Corporate branding is a reliable tool. If you think about some of the most popular companies on the market, we bet that you would be able to name most of them from a snippet of their company brand. If you want strong corporate branding, you need to be able to remove the name and still have consumers recognize your company. In this article, we’re going to be looking at 12 steps that you can take to achieve successful corporate branding so that you can apply them to your business and build your brand. Let’s take a look at what these 12 steps are and how they will help you.
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Be More Than Just A Company
You need to understand that customers don’t want to buy from a corporation. They want to buy from people. It’s no longer enough to sell them something great at a reasonable price, but now people want you to share their views and values and understand their needs rather than supply them with a product. For this reason, you’ve got to think outside the box when it comes to your corporate branding strategy. Find your target audience, figure out your chosen personality, and then prove that you’re more than another soulless company. Show your passion in your brand, and deliver on your promises.
One Size Does Not Fit All
You’ve got to keep in mind that your company has its specific business values and how you do things. This is why you can’t simply follow what other companies in your industry do. It’s not going to be good enough to be a copycat; even the best branding models need tailoring to fit your business’s specifics. Keep in mind that branding and business strategy goes hand in hand, with the branding being the face of the company. Don’t fall into the trap of emulating the branding strategies of other businesses. When it comes to branding, be yourself.
Talk to Your Customers
Who knows the most about your company? It’s your customers, employees, and any stakeholder in your company. The best thing you can do is conduct thorough research and talk to them. Find out what appeals to them, and find any other information that you are going to need to achieve successful corporate branding. As a rough guide, you should be using about 5% of your marketing budget to research and get all of the information you need. The thing that you’ve got to remember is that you want to be their voice, you want to appeal to what they want, so you must listen to whatever they tell you.
The CEO Needs To Be In Charge
The CEO must be in charge of the brand strategy. This person needs to be interested, passionate and believes in what you are trying to build. You will need more people than just the CEO to come up with a great brand, but that is where a brand management team comes in. This needs to consist of senior contributors who will help integrate the new strategy while ensuring it is continuously developed. But, none of this matters if the CEO is not personally involved. Any brand has to start in the boardroom, right at the top because if they don’t believe in it, nobody else is going to either.
Connect With Your Target Audience
It’s not just about creating a corporate brand; it’s about using this to connect with your audience. Communication is essential, and you’ve got to bring the new corporate brand to life using a range of marketing activities—these need to be carefully executed to have the desired effect. Rather than trying to communicate all of your points from the branding strategy, it would be wise to pick a couple. Use the ones that will have the most impact using the marketing resources you’ve decided.
Make Use of Modern Technology
Technology is going to help when it comes to your brand’s effectiveness, seeing as a well designed and marketed brand online is very important these days. We live in the age of technology, and you need to make sure that you’ve got a professional website at the very least. You’ve got customers who are going to be super internet savvy, so a great website is necessary, or your business does not exist. Times have changed, and what used to work 20 years ago is not going to cut it now. It’s simply a case with keeping up with the times and what your customers want from you.
Get People Involved As Brand Ambassadors
People are one of the essential parts of any business. It’s not just interactions with the people from your business, but also the number of people that everyone interacts with on a family basis. Friends, family, acquaintances, social media friends, the list goes on, which is why you want these people on your team as a brand ambassador. Word of mouth is one of the most valuable marketing techniques and can help you build a positive reputation around your brand. Your employees are the obvious choice for ambassadors, but you’ve got to encourage them to take on this role by training them and helping them believe in what you are creating. Lay out the aims, the beliefs, the values, and once they are fully understood, a new brand ambassador is there!
Your Promise Needs To Be Clear
The message you want to convey through your brand needs to be crystal clear. Be concise; don’t be vague because people don’t like that. Let them know what you stand for, let them know what you do, and any promises you make need to be set in stone to deliver a more authentic experience to your customers. If you’re struggling, you can always consult a professional business such as 1338Tryon. There’s nothing wrong with needing help to achieve success.
Keep Your Eye on Performance
A corporate brand needs to be accountable. It’s crucial that you work out how much value it is adding to the business as a whole, and then how important it is when it comes to securing competitiveness. Consider using a brand scorecard to help get an overview of the brand equity and how it is changing or progressing as the new strategy gets implemented. It would be best if you tracked the brand equity regularly to understand how it’s performing.
You are promising people something with your corporate brand. It sits front and center, being the face of the business strategy. You are showing people what they can expect from your business. That means the delivery of the products and services should be carefully evaluated before the corporate branding takes place. You will find out the truth of how well your business is being received when you deliver the corporate brand promise. It’s never a bad thing to exceed customers’ expectations, but this isn’t always possible. Take extra care to ensure that customers are being handled with extreme care based on the expectations that your company has, both internal and external.
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If you want to be successful when it comes to corporate branding, you must be consistent. There is no use going through this whole project if it turns out that none of your messages are clear or consistent as time goes on. Of course, things change, but you want people to understand who you are, which will not happen if your corporate brand does not remain consistent in its efforts.
Don’t Be Afraid To Make Necessary Changes
Business changes all the time. Everything is constantly evolving and moving, so you need to be able to adapt and edit where necessary. Auditing your corporate brand strategy must be done regularly. Only by doing this will you be able to make the changes you need while still keeping a consistent message. Keep in mind that you don’t want to change things like the vision, identity, values, or personality of your corporate branding strategy as these are the foundation. Changes are small but need to be made to make up with the changing business landscape that you find yourself facing.
Brands are going to come out on top when they are led by owners who always want to raise the standard. If you aren’t able to make the necessary changes, you aren’t setting the bar high enough to succeed in this area.
The Traits of a Successful Corporate Branding Strategy
Next, let’s go over a few traits that every successful corporate branding strategy has in common:
It Uses Emotion
We know it—Your customers aren’t always the most rational people. How else would you explain why some people will pay more for the same product because of the brand name? Somewhere in the back of their mind is an emotional voice saying, “Buy from this brand.”
By giving your customers the feeling that they’re part of a large, tight-knit group, you can better position your company to acquire new clients.
Why does this work so well? People have a desire to form relationships, known as the need to belong.
So, for your corporate branding strategy to be successful, you need to find a way to connect with customers on a deep emotional level.
The modern world changes fast, and marketers have to remain flexible if they want to stay relevant. One advantage to this is that it allows you to be more creative with your campaigns. If you’re thinking that this contradicts the consistency we mentioned earlier, don’t worry—we’ll explain.
Consistency aims to get a standard for your brand image, and flexibility allows you to make adjustments to build more interest and distinguish your brand from the competition. Here’s another way to look at it—consistency helps your brand remain identifiable, but you need enough variation to keep things feeling fresh.
So, if your old strategies aren’t working as well anymore, don’t hesitate to change things up. Just because your strategy worked in the past doesn’t mean that it will work forever.
It Implements Employee Involvement
Speaking to consistency again, it’s important to focus on employee involvement. While a style guide can be helpful to achieving a cohesive brand image, you need your employees to be well versed in how they communicate with people while representing the brand.
Think about it this way—If your brand has a sense of humor and is playful with social media engagements, it doesn’t make any sense if your customers end up getting connected with a monotone, grumpy representative.
To avoid a mismatched experience like that, it’s crucial to involve your employees in the company culture and hold them to the core values and brand image of your organization.
It Rewards Loyalty
When you get customers that love your brand, company, and products, don’t just sit there—Reward them for that loyalty. Loyal customers will go out of their way to spread the word about your brand, write positive reviews, and act as brand ambassadors. Cultivating this loyalty early on will only yield even more returning customers.
Sometimes, it can be as simple as a thank you. Other times, you can go above and beyond by sending them a personalized letter or some special swag. When they write you a great review, feature it on your website—They’ll love to see it there!
Loyalty is a crucial part of every successful branding strategy. At the end of the day, you can highlight a positive relationship between your brand and your customers to show potential clients what they can expect when interacting with your company.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know how you can achieve successful corporate branding. If you follow these 12 steps, you will be giving yourself the best chance to create a brand that people love and remember. Good luck, and we hope that you get the results that you’re seeking.
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