How to brand in 2018 ?
What a turbulent year that was! Giving all of us jerks & pauses with big decisions for nations that waved the small business plans that we had! Be it the historic demonetization or reforming GST, my brand owners felt confused and undecided.
Over to the digital era – where the brands saw an influx of videos, google played well with the SEO and Content emerged as the king – only when handled well!
Whatever happened left us with Lessons and Triggers for the future! Nothing went right but nothing went wrong too. But new year is certainly the time to check on the wrongs to become slightly less wrong then earlier (I like this philosophy of Mark Manson,the NYTimes bestselling author)
Well that’s exactly how Branding is taking its Shape with the Digital branding shaping ways for businesses – whether you are selling products or services.
The approach is minimalist as far as the customers are concerned.
The approach note needs to be detailed as far as the clients are concerned.
When you are sold – you need to keep updates easy & frequent. When you are selling you need to detail out as much as you can – so that the person can derive value for money from your quote itself.
The world is becoming interesting.
And so is the dynamics of business. The social media is opening ways of expression and is giving us the freedom to reach out & expand our horizons. But it again depends on what you are, who are you chasing and how do you plan to reach to your consumers!
Choices are abundant.
As a brand marketer – we have choices and as a consumer we have more choices. We choose what we want to see, follow and even whether we want to be followed by or not by a so & so person.
Advertisements are Pouring.
Yes, advertisements like always are a solution- from temporary bliss & business. And mind you they work too. But the challenge remains same – is your advertisement sharp enough to create that space in the mind of consumer.
Will it stick forever?
Was it effective?
Did it influenced the prospect to bring out some money and spend it on your product/service?
Have they set the expectations right?
Have we won a sale or a customer?
The answers to above questions also lead to the answers you need to find out for your Branding 2018. Now that we are all beginning to get into the annual planning for our brands, reviewing the content plans and working on the strategy, we decided to share a DIY Checklist & set the brand vision 2018.
This year we decided to ditch the brand guidelines. The year is about Personalization, we need not fit into any frameworks, instead we need to create own Brand Frameworks – keeping the brand elements & customers in the hindsight.
Make your Content Appealing:
The year is about ditching the old brand guidelines and adapting to the new ones. You need to understand your customers and their preferred mode of interaction. What, Where & How to reach them with their preferences.
The modes of content are details, quick and in-shorts too. Find out where your audience is – are they reading blogs, surfing emails, love to watch videos or prefer the social spaces like FB, Twitter, LinkedIn or WhatsApp.
Your content plan should be detailed and targeted in sync with your business goals.
Make your communication compelling:
Benefits are not enough! Yes, the modern day consumer is not inclined to only brand benefits. They look for brand associations; they seek the connect. Is your brand connecting enough to compel an action from the viewers? Create a space for your brand, stop existing. Keep note of the viewer activity.
Where the customer is responding most, which tool is most approachable. Put it more strengths & efforts on that front. Doing it less is only good when less is effective.
Track your Brand Performance:
When it is about sales driven campaign you can rely on social media and campaigns. But when you are looking at creating a brand which will grow with the business and is launched with a vision – well documented brand building is the answer. It is also necessary to share your larger framework with the clients. Short-sighted marketing efforts are mere brand activations which is only a sales & marketing element of brand management.
As a Brand Owner, you need to track the performance & plan your branding accordingly. This could be industry specific, target market based, budget bound or a combination of all.
You need to track if you are managing any leads organically through your branding activity. If no, what are the lacunae or you need to boost the branding activities to expand the reach.
Make the Brand Work for you:
The customers today follow brands, the connect is based on a number of reasons. The brand touch-points have increased, they could be the brand story, the purpose of your initiative, the brand promoters, the celebrity endorsers, a social responsibility of the brand that brought together a number of people, the business networking channels, the personal brand behind the brand.
What are they following – your brand / your story or the benefit? You need to understand consumer insight & define your Brand actions basis that.
For instance, there could be an educational brand or a healthcare brand, the brand trust is led by the person behind it. Similarly, in an ecommerce portal or an online business – the customer decisions vary from ease of access, the user experience, the testimonies and the response time.
The modern day startups like Josh Talks, SAM Workshops are popular brands among millennials. Their strategy was simple – they knocked the right doors and caught the right nerve.
Rujuta Diwakar, one of the most popular celebrity nutritionist – needs no introduction but if you look at her last year’s journey and the way she has captured the everyday audiences through her social media is a brand case study. I am sure not all her audiences know her as just being the celebrity nutritionist of Kareena Kapoor Khan.
In all the above examples, it is the brand which is popular. These brands are trying to reach different target segments with a very focused brand strategy.
Regular Audits & Client Feedback:
Plan regular brand audits – internal as well as external. By internal audits we mean – auditing the brand communication & sense of belongingness in your organization. You need to plan & audit the internal stakeholders. External Audits involve assessing the external pipeline of branding – be it the communications, design, market pulse, competition and situation analysis in the external environment.
Apart from regular activity reviews with your brand agency, you need to review the brand impressions with your customers. What value are they attaining out of your brand engagement, communication & interactions. Customer feedback is vital and it is also intriguing as the present day customers are not only informed but they are demanding too; therefore, they come with lot of exciting ideas.
You can request an eBook on DIY Brand Audits from us.
As Brand owners, we must realize that the choices are multiplying each day and that makes it essential to keep the Sales Funnel updated and focused. On that note, we wish you a very exciting new year.
Wanna explore more about Branding & Customer Strategies for your brand feel free to firstname.lastname@example.org or fill up the form here for Free Consultation.