Making your brand memorable is the main obstacle that fledgling businesses and established organizations alike face up to every day.
Thankfully there are a few ways to ensure that it sticks in the mind of prospective customers and loyal users for all the right reasons, so here are just a few options to put into practice if you are looking for that all-important brand recognition boost.
Branded gifts are attractive & effective
Whether you produce promotional items to tie in with a product launch or you simply order branded products to pass on to people who encounter your company in passing, a well-chosen free gift that bears your logo and messaging can make all the difference.
When it comes to gift ideas for promoting your business, it pays to think outside the box if you are especially eager to make sure that your target audience remembers your brand. Often if the product is useful, it will be received with more enthusiasm and used more frequently by the recipient, hence the popularity of branded clothing, branded USB memory sticks and even branded bottle openers.
Some branded products will stick around for years, used again and again and acting as a perpetual reminder of your business to the owner and anyone in their immediate vicinity.
The perfect modern example of pitch-perfect branded gifts comes in the form of the coffee goodie bags created for customer support software firm Zendesk by Teak & Twine. In addition to freshly ground beans, recipients were issued with a travel mug to store a slug of the hot stuff while on the move, in addition to a branded coaster to protect table tops and a scoop made from brass designed to last a lifetime.
This is a significant strategy not only because it makes your brand more memorable in the mid to long term, but also as a result of its ability to reinforce the values, ethos and culture of the company. Conveying these to clients, customers and prospective partners through branded gifting can make a big difference in all of these areas, with a relatively small upfront cost to cover.
Of course you will need to tailor the promotional products you choose to the brand identity and personality that fits your organization and industry. Remember that it is also possible to make missteps if you pick poorly, so do not rush this process.
The final thing to bear in mind is that branded gifts are not just great for giving out at industry events that take place face-to-face, but are also an excellent choice for issuing to attendees of virtual conferences, as well as to sending out to loyal customers out of the blue to show you care.
All you need to do is find a promotional product provider that is able to accommodate your needs, understands the impact that well-chosen gifts can have and is sensitive to the significance of branding in a corporate gifting context. There are plenty of reputable firms with online ordering services; just be sure to also check lead times and arrange your gifts in accordance with these, as bespoke items can take several weeks to prep and manufacture, which may be relevant if a deadline for an event is looming.
Digital marketing efforts must be relevant
Every modern business should seek to promote their brand via digital marketing, but it is also important to not get carried away with the possibilities that this potentially impactful avenue offers. For example, unless your campaigns are relevant to the needs and interests of your target audience, they will likely fail to strike a chord and could actively harm your brand’s image and reputation in a worst-case scenario.
One aspect that needs to be managed carefully is your use of influencer marketing. It can be tempting to opt to work with influencers with the biggest online audience, even if they do not appeal directly to your ideal demographics. However, in reality it is more cost-effective and memorable if you instead aim to be discerning and choose influencers with smaller followings that are more closely aligned with your market niche.
The same goes for any content you generate yourself to share via social media and on your brand’s website. A scatter-gun strategy which is as broad as possible will not make your brand more memorable, it will simply dilute its image and make it harder for you to connect with the audience that should deliver the most value in the long term. A more focused route, revolving around relevant, authoritative content will serve you far better.
If you need evidence of this, look no further than the fact that even internationally-recognized brands are getting in on the micro-influencer act, using individuals with smaller followings to further their aims and connect with audiences they might otherwise miss. Everyone from Dunkin’ Donuts to Mattel has partnered with influencers to create promotional posts that feel more authentic and legitimate as a result. That is not to say that they are also ignoring far larger internet personalities, but rather that they recognize the power of deploying a multifaceted approach to digital marketing, rather than putting all of their eggs in one basket.
In terms of adopting a relevance-oriented approach to your own digital marketing efforts, you can pinpoint potentially appropriate influencers in your field by looking at the kinds of accounts that your own followers are engaged with. It can also pay to keep an eye on what competitors are up to in this area and check to see whether their partnerships are gaining traction, or whether they are perhaps making mistakes that you could learn from and thus avoid in your own brand building.
Consistency & cohesion are key
Making your brand memorable and recognizable must be founded on the principles of consistency and cohesion; in short, you need to harness the same aesthetics across your visual representations as well as the same tone in your messaging.
From making sure that your logo appears on any paperwork you send out to customers, to picking a corporate style that is used in writing across your website and social media presence, you need to make sure that the way your brand is represented is as unified as possible. Even your customer support solutions should be managed with this in mind, so that people know what to expect when they get in touch with your firm, rather than being surprised by the nature of their communications with you if they do not gel with the image your brand presents elsewhere.
Interestingly enough it is arguably fast food brands like Wendy’s and KFC that have managed to follow the concept of keeping a consistent, engaging and appropriate tone, especially in a social media context. A combination of carefully orchestrated outward-facing posts, as well as entertaining interactions with customers which double up as practical support, helps these companies to stand out from the crowd, while still fulfilling their online obligations.
The trick is to make interactions seem spontaneous and unique, while actually leveraging an established and standardized format for how posts should be written and what kind of vocabulary and tone should be included. As with branded gifts and influencer marketing, this should fit your brand’s identity and also seem suited to the industry you operate within and the kinds of customers you are courting.
The larger your social media marketing team, the more important it will be to reinforce the relevance of consistency and cohesion, because it is likely that different members will be responsible for managing accounts at different times. Likewise if specific campaigns are being stewarded by separate groups, there needs to be inter-team communication and collaboration so that everything feels fully-formed and like it is coming from a single entity.
Finally, a major string to the bow of any brand that wants to be remembered for the right reasons and keep growing its social following is the ability to know when not to post. Specifically, any accounts which are seen as spammy by users will likely see engagement drop and follower numbers shrink. You should resist the temptation to post too frequently, or to bombard customers with correspondence on any platform.
At the other end of the spectrum, a lack of responsiveness in your interactions will be similarly problematic. Your brand will appear to be devoid of a human touch if people message you online or email your support team and then have to wait for an extended period to get a reply.
There is a fine line to tread here, and it is worth remembering that you should be constantly reviewing and assessing your branding strategies to identify if they are working well or not pulling their weight, giving you a means to make revisions as necessary.
This may sound like a lot of plates to keep spinning simultaneously, but once you have all of these aspects in motion, the way your brand is perceived should become a self-perpetuating means of promoting your business.