5 Ways to Immediately Enhance Your Brand

Standing out from your competitors is tougher than ever. There are potentially thousands of ways you can reach people, yet the time and resources required make most of the options inaccessible or overwhelming. But fear not! There are ways to build a brand for your small business that don’t demand every waking hour or every last cent of your marketing budget! Today we’ll look at five actions you can take to immediately improve your branding. enhance-your-brand-checklist

5 Ways to Quickly Enhance Your Brand

Below you'll find five quick tips you can act on today to improve your small business brand. Find the ones that are right for your business and prioritize these items to get the most out of the time you invest.  

1. Find 5 Points of Consistency

The bedrock of any brand is consistency across marketing channels. That doesn't mean that every ad should be the same, but your business does need consistent brand assets in play for every campaign. It's these familiar elements that reinforce your core marketing message and build a recognizable brand in the long-term. To take action on this point, look at your current marketing materials; your website, print ads, social media sites, everything that gets your name out there. Is there a common look, feel, and tone running through all of them or do they feel disjointed? Five specific elements of your brand to check for consistency include:
  • Your logo and tagline
  • The colors you use in your marketing (brand palette)
  • Your contact details (website domain, telephone number/s, e-mail format, social media handles)
  • The tone or "voice" of your brand communications
  • Your core brand promise or unique selling proposition
If any of these assets differ significantly across your promotional channels, there's a good chance that they're confusing to customers. For example, a playful and informal tone to social media posts is a jarring contrast to a formal and professionally-focused website. At a more basic level, using multiple logos or inconsistent contact details makes it more difficult to develop a clear brand identity. As you review, note down any inconsistencies and create a priority list of those you can align today, followed by others that will need to be developed over time.    

2. Prioritize Your Promise

One of the elements mentioned in the previous section deserves extra attention: your brand promise. Because it forms the core of who you are and how you want your business to be seen, it’s important to define this promise and make sure all of your employees understand what it means. If you haven’t come up with a one yet, here are the hallmarks of an effective brand promise:
  • Authentic
  • Credible
  • Compelling
  • Consistent
First and foremost, what you offer must be based in reality; that’s authenticity and credibility. If you promise something that you can’t deliver, it’s not going to take long for word to get out and your brand will be irreparably damaged. If you’re a local retail store with limited space, for example, you wouldn’t tell customers that you’ll always have what they’re looking for on the first visit. You might, however, promise the kind of hands-on expertise and guidance that will ensure they find a product that fits their need every time they stop by. The authenticity flows from your background and experience in the field, while credibility is established by satisfied customers and how long you’ve been in business. In terms of compelling and consistent, your promise must be one that you can deliver 99.9% of the time, but which also sets you apart from the competition. This can be tricky to balance. Think about the things that customers tell you they like about your business. Read online reviews or reach out to ask and you’ll quickly get an idea of what brings people back to your business. From there, you can translate a standout characteristic of your company into something that all customers can rely upon. Brand Marketing Pieces

3. Tell Your Story

Most businesses have an about page on their website but it’s rarely used as a competitive advantage. That’s a shame, because what’s more individual than the story of how you became a business?! Nonetheless, it’s not always easy to tell a good tale. You might not think there’s that much to your history, but a good storyteller can help you to identify the most compelling aspects. Consider these elements of a great story to get you started:
  • Relatable themes: a passion for your cause, answering a calling, strength in adversity.
  • Characters: the role played by you, your team, clients, and members of your business community.
  • Cliffhangers: moments of uncertainty, intrigue, or potential disruption.
  • Resolution: the triumph of your current position, how you live up to your brand promise, and where you intend to take this in future.
Once you have a relevant and compelling narrative, you can share it everywhere to enhance your brand. About us, background and history sections are commonplace on social media sites and business directories, so start there and work out to other interesting spaces to tell the story of your business.  [search-tag]  

4. Customize Your Phone Number

The humble phone number is often overlooked when it comes to brand assets; logos, taglines, websites, and social media are considered much more compelling. Nonetheless, a memorable number can be the most versatile tool in your brand’s kit. The advantage of a custom number is that it can be adapted to your preferred marketing channels and communication style. We've written plenty about the benefits of a memorable number and the best way to pick the perfect number for your business, so simply browse our blog for much more on this subject!   

5. Ask for Feedback and Reviews

Last but by no means least, we come to the humble review. Another aspect of online life that has become the backbone of customer trust, yet often gets ignored in favor of follower counts and viral content. The reality is that word-of-mouth is more important than ever and can itself "go viral," if you're lucky. If your company is guilty of overlooking areas like Google Reviews and customer feedback on your business listings, know that it's one of the most efficient and effective ways you can start to develop a great reputation. According to digital marketing firm Vendasta, 40% of consumers form an opinion by reading between 1-3 reviews, while 88% of them trust that feedback from folks they don't know as much as they do personal recommendations. So how do you generate a base of positive reviews on which to build your brand? Start with your nearest and dearest, repeat customers and friends of the business. Reach out to anyone who values what you sell and ask them for honest feedback on your preferred platform. Google reviews provide the most value for many local businesses, those selling online might prefer ratings on Amazon or some other e-commerce platform. Whichever you choose, the idea is to get the ball rolling so that others will see the feedback and may be convinced to add their own.  If you already have this base covered, move on to implement a system that asks every customer about their experience with your company. This could be an automatic e-mail that goes out to your buyers a few days after they make a purchase, a printed in-store card telling them how to leave a review or a requirement that your team personally follow up on the phone or by email to make the ask.  To take this to the next level, you can also look at third-party platforms like eKomi or Whitespark to streamline the online review process. Although it can take time to generate a significant number of reviews, you can catalyze the process today with the ideas above. With each positive review, your brand becomes more reputable and the influence of those opinions will draw more customers to your corner.  customer-reviews

What tactics have you used to quickly enhance your brand?

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