To be a successful brand, you have to do more than just sell products or provide services. Those are important, but there’s more to getting your brand name out there than making money. That may sound contradictory, but in this day and age, you have to develop a digital brand as well.
Successful brands need to do a few things to achieve that. In 2013, Forbes mentioned Apple as an example of a brand that “has become known worldwide for their innovative products and minimalistic, aesthetic appeal.” Being the next Apple isn’t a realistic option for 99.9 percent of companies, but here are some ways to create a brand that resonates with consumers.
People can’t have positive feelings about you if they don’t know who you are. Try to be as ubiquitous as you can without being annoying. Obviously, different companies have to adopt different strategies depending on the audience they’re targeting. For example, it’s hard to turn on the radio without hearing some sort of ad for a used car lot. As of 2014, more than 90 percent of people still listen to traditional AM/FM radio stations at least once a week. Furthermore, most of those people are listening while they drive down the highway on their way to or from work. If you’re trying to get people to buy a new car, it makes sense to target people who already have one.
So don’t discount traditional media outlets, but don’t neglect internet outlets either. Your ranking on Google matters a lot more than you might realize. Restaurants who appear on the third page of Google search results for “local diners” have a problem. The third page might not sound bad on the surface, but most searchers don’t go past the first page. Some people don’t even look at the results at the bottom of the page. Firms like Straight Marketing LLC exist to help companies create a more noticeable digital footprint. That includes better SEO, short for “search engine optimization”. Higher-quality SEO makes you more likely to pop up as the first result when someone searches for relevant keywords.
Offer a quality product or service
While we stressed the importance of branding earlier, we don’t want to give the wrong impression: all the publicity in the world won’t do you much good if people buy your product and discover that actually, they don’t really want it after all. The corporate world is littered with the corpses of much-hyped products which crashed as soon as they landed. New Coke is one of the most famous examples — it did fine in taste tests, but small taste tests aren’t the same thing as a nationwide roll-out. Coke eventually found a way to turn this branding failure into a branding triumph. They switched back to the old formula of Coke, but this time they branded it as Coca-Cola Classic. Ironically, Coke had to try and kill their soda formula before realizing how valuable it was.
Researching your audience is valuable, but oddities can still happen. You want your brand to be durable enough to handle any missteps. Every company is going to screw up occasionally. But if you develop a reputation for good services and good products, then you’re in a better position to weather the storm than a lot of other brands. For instance, no one likes cable companies. In fact, we dislike cable companies so much that more and more people are cutting the cord and switching to streaming options. No company is indispensable. Remember that people can usually find other options if they look hard enough.
In the end, getting your customer’s attention and providing a good reason for them to continue buying from you are two equally important halves of the equation. Mastering one isn’t enough, but you have a lot to gain by simply considering both at once.