The Master of Branding: How to Take Control Over Your Brand Identity Online and In-Person
It’s hard to stand out as a business today. There is just so much competition, even if you can’t actually see all of it around you at any given time. The digital world has created so many amazing opportunities for companies of all sizes. You can operate a fully-realized business in today’s world and still be working out of your own apartment. This means that there’s more room for small and new companies to make their mark, but also more competition than ever before.
Standing out can be done by sticking to a niche or finding a unique brand persona. Niche businesses, however, aren’t for everyone. What is available for every business, no matter what you offer, is branding.
Branding lets you create a uniquely visual, verbal, and even sensory identity that not only helps your business stand out but it can also help improve the customer experience. So much of how we as humans interact with the world is through intangible elements. For example, how a color makes us feel, or how a scent can pull us back in time. You can really wow with your branding, both online and offline, and with this guide, you’ll know how to master the art for yourself.
How to Improve Your Brand Identity Online
Your brand identity online needs to look great, be accessible, and, most importantly, work for both users and computer algorithms. It’s all well and good to think outside of the box, but if the box can’t showcase your design ideal very well, the user won’t be able to see it. Similarly, if the design isn’t of interest to the user, they simply will not spend their time on it. It’s a difficult balance, but with the help of online analytical tools and emerging new technologies, you can wow customers online while creating a single, cohesive look that carries through from page to page.
Craft an Engaging Visual Design
Visual design is a critical component of your brand identity online. You need a website that reflects your brand’s personality and values and appeals to your target audience. Add attractive color schemes, fonts, and graphics that all align with your brand image. You’ll also want to use high-quality images and videos to enhance the visual experience and, most importantly, need to make sure your design is fully responsive on different devices and screen sizes.
Develop Consistent Brand Messaging
Making sure your brand’s message stays consistent is super important when it comes to building a strong online presence. It’s a good idea to establish your brand’s voice, tone, and values and make sure they shine through in everything you put out there – from your website copy to your social media posts. Keeping a consistent tone across all channels helps create a cohesive brand identity that people can easily recognize and connect with. And if you align your messaging with what your target audience wants and cares about, you’ll be able to forge an even stronger emotional connection.
Optimize for Search Engines
If you want to boost your brand online, it’s super important to make sure your website is optimized for search engines. Start with keyword research and then use these keywords strategically throughout your site’s content, meta tags, headings, and URLs. It’s also a great idea to make sure your website has a clear and easy-to-use navigation system, as well as optimized internal linking. By doing all this, you can make sure your website is visible to more people and attract organic traffic, which is great for your brand’s reputation!
Leverage Social Media Platforms
To get started using social media, figure out which socials your target audience is on the most and create a consistent strategy. Make sure your content is interesting and aligns with your brand values. You’ll also want to actively engage with your followers by responding to their comments and getting back to their DMs quickly. If you partner with influencers or other relevant brands, you can really expand your reach. By using social media in a smart way, you’ll be able to get more visibility, create a community of loyal fans, and drive more traffic to your website.
Monitor and Adapt with Analytics
If you’re looking to improve your brand’s online presence, using analytical tools is a must. By keeping an eye on your website analytics, you can learn more and actually understand your audience as well as how they use and interact with your site. This includes things like which pages are most popular, how long people stay on your site, and how often they convert into customers. With this information, you can make improvements to your site and make it even better for your customers. You’ll also need to keep tabs on your social media metrics. This will help you see what’s working as well as what isn’t, so you can adapt your strategy from there. Lastly, don’t forget to pay attention to customer feedback and reviews. These can be a goldmine of information about where you can improve. By using analytics and staying adaptable, you can create a stronger online presence and build a better brand identity.
How to Improve Your Branding In-Person
In-person branding is crucial and makes all the difference to any in-store, market, or trade show appearance. People engage with the physical world in ways they will never be able to do digitally. Suddenly you need to consider things like how your employees are dressed, how it smells, what your store feels like to be inside it, and so much more. Branding in-person is a mix of obvious design choices and subtle elements that pull together an experience.
Quantifying the in-person experience can be difficult, but do it right, and you can recreate that in-store experience from location to location. Build on sense memory, cultivate a winning environment, and pair all that with winning customer service to win the hearts of your customers. After all, even if they don’t buy something on their first visit, wowing them with experience encourages them to come back another time.
In-Person Branding to Improve Customer Service
Customer experience is the most important element of any branding effort. If your customers aren’t vibing or connecting with your efforts, then everything you’ve done is a waste of time, money, and energy. That’s why your first consideration when it comes to branding in your store is the customer experience, and the cornerstone of that is service.
What this means is you need to give your staff a boost. Train them on several key customer service skills, including what they should say or any catchphrases they should use. This not only helps unify the service they offer but it also protects them if there’s an angry, unreasonable customer.
You’ll also want your staff to be easy to spot. Their uniform should match the vibe and overall aesthetic of your business. If operate a gardening center, for example, a safari shirt and a custom branded sun hat from Anthem Branding can help your staff look cool, match the aesthetic you’re going for, and make your staff members easy to spot for your customers.
Visual Aesthetics of Your Store
Next up is the visual aesthetic of your store. What you go for will depend on what your niche is and who your customer is. A high-end art gallery is going to have a very different aesthetic from a craft store that’s aimed at kids. Work with your customers to match their expectations, and then add little, fun details like paintings, art, or even installations to take that expectation and go further.
The Scent of Your Store
For many stores, you already have a scent. A gardening nursery is going to smell like flowers and earth. A home and hardware store is likely going to smell like wood and sawdust. For boutiques and other stores like clothing stores, however, you have more freedom. Try to choose a light scent, however, as something overpowering can turn away people more often than not. Something light, easy to breathe in, and subtle can enhance the experience. You can even offer that scent in candle or spray form as part of your merchandising line.
Lighting makes a huge difference in any store. While yes, a low-budget store can do well with just bright overhead lights, higher-end stores need to stay away from that. Use task lighting and directional lighting instead to properly light up your products without that terrible overhead glare.
Music has long been a staple in many stores. Work with your staff and customers to figure out the right volume settings, and once you have that set, it’s all about finding the right sound. You can find many playlists online easily or just play the radio. For the best results, however, you’ll likely need to invest in a specialist subscription that specifically lets you play music in your store, which requires a different license than the one you use automatically when you play music in the home.