What is a brand? You might come up with dozens of different definitions for a brand. Brand is basically a pledge or promise you make to whom you serve. This promise binds you to deliver consistent value and offer something that can fulfill user needs. A brand answer four key questions
- Who you are?
- What do you do?
- Why do you do it?
- Who do you do it for?
What is Branding and Corporate Branding?
Now, you know what a brand is, let us look at what is branding and corporate branding. Branding is a marketing practice used to create a name, symbol or design that not only identifies but differentiate a product from others. Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos defines branding as, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Corporate branding is all about promoting a brand name or corporate entity instead of products and services.
Why is Corporate Branding Important?
According to branding statistics, 89% of marketers say that increasing brand awareness is their top priority. Meanwhile, 77% of business leaders say that building a strong brand is critical for the success of their business growth plans. With consumers requiring 5-7 interactions before they can remember a brand, having a strong corporate brand is a must.
Corporate branding increases brand awareness, customer loyalty, builds trust and makes it easy for customers to relate to the brand. Moreover, it can also help brands to tap into new markets and facilitate new product launches. Due to strong brand name and corporate identity, a brand can gain a competitive advantage over its rivals.
In this article, you will learn about twelve corporate branding tips that will take your brand to the next level.
#1. Create a Comprehensive Strategy
When it comes to your corporate branding strategy, you should go all out and create a well thought out and in-depth corporate branding strategy. Focus on the company’s personality and different aspects of company culture that are prevalent in the organization hierarchy from top to bottom. From mission to messaging and everything in between, your corporate branding strategy should include everything. Try to make your corporate branding strategy as unique and memorable as possible.
#2. Ask the Right Questions
You might have attended many board meetings or have delivered marketing briefs, but have you ever tried to take input from your team members and customers about what they think about your brand? No, right. Create a survey to know what connects your employees with your company. It will give you a better idea about how connected they are to your company’s mission. Critically analyze the feedback and find useful insights that will help you improve brand positioning.
Ask your best customers about your brand identity. You will be surprised to know how much they know about your brand. This will give you a clear picture about your brand perception and how customers are looking at your brand. As you keep tweaking your corporate branding strategy, your corporate brand starts to align with your mission.
#3. Leverage Latest Technology
Gone are the days when only a handful brands have their dedicated websites. Today, having a dedicated website with multiple landing pages and call to actions is necessary. Businesses can also use websites as a branding tool. Take advantage of different platforms to manage different organizational functions. For instance, you can use Bamboo HR for human resource management, Zoom for video conferencing, Microsoft Teams for team collaboration. By using these tools, you can streamline your work and increase your productivity.
#4. Keep the CEO Involved
I know CEOs are busy people but there are certain things they can not afford to ignore. CEOs should treat corporate branding as an opportunity to drive their company in the direction they want it to go. Create a brand story. To do so, CEOs should answer the following questions.
- Why did you start the company?
- Where did you struggle or pivot?
- Where do you want it to go?
- What is unique about your brand?
- Why should people care about your product or services?
#5. Let Vision Take Center Stage
Make your company vision the focal point for all the branding activities. Your company vision should be clearly defined so it can guide your branding operations. Every department whether it is marketing or sales, procurement or development must have a clear guideline on how to go about their businesses in mapping their goals with the company’s vision. That is why I suggested you create a brand story because a storified vision can be implemented more easily throughout the organization and employees can easily relate to it as well. Moreover, a story-based vision can add an extra layer of motivation to every interaction your team has with your customers.
#6. Be Consistent with Your Messaging
According to statistics, consistent presentation of a brand can increase revenue by 23%. Additionally, 60% of millennials expect a consistent brand across all channels. That is why it is important for brands to stay consistent across different channels. Your promotional messages and advertisements should reflect the brand’s voice and tone.
Highlight how your products and services can help your target audience in resolving some of their biggest problems. A brand identity can only flourish when you communicate brand values and stories effectively. Your content and design should align with that philosophy and create experiences that your audiences are interested in.
#7. Create Amazing Customer Experiences
Most successful brands understand that brand identity is not only about eye catching graphics and persuasive copywriting. It goes well beyond that. That is why they divert their energies towards creating brilliant customer experiences. If you are a small business who is starting with branding, you can use this as an opportunity to take feedback from your customers and use their feedback as your action plan to convert ideas into real world customer experiences. Once you deliver exceptional customer experiences on a consistent basis, more customers will start to trust your brand as you start to fulfill the promises you make. That is exactly what customers want from a brand.
#8. Convert Employees into Brand Advocates
Turn your employees into brand ambassadors when they start believing in your company’s vision and identity. To prepare them for this role, you will have to motivate and inspire them. Give them a voice, publish their content and hold one to one meeting with them to inform them about the latest developments and challenges. This will increase the reach of your brand and amplify your brand’s presence. When you give deserving employees an opportunity to shine, customers will start to see your brand as a human centric brand.
#9. Produce Authentic and Relevant Content
Did you know that 80% of people consider authentic content as the leading factor why they will follow a brand? That is not all, data shows that 45% customers will stop following a brand if they go overboard with self-promotion. To keep your target audience engaged, you will have to create content that is not only authentic and relevant but also valuable. Make your content interesting by telling stories that customers can relate to. Use data and examples to back up your claims. This will also help your brand increase credibility and establish itself as an industry expert.
#10. Set and Measure KPIs
You want your brand to perform well but how would you know that it is performing well or underperforming? By looking at numbers, right. That is why it is important to choose the right key performance indicators to track. You can give each metric a weight and rank your brand performance based on that. You should not wait for the quarter to end to measure your results, you can do it on a weekly or monthly basis. This will give you a better idea about how effective or ineffective your corporate branding strategy is over time?
#11. Optimize, Optimize, Optimize
Building a brand takes time. Things change quickly and you might have to change course. As the market situation changes, you should tweak your corporate branding strategy accordingly. It is not like setting it and forget it, you will have to continuously optimize it to deliver great results. By continuously optimizing your corporate branding strategy, you do not miss out on opportunities to increase your revenue. Consider it as an interactive process that never ends.
#12. Think Long Term
You do not want a brand that does not grow at the same pace as your company who owns that brand. You must be patient and think long term instead of striving for short term gains. Keep moving slowly and steadily towards your goal and take one step at a time. You might stumble along the way, but you will eventually get their if you stay focused.
Ask yourself questions such as where do you want to see your brand five years from now? What would you need to do to get there? What are the small steps and milestones you will have to achieve before reaching that goal? This will help you devise an action plan and strategy that will increase your chances of success.
Which is your favorite corporate branding tip? Share it with us in the comments section below.
About the Author!
Muneeb Qadar is a leading brand strategist, and works for Branex Web Design Company, a leading web development company based in Dubai. Over the years, he has acquired substantial knowledge to help businesses know how to assess their business goals and their technical needs related to an app & web. He considers himself as a bookworm and reads a lot, mostly related to mobile apps and new tools and software related to it. Get in touch with him for any help you need.