other words, it doesn’t take much for a potential customer to switch from one brand to another.
With so much variety available on the Internet, you must justify why the people should trust your company over others. However, accomplishing this is extremely challenging unless you have a strong brand to catapult you to the top tiers of the business realm.
Opinion Change Quickly Online
Opinions are no longer formulated through traditional media such as television, ratio, or magazines, etc. Today, people form opinions on the basis of on the “likes” and “comments” on the social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. In relation to that, influencer marketing has become the next big thing. According to a study, companies are able to enjoy an ROI of $6.50 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing.
For a startup like you, it’s important that you to create a strong brand image that fosters trust and loyalty in your customers. With quality branding, you must associate your brand with a positive message on a consistent basis so that it’s difficult for your rivals to get the upper hand and dethrone from your current position.
Customer Service, Social Engagement are Crucial
Here is a big secret that only smart entrepreneurs who think long-term know- the right social media strategies can help a startup leapfrog. Here is another important statistic- 71% of consumers who have a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others! Thus, branding is critical in today’s startup industry that’s going “all-digital.”
Everyone uses a smartphone today, at least the majority of people who are your potential customers. Thus, you must come up with strategies that tap into this potential. Think of ways of improving your customer service via social media platforms, creating and sharing content (images, videos, blogs, etc.) that not only your customers will love but also share, etc. These are the things you must work on to create a brand, an identity in the space that’s getting more and more crowded with each passing day.
This is not to suggest that we should ignore physical brand strategies. For example, Promotions Warehouse note that sending customers promotional products (think pens, mugs or t-shirts) with your logo on them can help build brand loyalty and give an opportunity to engage with your customers in a more tangible way.
Every day, hundreds of startups in different sectors in different corners of the world are pushed to a point of no return. The problem with the majority of these is not that they didn’t have the experience or the resources, it’s that they didn’t take the right decisions- they didn’t do their homework. The same goes for you.
Do you want to go with a “spray and pray” strategy? Or do you want to step back for a moment to think about the things you must do to make your business “bullet-proof”? If you are going with the latter, be sure to put “brand building” on the list.