When you hear the term brand, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? I hear you thinking .. Apple? Microsoft? Cadbury? Yeah.. you are right.. These are some of the top brands across the world. But didn’t you think of your own company atleast once? This is the most wrong perception that most of the small business owners have. People think that only large companies can be tagged as Brands. Any company that has lasting impression in minds of people can be called as a brand. It is the dream of every business person to make that kind of lasting impression in the minds of customers. Let us understand a little more about what is branding.
So, why do you think, branding is necessary for a business? Especially, why is it important for small businesses to focus on branding? The answer is so simple. Branding and brand awareness is important to make people and the potential customers of the company, know that a brand exists and performs certain works that they might potentially need in the future or need currently to solve the problems of the customers.
Branding and brand awareness help to put your company at the top of the mind for your customers and make them think of your brand when they come across a similar situation that your brand solves. Let’s put this with an example so that you can understand better!! Let’s say for example your kiddo has secured the first place in the board exams. You are in the celebration mood. What will you think of buying to celebrate this occasion? Dairy Milk !! Yeah! that’s right. Because, dairy milk has branded itself as a sweet for all celebrations.
The brand that resonates with the emotions of the customers are the
ones that succeed in a longer run. (Just like the Dairy Milk). So, building a brand is important
for the business whether the business is small or large. So far larger businesses have shown us
way on how branding is done to certain extent. These are some of the traditional ways of
branding, which has been in existence for over hundreds of years. Some of these traditional ways
of branding are still proves to be effective to grab the attention of the customers. Few
examples that you come across day to day in branding are Ads displayed on: Television, Radio,
Other media platforms like newspaper, billboards, banners, Giving away free samples. These types
of branding come under the advertisement perspective and used to grab the attention of the
customers. Different music, colors an image along with curiosity building texts are part of this
Though these are highly effective in the launching stage of your business, in a long run to have more customer engagement through branding, these psychological tips and tricks will not work out. Also, traditional branding does not involve a tracking mechanism to ensure that if there is actually conversion taking place after the branding and advertising is done. In order to address this issue, digital branding in the form of various social media handles and tag for companies are emerging making the branding, stress free and reduce expenses of branding. The most important stakeholder in the business is the customers. Ultimately all the efforts that we put in must result in increasing customer satisfaction by particularly meeting out their needs. One way of doing it is by perfect branding. Let us move further and understand What is brand engagement? In the next section.
Brand engagement is nothing but the interaction of the customers and
potential customers with your brand. This brand engagement can be done by several methods. Not
all the methods yield in a good brand engagement. The brand engagement in today’s social media
world happens mostly through the social media handles of these brands. There are virtual
assistants and chat bots employed to manage the brand engagement, by addressing their queries,
and connecting them with the concerned departments. This has helped larger brands to effectively
manage time as well as the human resources. The point to note here is even the larger brands
give importance to brand engagement. This will make this question pop up in your mind.
Why is brand engagement important? If the larger brands are focusing on the brand engagement and are giving importance to brand engagement by customers then there is something in it for sure. Brand engagement helps in Increasing the awareness of the brand, Improves the loyalty of customers towards the brand, Increase the comfort of the customers related to brand, Bringing the customers closer to the brand and its activities as possible. Besides all these there is a research saying that the customer has to go through 3-4 good impressions of the brand in order to make customers remember the brand. A very effective branding strategy will help even the smallest brand to stand out from the competitors and the rest of the crowd.
Though brand engagement and brand building are two different aspects,
they both are highly interconnected. We may say that a well-built brand can help you to increase
the brand engagement, and also this can be put in a different way. A good brand engagement will
help in the longer run to build a stronger brand. This happens either way but finally benefits
the company as a whole. But the first route is much more effective than the second one. Why
because, when you build a brand engagement this acts as a recognition for the company. This
brand engagement by the loyal customers of your company helps in creating a social proof for
your business and stand as a testimonial to the future clients regarding your business.
Some of the potential proven strategies to drive brand engagement to build your brand are listed as follows: Have a consistent brand image: Nowadays, most people started talking about consistency. But do the brands really need it? Of-course Yes! Consistency in projecting your brand outside to the customers has many benefits. A consistent approach in Branding will help the customers to better remember your brand for a long run. This way people get your brand at the top of their mind when something related to your brand pops up in front of them. Consistency can be maintained in several ways.All of these ways are important and has to be given a careful attention in order to win the branding challenge that your company is currently undergoing.
Consistency of Colors used in the brand, the font type in the logo, resonation of logo image to your company, style and mode of content that is displayed to the customers through different channels, the people used for advertisement, the customer persona that is being projected to the customers in the outside world (this helps the customers to resonate with themselves, it is dealt in greater detail in the next section), music etc. Larger brands have used this strategy brilliantly. Let us see how this works for you as a customer!! When I say Britannia .. Don’t you hear that classic sound “Tin Tinta Din” in the background. This the power of consistency in branding. Name any brand they will have their own unique Branding and will always follow consistency so that people know that it is their brand.
Customer engagement is high only when they actually come in contact
with your product or service. Only when you personally feel and use a particular product or
service then you will actually feel a connectivity with you and that particular brand. So,
similarly it is important for you to address the same in your business also.
Many ads in the television may be attractive, but you will be more attracted and give your
attention to a greater extent if that particular ad is from the product that you have used in
the past or using it currently. This is called as the brand experience by the customer. Building
a strong brand engagement, involves building a good customer experience also. This is
practicable through the giving away freebies and samples based on the product or service. No
body says no to freebies. By providing these samples and freebies you as a company are letting
the customers have a taste of your product or service.
This strategy will work only if the product or service that you offer is of good quality and likeable by your potential customers. Customers are very loyal. If they found a product that is really good, then they tend to recommend it to their friends and family. In some extreme cases to their entire social following. Thus, a good customer relation and engagement with brand will also serve as a free marketing tool provided that the product or service is really outstanding. Use Emotions rather than materialism. People usually are attracted to emotional needs. So, the branding has to be hitting them emotionally. Some advertisements will be really harsh, but will be addressing the exact pain points of the potential customers. These points can be resonated only with the potential customer. Your company as a brand must understand the emotionally points of the customers. If you are able to tap that point, then definitely the brand engagement will increase.
Reviews are always important. Always remember the words. Ask and it shall be given!! This is a powerful quote in sales and marketing perspective. Ask your customers for reviews! This is something really easy step to perform branding, but Is not done by most of the smaller businesses. With mobile and social media in hand, people start to see the product or service that they are looking to buy using their mobile phones. The first important thing that a customer sees is the reviews from other customer. These reviews stand as a testimonial to the brands. Besides this actually increase the brand awareness and brand engagement by providing the actual points from people who are just like your customers. These are some of the points that can be incorporated in any brand in order to successfully brand your company and increase the brand engagement for growing your business.