25.03.2024 - Digital Marketing

How to Strengthen Your Brand

You might think your service or your product is the most valuable asset your business has. But really, it’s your brand. Without a really strong brand behind your business, you’ll lose out on being able to really capture the hearts, minds, and emotions of your audience.

So, what can you do to strengthen your brand to make sure you stand out? Here, we’ll walk you through how to increase brand awareness, why a strong brand is so important and a ton of other powerful things to know when it comes to putting personality into your business.

The importance of brand identity

There’s no shortage of reasons why a brand identity is so important. It’s what makes you identifiable in crowded markets. It’s what visually captures the values, tone, and personality of your brand so your audience knows what to expect from you. A brand identity is also what lets you be consistent across your marketing materials. And crucially, it’ll foster loyalty and trust from your customers by making sure they can connect with your products and business.

Analysing your brand strategy

To know where you want to be, you have to know where you currently are. See how you stand right now with the below – do they sound familiar?

1) The business has a clearly documented value proposition, and you have your sights set on setting yourself apart from your competition – but there’s no brand identity in place yet.

2) After some internal and external research, the business has come up with a brand strategy, agreed and understood by key stakeholders. With this, you have a set of guiding principles for marketing and communications.

3) Everyone who’s involved with brand and marketing will be brought up to speed on the principles of the brand strategy so they can use them across their work. And perhaps more importantly, the strategy itself is reviewed reactively whenever big changes in the organisation or the market are afoot. This way, the business can stay on top of commercial priorities.

Improving your brand strategy

What can you do to make sure your brand strategy is an optimal one?

The kinds of businesses that have got their brand strategy nailed on are those which operate in a lifecycle model. Here, brand management owners follow processes that let them gather feedback through internal and external research across market knowledge, perception, competition changes and brand KPIs. With these insights, improvements can then be made at regular milestones.

Creating a strong brand identity

The above is all well and good, but how do you actually go about developing a strong brand identity? The truth is: hard work, and lots of it. And while everyone’s brand identity will differ, there are time-honoured tactics that you’ll want to use, no matter what sector you’re in. Let’s jump in.

Carry out market research

Market research is pretty much a must. By asking colleagues and customers intelligent, insightful questions and gathering key demographic info, you’ll have a bank of hard facts and data to weave into your brand identity.

Define your brand’s purpose and values

Knowing what your brand stands for goes a long way to setting your brand identity in motion. Think about what you believe in, and what your goals and vision for the business are as a whole. Why is this important? Because more and more, customers want to connect to things they can identify with and hold dear – don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve.

Come up with a brand voice that fits

How do you want your brand to speak? By identifying the tone of voice you want to talk in, you’ll give yourself that all-important personality that separates you from your competition. Do you want to exude authority, offer a friendly hand to others, be relaxed and informal, or play it straight and serious? Your business itself will have a big hand in the voice you go for, so keep that in mind – a law firm is unlikely to use slang words or be aloof when speaking to its customers.

Make your visuals strong

Think of all the brands that have colours, logos, typefaces, and other visual elements closely attached to their name. There’s a reason for this: they’ve got their visual identity down to a tee. Channelling the findings from your research, your values and your personality will help here, giving you plenty to work with across your website, social media, and other campaigns.

Focus on your USP

A clear USP that’s front and centre will not only lift up the rest of your brand identity efforts, it could be the definitive reason that customers will go with you over your competition. Think about the specific features or benefits your product has. Struggling with that? What is it about your values or missions that you can emphasise? Whatever you turn up, make sure your USP is consistent across all your marketing channels. 

Improving visibility and awareness

If getting yourself heard above the crowd is still proving difficult, learn how to increase brand awareness by giving these reputation-boosting approaches a go…

  • Get social: When you’re always in selling mode, people will quickly know the score. Get on social media and interact with your followers instead. Ask them questions, reply to their responses, and share content you think they’ll like. A good rule of thumb: think like a person, not a business.
  • Create shareable content: Blogs, videos, social media posts and product pages that can all be shared to help drum up some goodwill across your target audience, creating a domino effect as your content is shared from person to person.
  • Consider the influencer route: Influencer marketing isn’t a dirty word. With built-in followers and trust, using some of an influencer’s shine can really reflect well on your brand – especially if you make that co-sign an ongoing thing.
  • Be a thought leader: Being known is one thing, but being respected can bring about some serious awareness of its own, too. And the great thing is, there are loads of different ways you can broadcast your knowledge: LinkedIn opinion pieces, annual whitepapers or industry reports, panel appearances, trade show appearances and even your own podcast are all great opportunities to show off that know-how.
  • Measure your awareness: Don’t forget to measure the effects of these efforts. So, make sure you’re drilling down into social media interactions, keeping track of your content’s reach and who’s talking about you and where across your digital platforms. From these results, you’ll see what’s working and what might need tweaking.

Building brand trust

Brand trust – the confidence your customers have in your products or services – plays a key role in the relationship between you and those you cater to. And there are all sorts of different ways you can build it up. In fact, some of the things we mentioned above can have a powerful effect on it. Here are a few extra ways you can give your brand trust a boost too.

  • Be authentic: Let’s say you make a mistake. The natural response, business or not, would be to downplay it and hope it goes away. But actually, the best thing you can do from a trust perspective is to own it. Yes, you might’ve put a foot wrong, but people will appreciate you taking the time to own up and apologise.
  • Don’t shy away from transparency: Similarly, transparency is something more and more customers are receptive to these days. Being open about how you do business shows you’ve got nothing to hide, and gives customers the peace of mind to know you’re a business proud of its practices.
  • Be open to feedback: If something isn’t working, sticking to your guns is going to turn away customers in droves. Offering an ear to customer feedback shows both your willingness to hear them out and that you’re keen to improve your offering. And these two things won’t go unnoticed.  
  • Be consistent: We’ve been consistent in mentioning consistency in this article. And it’s because sticking to messaging, visuals and values stops customers from getting confused, allowing them to build up confidence in what you’re saying in the long term. 

Elevate your digital marketing

To help you identify your current level of digital marketing, and what you need to do to increase your level of growth, download our Digital Marketing Maturity Matrix template below.

We hope you’ve found this blog helpful! If you still can’t make those vital brand gains, let us take a look instead. Our brand team can help you make those key connections through your voice, visuals and personality across site, socials and more. Get in touch with them here or give us a call on 0345 459 0558.