Running an online business without a compelling brand strategy is like driving a car without fuel. Even a vehicle with the best specs fails to move forward when there is no fuel.
Smart business branding is crucial for the success and growth of any online business. Having defined brand values and a brand strategy will help you target the right audience that is genuinely interested in your products and services.
A comprehensive brand strategy is an effective way to give your team the direction they need to make a powerful connection with your customers.
Before we discuss our tried-and-tested top ten branding tactics with you all, let's have a quick look at the definition of the term brand strategy. We'll also highlight a few brand strategy essentials you need to create a robust ecommerce branding strategy that helps your business stand out from the crowd.
What Is Brand Strategy?
Brand strategy is a plan a brand needs to achieve specific business goals. A successful brand strategy revolves around practices that improve customer service, financial progress, and long-term organizational growth and performance.
While this may look like an easy task at first, creating a winning brand strategy is more challenging than it appears on first impressions.
Essentials Of A Robust Brand Strategy
If you’re reading this post, you’re probably looking for the best branding tips to attract more business.
According to an article published by Marketing Profs back in 2015, more than 74% of online buyers prefer brands with personalized content on their websites. The same post revealed that “45% of a brand’s image can be attributed to what it says and how it says it”, while over 75% of consumers consider brand awareness a major factor that impacts their buying decision.
Now you must be wondering what constitutes a killer brand strategy?
As a general rule, a foolproof brand strategy is a combination of brand purpose, brand positioning, brand image, brand personality and values, brand message and voice, and brand equity.
You must understand that you have to create a brand strategy that:
- reflects your brand’s value
- sets your brand apart from others
- addresses your buyer’s pain points
Why Creating A Foolproof Brand Strategy Is Crucial For Your Business Success?
A carefully designed brand strategy is a long-term plan that helps you achieve your goals and objectives. Since your brand strategy impacts your online business, you have to ensure it has everything that your business needs to target your customer’s needs and emotions.
Without a comprehensive brand strategy, you cannot spread your message and know the values that your business reflects.
In a nutshell, make sure you invest your time and other resources in creating a killer brand strategy that can help you attract and engage more customers for your brand.
How To Create A Winning Brand Strategy?
Creating a brand strategy is a multi-step process. Remember, it takes time and resources to create a strategy that converts over the span of time. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a successful branding strategy.
Define Your Purpose
The first step to creating a successful brand strategy is to know the purpose of your business creation. This factor is critical. Besides obvious benefits, such as ROI, you must focus on what value you want to provide to your target audience.
After determining the purpose of your business' existence, it’s time to pay attention to the context in which your business operates.
Understand The Environment
No online business operates in a vacuum. Regardless of how unique your products and offers are, your business has competitors. You have a direct relationship with your competitors - if they’re performing better than you, your sales will go down, and vice versa.
So keeping an eye on how your competitors are performing in the business world is more essential than ever. For this, you have to conduct a competitor analysis to see what others are doing to succeed in a marketplace.
Setting SMART Objectives
The next step is to create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely) objectives based on the information you gathered in the first and second steps.
Again, we’re not talking about financial objectives only. Your business objectives must also touch on brand values and perceptions, product research and development, and day-to-day business tasks.
Create A Plan
After setting SMART objectives, it’s time to practically work on a strategy that is in line with your overall business goals and objectives.
In this step, you have to create a brand strategy that highlights your:
- Brand tone
- Policy formulation encircling your brand values
- Investment plans for future business expansion
Test, Tweak And Develop
The last step is to test your brand strategy and see if it matches your objectives and expectations. Remember, a brand strategy isn’t something stationery. You have to work on it to make it more perfect and result-driven.
Test your approaches using different available tools online, identify your weaknesses, and make adjustments to drive the desired results.
At this point, you must have a clear understanding of what brand strategy is and what essentials you need to work on to get it right. To make this entire discussion more comprehensive and understandable, we have created a list of the best branding tips to grow your business.
Top 10 Branding Tactics To Help Your Business Stand Out From The Crowd
1. Identify Your Target Audience
Businesses that conduct systematic research on their target audience grow faster and achieve more ROI than businesses that do not get this step right.
Trying to know your target audience will help you better understand your customer’s buying preferences, perspectives, and needs. With this information at hand, you can create a message that resonates with your prospects.
In addition to that, you can also identify your firm’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to take less risk on your ecommerce marketing strategy.
Besides different tools, you can also create buyer personas to guide your decisions. Do in-depth research and determine every detail about people who’re likely to buy your products - their location, age, buying preferences, age, gender, and more.
2. Set Standards
All big brands, including Apple, Coca-Cola, and Samsung, have unique branding identities and standards. Even if the brand launches something different from its usual product range, people have no difficulty identifying the brand.
You must also set standards for your brand that differentiates them from the rest of the competition. There are 4 key areas you should focus on while setting brand standards.
A logo is a visual trademark that reflects the unique nature of your business. In certain cases, a logo also acts as a status symbol. Let’s take the example of Mercedes Benz, Rolex, or Nike. People identify these brands with their unique logos and slogans.
Make sure you hire the services of a professional logo designer to create a unique logo for your brand. The placement and size of your logo should remain consistent on all marketing materials, including television ads, social media ads, magazine ads, banners, pamphlets, and other marketing materials.
It’s also critical to use the same graphic elements across different channels to help your consumers remember your brand.
Similar to graphic elements, the color palette you’re using across different platforms helps evoke emotions.
Pick one or two fonts and ensure you’re using them consistently throughout your marketing materials.
3. Maintain A Consistent Brand Voice
Similar to visual elements on your website and other marketing material, your brand voice should remain the same across different platforms.
The idea is to decide on your brand’s voice. For instance, if you’re running a business that serves kids or fashion lovers, you can choose a tone that’s quirky, light-hearted, and fun.
On the flip side, if your target audience is mentally ill individuals or patients, your tone should reflect your products and services. After deciding your brand tone, the next step is creating a brand story and tailored messages that are compelling enough to catch your target audience’s attention and attract sales.
4. Reward Your Loyal Customers
According to a Harvard Business School survey, a 5% increase in customer retention results in up to 95% ROI. As an online business, it is your responsibility to devise strategies that not only help you meet your customer’s expectations but exceed them.
When you under-promise and over-deliver, your customers will become your brand advocates.
Here are a few things you can do to earn a loyal customer:
- Address customer concerns before they become a conflict
- Provide excellent customer service through live chat agents and chatbots
- Offer customer loyalty programs
- Gather customer feedback and information using surveys
5. Build Your Marketing Toolkit
After building a website, you need to work on an all-inclusive marketing toolkit. Your marketing toolkit should include sales sheets, a to-the-point pitch deck, and your company’s brochure.
Successful businesses also include videos highlighting your business’s overview, details about your business partners, and case studies.
You can use these marketing toolkits for brand development and promote your business.
6. Research Current Trends
If you’re planning to start a business from scratch, the first step is to conduct market research to identify the latest industry trends.
Even if you’re an established business, you should include market research as part of your business development function as it will help you keep your business in line with the evolving trends.
You can purchase research reports available on the web. Also, if buying expensive reports isn’t an option, there is plenty of information available on the internet that you can use before getting started.
7. Use Influencers
A Neilsen report reveals that over 77% of users prefer to invest in a brand that’s recommended by someone they trust.
Using an influencer marketing strategy is an effective way to reach out to your target audience. For this, you have to define your influencers based on relevance and reach.
Engage with these influencers through their social media content and build relationships with them using CRM tools.
8. Trademark Your Brand
With more and more businesses entering the digital world to do business, coming up with an attractive business name is getting challenging day by day.
If you have already resolved this mystery and decided on a perfect name for your online business, make sure you protect it through a trademark.
9. Develop A Strong Content Marketing Strategy
The biggest challenge for ecommerce stores is to keep coming up with fresh content ideas that hook their reader’s interest.
Create a user-friendly website that explains what your brand offers to the customer. Include action-driven CTAs at the right places to encourage your visitors to take timely action.
You must also have a dedicated blog section on your website where you can contribute valuable how-to articles, blog posts, reviews, trending industry news, and more.
Read more on our guide " How to Successfully Use Content Marketing for Your Shopify Store" to know how you can leverage content marketing to amplify the success of your Shopify store.
10. Implement, Track, And Adjust
Last but not least, whatever strategies you have created and implemented, don’t leave them on their own. Make sure you track and test them from time to time using the best available online resources. Also, make the required adjustments to keep your branding strategy in line with your business’s long-term and short-term goals.