The Secret to Great Branding Isn’t What You Think

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The secret to great branding isn’t what you think.

This is not your typical marketing how-to.

After all, you are probably already producing many marketing comms and messages – you have a logo, you are on social media, you have a website. Now, you want to boost your measurable results. You want to get brand awareness like Apple, with that sleek recognizable storytelling. You want to gain trust and be seen as a brand with integrity, like Adobe or Dropbox. You want to be fun and inviting, like Fancy Feast. You want to know the secret to great branding.

Here are 3 key elements to taking your marketing to that next level, and they are probably not what you expect.

1: Consistency is key

Consistency is the main ingredient in building trust in your brand. It is vital to be consistent in WHAT your message is, and even more importantly- WHEN your message is delivered, and how often. Many small businesses fall into this familiar rut: You either send communications sporadically, spending time on every detail, skipping weeks or months and suddenly sending out a barrage of posts… Or, your team sends out comms on a whim, whenever there is something to say, a steady stream of unpolished messages. 

Well, scrap both of those approaches. Both your message and your timing need to become consistent, even if this means that sometimes you approve things quickly- and sometimes you make something wait. Decide on a scheduled comms plan, that spans all your channels (social media, blog, newsletter, youtube, the lot). Stick to that plan like your business depends on it. Get your layouts, logos and colors super consistent, even if you think that can get boring – it won’t. It will comfort your audience, develop trust, and your potential customers will know what they are getting from you and when. For reference on the power of consistency, check out this recent study by McKinsey & Company, showing that customers had 30% more trust in banks in the top quartile of delivering a consistent experience, compared to banks in the bottom quartile. 

So,

  1. Schedule your comms and stick with it
  2. Make your colours, layouts and logos consistent

best brand strategy

2: Go achievable over ideal – Always

I know, I know- You want to produce amazing viral videos, you want to have gorgeous designed Instagram posts, an active and engaging blog, a newsletter that people actually read… But as a small business, the truth is, you cannot have it all. You may find that by trying to have it all, you end up producing very little. With consistency being key (as mentioned above), you must bring your plans back down to earth and make everything achievable. Calculate every hour a task will take, schedule it out, and see what can you actually produce.

For example, an achievable marketing plan for a team of 2 might look like this:

Monday: Decide on the weekly theme/topic for your messaging. Write script for new video, use the script to write outline for blog post, outline a snippet for a social media post. All from the same content.

Tuesday: Work on the video only. 

Wednesday: Finalise and produce the blog post and social posts- again, recycling the content throughout.

Thursday: Publish all, link everything to each other, and launch your relevant boosted campaigns in conjunction.

Friday: Start planning the next week.

Get feedback

3: Always ask for feedback

Ask your members or customers what they like about your service. Find out what they appreciate about your communications. They will be happy to tell you, especially when asked what they would like to see you do in future. 

Their feedback is the most accurate measure of your marketing and branding. After all, it worked on them. Many businesses hesitate to ask their customers these questions, but I truly believe that all feedback is important. This is especially important when it comes to COVID-19-sensitive messaging. I recommend asking for feedback over the phone or in person, as surveys tend to annoy rather than encourage openness. Your own customers will show you what you are doing right, and how to find more people or businesses like them. 

Watch this video for more secrets to great branding 

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