Technology has changed the branding game.
There are so many ways now to reach your desired audience that it can be overwhelming on both sides of the coin.
First, think of your audience and all the messages they encounter on an average day. There is an abundance of information online and your prospects are so overloaded they simply ignore most messages.
Now, think of you as the small business owner and all the options you have online to get your message across. The vast amount of ways to market your company can put you in paralysis from too many choices.
Before any brand strategy can be deployed there has to be an understanding of who you’re talking to and what the plan of action is. For example, there is really no point in posting on LinkedIn when most of your audience is on Instagram.
Sure, this is a simplified example but it illustrates that you don’t have to be everywhere to build your brand. It all depends on what type of business you have, what your goals are and most importantly where your prospects hang out.
The first step towards standing out in the crowded marketplace is to focus on the fundamentals. When dealing with the above mentioned communication problems, it’s best to have a basic understanding of branding actual is.
Branding is really a two step process:
- You set expectations for your desired customers by making them a promise.
- Then you deliver on that promise leaving the customer with a positive experience
If you can at least do that, your customers will tell as many people as they can therefore building your brand. If you fail to reach any of those steps then the customer will go ahead and still build your brand it just won’t be the one you wanted.
The unfortunate truth is, branding happens whether you focus on it or not. Your customers make up the difference in creating a positive or negative brand. Once you get this point you can take it a step further.
Taking It To Another Level
We live in changing times as technology and consumer expectations quickly evolve. Brands have to take things to a deeper level to avoid being just another voice in the crowd.
You have to immerse your companies brand in the life of your prospective customer. While there are technological advances that can help business to that such as A.I. or even virtual reality, the fact is they’re not affordable for the small business.
But, don’t worry there are economic viable way to immerse your brand into the lives of the customers. If you speak to their hearts their minds will follow and their voices will help build your brand. Here are 5 ways to make your brand more immersive.
1) Tell Stories
Everyone likes a good story and have since the dawn of time. They’ve been passed down to us from generation to captivate us. As children we often learn through the structure of storytelling.
Incorporating stories in your marketing messages will help set the expectations for your prospects. Every business has their own unique story to tell that their customers want to hear. If you take the uniqueness of what you do and make your customer the star of the story you’re telling you’ll transcend your business into an immersive brand.
2) Engage The Senses
Sight, sound, taste, touch and feel are the most powerful marketing tools you can use. Just the mere description of anything can grab your reader’s attention and draw him in. Don’t believe me? Think of how sour a lemon is. Did your taste buds salivate or your mouth wince at the thought?
By taking everyday senses that your audience has experienced will help make your brand part of their lives.
3) Use Visuals
Everybody know the power of a great a visual as part of a branding campaign. However, it’s not just about using random visuals to get more immersive you have to be specific. Work to use visuals that add to your brand. Even better would be using them in a way that puts your audience in the scene.
Another trick you can use is paying attention to the colours you are using in your visuals. Take sometime to understand the psychology behind colours to ensure you’re using favourable ones your customer’s will positively react to.
4) Wake Up There Brain
Give them a challenge but give them one that’s easy to complete.
Think of it as that “fill in the blank” everybody can answer. When the customer can fill in the blank and get it right their brain is rewarded. A shot of dopamine, the happy drug, goes to the brain giving them an overall positive experience.
This tells your audience that yes you get them, you respects them and by giving them this shot of dopamine they like you. In return they will like you back and always turn to your brand when needed.
5) It’s all About Experience
If you read any article about a business website design the odds are good you’ll run across somebody preaching about the importance of user experience. Although, it is rather important for your website, user experience practices have been around so long they are the norm. Your user’s are at the point where they want more.
On top of great User Experience you should be making room for Interaction Experience. What is Interaction Experience?
“Interaction Design (IxD) defines the structure and behavior of interactive systems. Interaction designers strive to create meaningful relationships between people and the products and services that they use, from computers to mobile devices to appliances and beyond. Our practices are evolving with the world.”
– The Interaction Design Association (IxDA)
By taking into account what your customer want to do while on your website, you can anticipate better to serve them. Adding polls, calculators, or chat bots to your website will give it the necessary interaction for your customers.
Branding doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long game of constantly setting the ever changing expectations for your customers and then delivering on them. Immersing your customers within your brand takes it to another level.
If you can do all that your customers will do the rest.