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How do you build a brand?

Feb 14, 2021 | e-commerce

In my experience, three pillars are important to develop a brand, market a brand, or to maintain brand awareness. In the more than 15 years that I’ve been in marketing, nothing has changed about this system. It works, it is constant and it is a lot more effortless than the numerous marketing gurus want to tell you with their information products.

Step 1: Define a brand

Most companies completely underestimate what it indicates to define your brand. I’ve accepted customers who, when asked, couldn’t barely tell me what differentiates their brand from the competition.

That is fatal.

A brand doesn’t mean you have a logo and two or three colors, a name or a website. It means you have a message that you want to pass on.

Therefore you have to think about what your company wants to stand for. And what you want to be against. What unique selling point do you, or your products have? You can include this in a slogan, for example.

What promises do you make to your customers? What is your brand’s role in the market? How do you want to be perceived? What language do you communicate to your customers? So what words do you use and what tone do you use?

Your corporate design is also part of what I just talked about. It is equally critical how your customers identify with your brand.

When I was a little girl, my mother always said when we purchased a product from a certain brand, “You pay for the name.” By this she meant that branded products are usually many times more expensive than no-name products.

And she was right. Branding generates an intangible value, which results in increased customer loyalty and effective word of mouth and thus boosts your sales. And as demand increases, so do your prices. Branding is not something you can just do in the afternoon over a cup of tea, it takes time and much courage.

Step 2: Understand your potential customers

Before you indeed think about the colors of your website, I want to encourage you to engage with your customers.

You won’t believe how many business owners are completely wrong when it comes to understanding their customers.

One of my first customers, whom I was skilled to look after myself as a young marketing manager in my agency in Germany, had a relatively large shop in which he sold bath accessories. There has been no growth for a few months, and he sought help from us.

Therefore that was the first customer I was allowed to look after myself, so I can still very well remember how long hours reading through his reviews in the shop, browsing through comments under his posts and talking to his customer service ladies.

His most significant problem was that sales in his shop kept falling. So really by 10 to 20% per month and that permanently.

According to my research, it all started when he took a relatively high-priced product from his shop, like linen bath towels, which were very expensive to manufacture. Somehow his producer couldn’t deliver them anymore, so he left them out.

When I asked him about it, I found out that he would rather focus on cheap towels, bathrobes and so on, because his customers would not want to buy such high-priced ones and the special high-priced towels were rarely ever bought anyway.

However, when we surveyed customers, we found they did influence his shop. Namely, they increased the “perceived” value of his other products significantly. Because although he thought that his customers wanted to purchase inexpensive products, his target group consisted of 80% women who wanted more luxurious elements for their bathroom.

They wanted high-priced towels and materials that they couldn’t buy in the supermarket. When he removed these products, they no longer felt comfortable or understood in his shop and his purchases declined.

We exchanged about 10% of the product range, and it took about another 2 weeks for the sales figures to slowly rise again.

What I want to demonstrate you with this little anecdote is that it doesn’t matter what YOU think, who your target group is. You have to find out who they are, what they want, why they buy and why they choose you.

Only then can you start representing your brand better!

Step 3: create brand awareness

The third crucial pillar in building your brand is “brand awareness.”

Brand awareness is a marketing term that describes the degree of consumer recognition of a product by its name. Creating brand awareness is a key step in promoting your products or your brand.

A good example of brand awareness is the way some brands sneak into our brains without us realizing it. For example, when I go out to dinner with my family and we order something to drink, someone always says “Pepsi” or “Coke” – we know exactly what we want because the brand has become part of our everyday lives.

How do you achieve brand awareness? Through content marketing. I know there are roughly 1 trillion different marketing terms and explanations, and most companies completely feel overwhelmed by the infinite possibilities when it comes to marketing.

But in principle it’s extremely easy.

You have developed a brand. You know who this brand is for. You know what it stands for and what it wants to express.

Now you take this information and use it to create content that you spread around the internet. Easy. What problems do your customers have? Write an article about it and post it on your blog. Distribute it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, TikTok, Pinterest.

Do you get great feedback from a customer because your packaging is extremely grandiose and new? Then share it. Out into the world with it!

Get your potential customers’ attention.

Generate content and share it with the world.

Don’t hide your great brand.

This is the sole thing you can do now to get noticed.

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