It’s well known that most successful companies in our marketplace are the ones that are recognizable through their branding. Whether it be large golden arches, or a catchy tagline encouraging you to “Just Do It,” building a foundation for a strong brand identity is still often overlooked by many small businesses. This investment is not as straightforward as coming up with an awesome logo. The ultimate goal of brand awareness is being first in line in the minds of customers.
Brand identity is about giving people a sense of who you are and what you can offer. In today’s oversaturated market of competing businesses, establishing a strong and consistent brand identity is an integral part of any organization wanting to succeed. It can be considered the DNA of a business.
With the convenience of technology, it is common for consumers to research a place or a product before they commit to it. The first interaction with a company is mostly through their online presence. This is why it is important to establish your brand online. With social media, it can be difficult to maintain a consistent brand when your brand is scattered all across the internet. By considering a couple of things, strengthening your brand identity online will help build your presence and distinguish you from your competitors.
Selecting your “Voice” a.k.a. Personality
One of the most important steps in strengthening your online brand identity is identifying your tone of voice and sticking with it across all your posts. Identifying your tone of voice is typically based on how you want people to perceive your brand, as well as recognizing what audience you are trying to engage. Do you want to be playful or informative? Savvy or authoritative? The tone you choose will be a major identifier of your brand.
Remember, this “voice” should also be consistent with your offline material. It should also be complimentary to your visual design too.
Knowing your Audience
Your tone of voice is mostly based on the research of your target audience. Knowing your audience helps you post content that is specific and relevant towards your audience.
Identifying their habits and interests also assists in targeted call-to-action offers that encourage interaction with your business, whether it is enabling them to purchase your products and services, or strengthening their brand loyalty.
Consistency is key in building a strong brand identity. It helps build brand recognition and assists in memorability for the consumer. It also establishes an expectation for your audience. Consistency should be visible across your design, tone of voice, content and online activity.
By producing consistent posts and content, it helps attract followers who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. Being consistent doesn’t necessarily mean being boring. You are still allowed to change things up and be creative every now and then, provided that it is appropriate to your brand identity and personality. In fact, it may be advantageous to keep your audience on their toes from time to time.
Having a human touch to your brand is a great way to help consumers relate to you. It enables you to display admirable personality traits and help them see that you are not solely driven by sales.
Some simple ways to add a human touch to your brand include taking the time to interact with your followers on social media, particularly if they write a comment or ask a question. Making sure that you do this across all social media platforms reinforces consistency in your brand. Avoid focusing all your interaction on one social media platform or sporadically replying to posts.
Another option may include being involved with the local community and sharing your experiences through the content you post. Being personable may also be implemented through your tone of voice, limiting jargon and having a preference for a more casual language and honest demeanor.
If you own several social media accounts, it is crucial to remain active on all of them. Make sure that you post regularly. Be careful to not post too often, as this may annoy your followers and cause them to unfollow you. Also, keep in mind the quality of your posts to ensure optimal engagement. Invest in good photography. Posted content that does not appeal to the target audience may also cause you to lose followers.
Do not feel pressured to join every social media site — depending on the nature of your business and your audience, it may be worthwhile selecting a couple of the social media platforms that best suit your business and your target audience. Ensure you do some research to see whether it is worthwhile keeping or quitting a particular social media site. Limiting the amount of social media accounts you have may help you focus more energy on the ones that have the most interaction with your company’s customers.
Strive for Originality
The companies that have the strongest brand identity have one thing in common: originality. Strive for individuality and provide original content to your audience — they will look favorably towards you for being original.
Having a strong brand identity online can help establish the perceived value of what you can offer to the consumer, as well as clearly conveying your brand personality.
Your brand is the meaning behind your logo, message and content. Being consistent and strong in your brand identity will help you become a brand that is recognizable and memorable.