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Inbound Marketing Blog

    What’s Missing from Your Company’s Branding Standards?

    Posted by Bill Faeth

    5 Branding Components Many Businesses Let Slide


    Too many companies believe creating a brand is equal to putting on a mask for the buying public to see. Yes, the brand is your image, your identity, but it must be so much more than the façade. If customers sense a slip in the standards, they’ll get spooked and go elsewhere.

    Maybe you’re not even sure where things have gone wrong. If you don’t understand the importance of certain branding standards, you probably won’t fight to uphold them. So what is your company probably slacking on? Here are 5 that could get you in serious trouble:

    Identity

    When a company isn’t sure who it is, buyers won’t know either. Before you begin sharing your products and services with the world, you need a firm grasp on your company’s identity. Know your products inside and out. Understand how those products address particular pain points. Discover the voice of your customers so you can reach them every time.

    If your company serves a particular niche, embrace that niche. You may not sell as much as Wal-Mart, but you can still drive massive sales among your particular audience. If you try to diversify, you could lose sight of your identity and turn off everyone—including your most loyal fans.

    Personalization

    Part of sharing who are you with the world involves learning who your customers are, too. As a part of your branding standards, you should make personalization a priority. You can do so through various data collection methods, which is easy enough if you use a marketing automation program.

    Personalizing your website content, email marketing, offers and ebooks, and even social media messages help to foster that connection between you and your buyers. By making each experience unique for all your buyers, you strengthen consumers’ perceptions of your company, which in turn strengthens your brand. 

    Connection with Buyer Persona

    Perhaps the biggest mistake a brand could make is to miss the target buyer persona. If your messages are mixed, you can be sure no one’s paying attention anymore. For instance, if you’re selling high-end furniture or luxury vacations, don’t speak to your potential customers as if they’re college students or new adults. This doesn’t only apply to your social media messages or email marketing, either. Double check your logo, your mission statement, your slogan, your website copy, and any other marketing materials your target audience might see every day. If you’re not sure about some of the wording, ask.

    A connection with your buyer personas is incredibly important when establishing your brand. To really reach those buyers, you have to understand the various psychographic dimensions of each persona—learn what makes them really tick. If you do nothing else as a brand, this is probably the most important.

    Inspiration

    Does your brand inspire loyalty from your customers? If you’re receiving plenty of first-time buyers without a single return visitor, you can be sure you’re not inspiring much of anything, much less customer loyalty. By following some of the above standards, you’ll certainly be on track for inspiring customer loyalty, but you should also have some plans in place with this specific outcome in mind. Maybe you need a loyalty program that offers rewards. More likely, you simply need to give those customers a voice and let them know you hear them.

    Try including buyer testimonials on your website and in your social media. Let your buyers share images on Instagram and Pinterest (which will also gain you some excellent user-generated content). If that doesn’t work, then you may want to try the reward program, but remember: You don’t have to give stuff away to make people like you. Just let them know they’re important to you, and they’ll stick around.

    Attention to Detail

    As you might imagine, none of the above standards will do any good if you’re not paying attention to all the details. Consistency is key, whether you’re dealing with the use of your company logo or how you present customer reviews on your site. When the details are dropped, your customers notice. It’s easy to let things slide, too, especially since there’s so much to remember at any given time. Just because it’s easy and understandable doesn’t mean you’ll be forgiven. No one is comfy around someone having an identity crisis, right?

    Every day, for every task, you should have quality control measures in place. Have someone move behind the rest of the team to make sure the logo is presented with the right colors and fonts, the customer reviews don’t use bad language, your email marketing uses correct grammar, and your social media is focused on the right buyer persona. It’s a lot of work, sure, but your customers won’t know who you are without it.

    Have you been letting some of these standards slide? Maybe it’s time to perform a quick checkup on your company to make sure you’re sending the right message at all times.  

     

    Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/ponsulak 

     

     

     

    Topics: Inbound Marketing