The logo, colour scheme, brand name, tag line, target audience, message etc. are all fundamental to the branding process for businesses of every size. But beyond these essentials how can branding experts help their clients differentiate themselves from their competitors. In a crowded marketplace where everyone is competing on price and product what attracts consumers to a particular brand and creates brand loyalty?
I recently spoke to some experts in branding to find out their views on what really matters….
Rob King, Founder and consultant at BrandDNA, believes a brand is greater than the sum of its parts. “I always recommend drawing a distinction between brand distinctiveness and brand differentiation. Distinctiveness is about using strong, simple and consistent brand assets (logo, strapline, graphics, colours, etc) to stand out with impact by attracting attention, maintaining interest, creating desire and inspiring action.
Differentiation is about setting your brand apart by communicating what makes you different and how you add value. Both are equally important. Ideally, brands should aim to combine both approaches in a brand strategy that’s in line with their core objectives. By being Distinctively Different, your brand will stand out like no other.”
As an experienced branding strategist, Rob understands the need for building authentic relationships with customers. Customers want to know the real story behind your business and discover what makes your brand different.
That means businesses need to start with the right intent, be true to who they are, show they care and support customers in their goals and challenges. And, most importantly, add value. By engaging and connecting through a well-crafted story a business can communicate valuable, relevant content that tells their true story well in the eye of customers.
Customers are everywhere. Brands must look to create a more emotional connection with them – wherever they are. By communicating the right message, to the right person, through the right channel, at the right time – brands can deliver an outstanding customer experience across every touchpoint. It’s about listening, understanding, creating and delivering an experience that adds value – and keeps customers coming back. Brand consistency plays a key role in this – helping to build awareness and develop trust and loyalty with customers.
Branding and The Mobile User Experience
Rob also had some valuable insights on how branding impacts on a good Mobile User Experience…
There’s an inextricable link between branding and usability. Design quality and responsiveness have a big effect on users – but many brands are still not getting it right. According to Hubspot, 93% of people have left a website because it didn’t display properly on their device. And 90% have left because it was badly designed. Delivering a good mobile user experience requires a digital-first approach. Get the technology right, first. Then apply the branding to reinforce the brand’s emotional connection with users. UX is a crucial part of the overall user experience. Traditional brands need to catch up with their digital counterparts who are leading the way.
Tyler Walsh, Director of Marketing Operations at the creative agency, Farmore Marketing stressed the importance of using good branding to build customer loyalty. “There’s more to building customer loyalty than just having a great product. Loyalty is born of strong relationships, a culture of mutual understanding and respect.
Unfortunately, too many businesses see their community platforms as nothing more than marketing tools for expanding mailing lists or promoting new products. By building a community that fosters constructive customer-to-brand and customer-to-customer conversation, you’ll have ample insights on how to continually improve your customers’ brand loyalty.”
Tyler recommends these branding tactics for building authentic relationships with customers:
- Build trust with your customers. Consumers today are informed and educated. They don’t want to be sold to, and they expect you to be honest and truthful about your offerings.
- Be consistent. Ensure that every decision you make is supported by, and indicative of, your corporate values. Make sure everything you say and do is uniquely ‘you,’ and that your audience members expect what you’re delivering.
And when it comes to using branding to differentiate a company from its competitors, Tyler believes that what really counts is not how unique you are but how unique people think you are. Your USP does not have to be universally unique, but only unique in your area, industry or market. Tailoring your brand around this will help to create a more authentic public perception. Once you have identified your target audience, utilize both traditional and contemporary forms of media to consistently reiterate your brand identity. By practicing these strategies, you will better define your brand for clients, and most importantly begin to differentiate yourselves from the competition
Helping consumers interact with a brand
Tyler also had some valuable insights on how Live Chat options help consumers interact with a brand…
Choosing to use a Live Chat function definitely depends on your industry, customer expectations, and the employee availability that your brand possesses. In today’s digital age, modern companies simply need to have a live customer chat function in order to appear relevant and in-touch. A company will also appear accessible and truly interested in the needs of clients and potential customers, which can do a lot for your company’s reputation.
Overall, it is hard to deny the power and potential of live chat, and with customer engagement paramount to success in today’s marketplace, live chat may be an essential component in delivering quality customer service to your customers and gaining a crucial competitive edge… but only if you do it right.
My thanks to Rob King and Tyler Walsh for their really valuable insights here into the importance of branding both in digital and traditional markets. And remember that good branding is just one of the ways you can improve your business. What are you waiting for?
About our contributors:
Rob King is founder and consultant at BrandDNA, an award-winning brand consultancy. An experienced strategist, Rob helps businesses and agencies elevate their brands beyond the ordinary. BrandDNA combines Brand + Strategy to prime and position brands for growth. All brands have a story to tell. BrandDNA helps clients discover, navigate and amplify theirs. Core services include Research + Insight, Strategy + Positioning, and Content + Campaigns. Whether you have a brand to build, a product to position, or a campaign to create, BrandDNA will take your story from good… to great.
Tyler Walsh is the Director of Marketing Operations at the creative agency, Farmore Marketing, located in Tampa, FL. Farmore has partnered with some of the most prestigious companies and people in Tampa Bay. They are passionate about serving clients in their designated markets, and are dedicated to building better brands online by harnessing the power of each brand’s individual and unique story. Connect with them on Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook