6 Reasons You’re Struggling with Brand Identity
Why don’t you think twice about staying in a stranger’s home instead of a hotel?
Why have you been buying the same beauty product for the past five years?
Why are you a raging fan of one technology company and not another?
One simple answer – branding!
Brand identity is a necessary component of every successful marketing strategy. It is the reason why you prefer and choose certain companies or services over others. Unfortunately, brand identity is also a concept that is challenging for many entrepreneurs.
You know it’s important, and you know what it can do for your bottom line, but you can’t seem to get it right.
Here’s six reason why you might be having a difficult time with your brand identity.
- You haven’t discovered your ideal audience
The first step in creating your brand identity is identifying your target audience. Why? Because your customers are the most important part of your business. So you have to ask questions like: Who are my customers? What do they value the most? What do they want? What are their pain points and challenges? Then you have to do your research; read client reviews of similar companies, join groups and forums where your customers hang out, ask questions, and see how your target audience engages with your competitors. Once you have discovered your market, you can build a strong brand identity that resonates with your customer base every step of the way.
- You’re not confident in your offerings or skill level
After identifying your ideal audience you are now equipped with valuable information to help you develop better brand messaging for your market. The second step is building confidence around your offering. Are you confident that your offering meets the needs of your buyers? Can you explain your product or service confidently and efficiently while interacting with your audience? Product knowledge is essential to brand identity. Understanding the details about your products or services allows you to relay their benefits accurately and effortlessly when communicating with your clients. When you’re confident in your skill level and knowledgeable about your product, customers respond more positively, making it easier to connect with them on a deeper level.
- You think branding means visuals
A misconception about branding is that it is all about design. However, a brand is more than just visual identification; it is the overall message you create and how you communicate that message to your audience. Your branding includes your voice, your company’s culture, it is evident in your interaction with customers, and it shows in how you deliver your services. Essentially, branding is the emotion that is evoked when your customers come across your company. That emotion should be positive. Design and logos are important, no doubt, but branding is more than that, it is an experience. Give your audience a positive experience that they will never forget and they will keep coming back.
- You don’t have a reference point
Another challenge for many businesses is building brand characteristics. If you find yourself struggling with this issue start by developing a brand persona. Ask yourself, if my brand was a person who would it be. Some great examples of brand personas come from companies with mascots. The Pillsbury Doughboy – who’s oh so soft and comforting making you want to bake biscuits instead of popping some sliced bread in the toaster, or Mr. Clean – who makes it look so easy to clean your home from floor to ceiling when all you want to do is lounge on your couch on Sunday morning. These characters help set the companies apart from their competitors and create an emotional bond with the public. You can also create a mood or brand board to help you stay on task and not steer away from your core messaging.
- You lack consistency
Another difficulty you may have is being consistent in your branding. Think of it this way; your brand is your way of communicating with your customers; it lets your audience know what to expect. Being inconsistent is very confusing and leads to people losing interest in your product because they don’t know what to expect. Avoid getting your messages lost by ensuring that your brand remains the same across every medium and platform, whether online or offline. Make sure that your message is clear and recognizable and that everyone on your team is on the same page. Consistency is critical in branding, don’t ruin your efforts by getting off track.
- You don’t tell stories
Once you’ve dug and figured out who your audience is and how to communicate with them, you’re now ready to tell your story. Your brand story answers the big and small questions about why you started your business. Who do you serve and why? It is your chance to speak about you and connect with your intended customers in an engaging, honest, and meaningful way. Tell them what your goals are, what you value, how does it benefit them, and why it matters. The way you tell your story will help to differentiate you from your competitors. Essentially you will use your story to connect with your audience and build loyalty.
Understand that your brand is more than just pretty colors, fonts, or design. It is etched in the very core of your business. What do you want people to say when they come across your company? How do you want them to feel? Start there and then invest time in creating an experience that will leave them wanting more. Your brand identity is the experience you want your customers to leave with after every interaction. Make it enjoyable and make it better than your competitors. In turn, your audience will trust you and feel more confident in doing business with you.