This is probably might be the first time doing a follow-up article like this here. Recently I started discussing branding insights you must pay attention to this year. I discussed 9 of them and promised to do 9 more in a separate article. This is me fulfilling that promise by availing to you an additional 9 branding insights for your consideration this year.
All the different facets of branding are geared towards one core thing – communicating a particular message. That message must not be unclear, complex, or ambiguous; it is must clear. It is must be clear enough such that when your brand is mentioned it quickly registers in people’s mind what it is all about. Let me use a relatable example – Apple. The moment Apple is mentioned you quickly have a mental picture of exclusive, high-end electronic gadgets. That is how clear the message in your branding should be.
Niching Is Everything
Niching is everything hits home because that is essentially what it is. As a business you must strategically niche – niching referring to targeting a well-defined portion of the market. Recently I was helping someone in putting together a business brief (which is alternative to a business plan). They want to venture into shoes for young male and females aged between 16 and 25. That is a perfect example of niching; if they are to define the target location that would even be more impressive. Niching is everything in your branding!
I almost mentioned this when I was discussing the need for a clear message. After all, not only must a message be clear but it must also be simple. Simplicity should characterise every aspect of your branding. Typically it must be simple enough for a 5-year-old to grasp what it is all about. Many people make the misconception that being complex comes off as being the real deal. I have seen entrepreneurs coming up with sophisticated logos for their businesses which are not obvious to the layman. Take a look at just the logos of global enterprises, they are generally quite simple.
Your Voice Ought To Reflect Your Personality
By your voice, I am referring to anything you communicate through your brand. It must be a reflection of your personality because it helps make your brand exude authenticity. If your voice and your personality are detached that might be interpreted as being pretentious. Customers want to feel that you and your brand gel and are authentic.
Always Make Your Core Values Plain
Nowadays, more than ever before people are big on values and principles. People want to interact with brands that have a value system they identify with. Let me use Web dev (a Zimbabwean web development company) as an example. Its core values are namely excellent customer service, open, honest and timely communication; a healthy work-life balance, successful implementation of customer needs, exploration of new ideas, and innovativeness through teamwork and collaboration. Once you make your core values plain like that prospective customers and even employees know what to expect from your business. It even informs them of whether or not they want to interact with you in the first place.
Untrained Staff Is A Huge Cost
Staff training is important; not only at the onset but regularly. There is usually debate on whether or not businesses should invest in the continued training of their staff. This stems from cost implications, disruptions to uptime, and possibilities of employee turnover which causes employees you would have trained to leave, amongst others. However, studies have clearly shown that the cost of not training your staff far exceeds the cost of training them. Not training staff negatively affects morale, productivity, and customer service, amongst other things. These are elements that translate into a barrage of downsides for your business.
Less Marketing – More Brand Experience
It is well known that marketing is highly recommended for every business. I myself have even underscored that in many of my articles. However, there is a subtle distinction you ought to make as a business. Focus more on brand experience rather than marketing per se – let me explain. Marketing can be clouded in majoring on bombarding people with products or services and prices, period! Majoring on-brand experience is much different though. Here is something I once said regarding brand experience, “This essentially denotes customer reactions borne out of their interaction with a particular brand. These reactions can be in various forms some of which are emotions and certain conduct. Brands strive to develop the necessary triggers that will cause people to relate with them on a deeply emotional level. One way that brands seek to build positive brand experiences is through immersive marketing.”
Customer Feedback Is Important
I can ever emphasise this enough because without it you will be treading blindly. Customers have become so complex in terms of what they need or what satisfies them. You must diligently solicit, analyse, draw insights from, and act on customer feedback.
Lastly in all that you do, you must be consistent. Whenever a customer comes to your business they must get consistent customer service. There must not be fluctuations or deviations in how you do your things, be consistent. Even your whole branding elements, they must be consistent at all times and whatever circumstances.
This marks the end of 18 branding insights I thought to share with you. You would do well for your business by applying all of them for your business. In a world where business competition is now cutthroat, you definitely have to be enterprising enough to transcend. I would like to believe that operating more online due to prevailing circumstances makes branding even less costly. This is because at times becomes unnecessary to use the money for costly physical materials for use in branding. Take advantage of the digital bubble the world is now in.