Jack Teare – Affinity's Head of Content and Outreach examines why paying attention to your brand helps your business stay strong……..
When you’re in the midst of global pandemic and you're busy keeping your business relevant and making the most of the opportunity presented, it’s important to not let your standards slip or to let things fall by the wayside. Your current success might not be long-lasting and in a few months, your business may be struggling. To help keep your brand equity on track and encourage long-lasting customer loyalty, here are three simple branding ideas you can try:
- Rebranding and reinventing your packaging design
- Brand awareness and engaging with your audience
- Don’t forget the basics: Customer Service, product quality, and value
Continuing your brand management, no matter how well you’re doing, is essential. So, let’s explore the simple ways you can act now, for success later…
Rebranding and reinventing your packaging design
One of the key ways you can reinforce your brand identity is through consistent messaging and strong brand design. Think about some famous logos and brands – Shell, McDonalds, Nike – some don’t even need the brand name alongside because of their familiarity and customer awareness of the brand.
To help your business have longevity like these brands, try and generate a versatile logo. One which can be easily transferred from full colour to monotone. One with a simple icon which represents your brand like the McDonald’s golden arches or the Nike Swoosh. Icons and simple logos like these are incredibly adaptable across your business; from your website to your letterheads, to your packaging too.
Let’s look at Amazon as an example.
Their logo is their brand name but with a nod to their motto and idea that you can get everything from A to Z on their website. However, instead of a simple arrow from A-Z, they’ve curved it and adjusted the bottom of the Z in-line to make it seem like a smile and dimple. This small but clever adjustment introduces a friendly tone of voice and gives Amazon a valuable brand tool for their packaging materials.
Due to the awareness of this simple logo, Amazon now doesn’t even need to name the brand on their packaging. They just use their well-known smile icon and customers immediately know what’s inside. The key thing though, is that they’re reinforcing their brand across every customer touchpoint.
So, look at your brand. Can it be easily translated across all facets of your business? Does it have a simple icon alternative for when you’re strapped for space? Once you’ve worked it out, think about how you can use it across your business. Whether you use specially printed tape on your packaging materials, or if you purchase a custom stamp for your loyalty cards or bags – find ways for your customers to take your brand with them.
Brand awareness and engaging with your audience
Now you’ve found ways in which your customers can take your brand with them, we’re going to look at why branding matters.
A strong brand is a foundation on which you can build familiarity with your customers. This familiarity leads to engagement, recognition, and strong brand awareness – and that’s the important part which will help your business be a success in quieter periods.
Taking your branding out of the store and into your customers’ hands through packaging and loyalty cards is step one. The next is to start engaging with your customers. This can be over social media, at events, or even over email if they’ve signed up to your newsletter.
TOP TIP: This part is less about the product and more about you and your business tone of voice.
Research shows 73% of customers agree that an extraordinary experience with one company raises their expectations of others. So, look at what your competitors are doing – whatever they’re doing, you should be too. And that’s just the minimum – go further with things like competitions and valuable content on your website. You can find a few other ideas here.
Whatever you do, try to stay true to your brand values and identity. Your customers expect consistency across all platforms, so don’t be glib online and stoic in person – keep it steady and on-brand.
Don’t forget the basics: Customer Service, product quality, and value
Of course, all of this should be backed up by the best customer service and high-quality products. One bad experience with a customer or one rubbish product can send your brand reputation right down the toilet.
DID YOU KNOW? 96% of consumers around the globe say customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand. Source
Here are a few ways you can stay on top of your value, quality and service:
- Quality checks
No matter if you’re a sole trader or a conglomerate, keep an eye on the quality of the products you’re selling. Visit factories, test the products, and make sure they’re the best they can be.
- Review everything
Whether it’s your suppliers or your staff, conduct regular reviews of your partnerships to ensure everyone is on the same page and that standards are kept high.
- Is the price right?
With competitors breathing down your neck, you may be tempted to lower your prices, but the product needs to take priority here. If you’re confident in your product and the level of quality, then assess everything before you make a decision. Check it’s feasible to lower costs with sacrificing quality and your livelihood, discuss with your suppliers if there are any savings to be made. Just don’t be reactionary – think things through.
At the end of the day, you want your customers loyal and long-lasting, but there’s no magical formula to make this happen. It comes from hard work, brand awareness and strong brand management. As long as you continually review things, prepare, and don’t completely rest and relax because you’ve had a few good months, your business has a good chance of staying strong, successful and on schedule.