With the New Year approaching quickly, you may have your mind on holiday parties and vacation days. If you haven’t focused thoughts on your brand, you could start 2015 with a fizzle instead of a bang. See, branding has never been more important, especially now that companies have the ability to reach buyers at any time of the day or night. You simply cannot stand out from the crowd if you haven’t developed your unique brand identity.
So, how can you be sure you’re ready to ring in another year? Make these branding resolutions and you can welcome 2015 with confidence.
Clearly Defined Mission
Too many companies out there build a business out of making money. Money’s fantastic—don’t get me wrong—but when you start a business with the sole intention of raking in the dough, you’re already paddling backward. Without a clear reason for existing, a mission in mind for solving buyers’ problems, you’re destined to struggle. You’ll spend the life of your company lowering your prices to beat out the brands that really speak to people.
So, you say you have a mission. You know why your company exists. What do you provide buyers that the cut-rate companies can’t? Why should someone trust you more than the other guy? This is your unique value, and you can’t build a brand without it.
What makes people buy Starbucks when other coffee shops exist? Is it better coffee? Cheaper coffee? Or is it the knowledge that customers will receive consistent quality in an inviting atmosphere—no matter where they are in the world? What about Apple products? What is so unique about Apple that buyers wait in line for days to be the first to own a new iPhone or iPad? Without unique value, you’ll lose out to companies that have incorporated it into their brands.
Developing branding and marketing strategies will be pointless if the two don’t mesh. In 2015, it will be more important than ever for your marketing outlets to reflect your brand. Consumers are super savvy, and they’re all tired of traditional advertising.
When consumers connect with brands through social media, read your blog, or view your advertisements, they do so with particular expectations. With consistent branding across all channels, you can build relationships with these buyers.
Complementary Personal Brand
As a business owner or executive within a company, your personal brand is as important as the company’s brand. Have you concentrated on developing your own mission? Why do you do what you do? Even more importantly, how does your personal brand reflect the vision of your company?
Giving consumers a face behind the brand is important for building relationships. As you consider the points above as they relate to your company, consider also how they apply to your public persona. What do you bring buyers that no one else could in your position? This answer doesn’t necessarily have to apply to your products or services, either. Your unique value is a characteristic or mission that sets you apart from other business owners and executives.
Your personal brand should also be consistent across all marketing channels, too. Simply stating on your Twitter profile that your opinions are your own doesn’t cover your bases. Daymond John of Fubu and Shark Tank fame says, “First of all, they should treat themselves like a brand regardless – day job, home, personal life.” The thoughts, advice, and anecdotes you share should clearly support and protect your company’s brand.
There is no denying that branding will only become more important in the coming years. You can still take control of your company’s image by making these important New Year’s resolutions. If you need some help auditing your branding and marketing strategies to prepare for the New Year, we’re here to help.Tags: branding, marketing, personal brand