Building a brand for a new company may seem like a daunting task. The days when a business could put out a million-dollar ad campaign and blast the company name into people’s heads are long gone. Now communication is essential for shaping the opinion of both current and future customers, and since consumers are controlling how and where marketing messages reach them, new strategies have to be invoked. Here are a few ways to make or improve your brand image:
- Have a branded email address, rather than using a free service such as Gmail or Yahoo. Email gives people a way to clearly communicate their questions and concerns in a timely manner with few delays. People now expect any legitimate company to have a branded email address. Without one, you’ll give the impression that you’re an amateur organization or hopelessly out of step. Locating a good email hosting service will allow you to have a dependable means of communication between your customer and your company.
- Have plenty of other means for contacting your company. Most Internet denizens love email, but not everyone is of the same opinion. Add live chat to your site for those who want immediate help. Live chat is especially important for e-commerce sites because customers can get their questions answered while they’re still interested in buying. Along with chat, offer a phone number and your company’s physical address for a big credibility boost.
- Use social media. Whether you prefer the short, to-the-point format of Twitter or would rather have Facebook’s capability to expound on your messaging, you must have a social media presence. To be effective, strike a balance between being informational and informal. Think of it like having guests over for a party. Be personal, but don’t get off topic and lose your audience. Substantive, interesting content is key.
- Don’t devise multiple brands within your company. Instead, attach one overarching brand name to all your products and services. For individual products, give them a secondary name if you need to. Think of it like cars: Your brand is the make, and the specific product is the model.
- Make an emotional connection with your customers. Even if your company’s product is a commodity, you can make it strike a special emotional chord with people. Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign, for example, is very motivating and paints the brand as one with a “can do” attitude. Apple, on the other hand, speaks to the aspirational desires of its audience. Attach your brand name to something desirable to keep people coming back for more.
- Be consistent. Don’t use a completely different look and feel for your online ads than you do for your physical versions. Consistency is the key to being recognizable.
With these tips, you’ll be able to add a lot of power to your next branding campaign. The final point to keep in mind is that you’ll need to have patience. Remember that people are bombarded with hundreds of advertising messages on a daily basis. In order for your efforts to make an impression, people will have to see them again and again. Once your campaign has had a chance to work, there’s a good chance that your corporate image will improve and sales will increase to match.