Branding. It’s the cornerstone of every marketer’s mission. Yet, it’s tougher to achieve than it sounds. For instance, how many times have you had to redo creative content because it didn’t resonate correctly? It’s probably happened more than once … this week. And that’s only one of the challenges of breathing life into any corporate brand.
Despite the pitfalls of branding, it’s necessary. As business building and training partner Oberlo’s December 2020 roundup of statistics shows, branding consistency can rev up profits by a third. And that’s not the only upside to smart branding. When you gain control over your brand, you can help drive a more cohesive corporate culture. You can also invigorate your target audiences to become raving fans.
Of course, you’ve already heard most of the basic marketing branding tips out there. But have you been introduced to these master’s level hacks? If not, you’ll want to add them to your marketing toolbox.
1. Forge a partnership with your sales department.
Sales. Marketing. You’d think they’d go hand-in-hand because they’re usually driving toward the same basic goals. You’d be wrong, though. Document automation tool PandaDoc notes that most company’s biggest lead-generation departments suffer from miscommunication: They warn that sales-marketing misalignment can hurt lead generation efforts, which will impact revenue targets and overall business success.
In other words, it’s time to get cozy with your sales colleagues. Invite them to your brainstorming meetings. Make an effort to get on the same page. Talk about ways to make sure your branding’s the same throughout the sales funnel process. That way, prospects will feel your brand presence from their first introduction until they buy your product or service.
2. Get passionate about being different.
When Austin, Texas, developed its tourism campaign slogan “Keep Austin Weird,” people outside the community scratched their heads. It was a bold move and made headlines two decades ago. Guess what? It struck such a memorable chord that the town embraces weirdness with pride.
Your company can learn from this lesson. Instead of trying to match your competitors, outdo them by highlighting real differences. Don’t just think about differentiators like quality and price. Go beyond to describe what’s exceptional — and maybe strange — about your business. We live in a society that’s open to celebrating uniqueness. Pinpoint the extraordinarily unusual processes, protocols, or promises behind your brand. Then, reveal them to the world.
3. Deliver content that’s valuable — really.
It’s a marketing mantra: Make sure your content has value. Nevertheless, a lot of messaging misses the mark entirely because it’s too salesy. People have become very sophisticated, and they can tell when they’re not getting worthwhile stuff. Consequently, you’ll need to step up your game and go a little Neil Patel.
Neil Patel’s digital marketing blog remains one of the most talked about and trafficked places. Why? He shares his secret sauces. Now, he’s honest about his sales, too. But he doesn’t just throw spaghetti language on the wall to see what sticks. His advice combines his extensive knowledge with real-world examples. That’s valuable. It’s also easily repeatable by you and your team. Forget about holding all your cards close to your chest. Brand your organization by educating the world about what your business does.
4. Challenge your team to think like founders.
Entrepreneurs are known for their drive and imagination. If you want every employee in your marketing silo to keep branding front and center, ask them to think like startup founders. For example, get everyone together for an ideation session. Ask them to imagine how they’d show off the brand on a tight shoestring budget. What innovative techniques would they try? How would they get into a “lean and mean” mindset?
It’s easy to become complacent when you have some money to spend and a built-in set of current customers. Break out of the mold by pretending your business is the young disruptor trying to earn market share. You’ll be amazed at how much out-of-the-box thinking can come from your team members with this type of exercise. Plan these types of “What if?” sessions regularly. You’ll get some gems that you can use to further your branding.
Consumers like to feel in sync with their favorite brands. However, they can’t get the warm fuzzies unless you make branding a priority. Invest more time and resources toward branding this year. You might be happily surprised at the measurable returns your efforts produce.
Rashan Dixon is a senior business systems analyst at Microsoft, entrepreneur and a writer for various marketing and business publications.