gen-z-marketing

 

In terms of marketing, for years, the generation of Millennials has been ruling the parade. Born between 1980 and 1995, Millennials were the predominant generation and also the largest focus of marketers since a huge part of goods and services consumers could be found specifically among the representatives of this generation.

 

However, as time flows, representatives of new generations are growing up and overtaking the market. According to the New York Post, in 2020, people from Gen Z have already outnumbered the share of Millennials. That is, they are now going to be the major driving force for marketing, and we ought to prepare!

 

Gen Z Profile


Generation Z is also known as Gen Z or Zoomers. This demographic group follows Millennials and precedes Gen A (Alpha). Different media and researchers tend to use different birth years to identify people of Generation Z. However, most often, representatives of this generation are believed to be born between the mid-to-late 1990s and the early 2010s.

 

The main thing that makes this generation different is that its representatives are the first ever to grow up with access to portable digital technology and the Internet from a very young age.

 

Since early childhood, people from Gen Z know how to interact with all sorts of gadgets. They are pros in social media and internet search. And, as they grow up, they learn to use various technologies to make their lives easier. For example, Gen Z makes up the largest share of users of essay writing services. If they need to boost grades or free up some time, they go straight to custom writing service and get the help they need. Long story short, they are digital natives, and you can’t take it away from them.

 

And, due to the same reason, they have a very different outlook and understanding of this world.

 

As was mentioned earlier, by this time, Gen Z has already outnumbered all the preceding generations, and most representatives of this group are already about to step into their adulthood. That is, the largest part of consumers these days belong to this group. With that being said, it becomes clear that marketers should really start keeping an eye on Gen Z in order to learn how to market to this consumer contingent right.

 

Gen Z and Marketing: 5 Tips to Reach Out and Engage Them


 

Here are five tips to help you start marketing to Generation Z and make the most of it:

Social Media

 

We already told you that the lives of Gen Z take place online. Unlike preceding Gen X and Millennials, people from this generation don’t know the world without social media and the Internet in general. So, they tend to use and trust the web much more than anyone else.

 

What does this mean in terms of marketing? Gen Zers spend lots of time using social media and the Internet, and they expect brands they buy from to do too. They want to be able to access brands and their products via different channels throughout their buyer’s journey.

 

How to use this in your strategy? Get active on social media! Your brand should be present in all popular channels and be active there. But, most importantly, don’t use it only as a marketing tool. Think of social media as an opportunity to communicate with your prospects and use it to provide them with funny, engaging, or valuable content instead of making only marketing posts.

 

Here is an example of how a popular essay writing service EssayService is balancing marketing and non-marketing content by posting student and college-life-related memes:

 

branding

Focus on Visual Content

 

Since Gen Zers love social media so much, they perceive the information provided in the visual form much better than in the text form. And they crave high-quality content.

 

What does this mean in terms of marketing? There are two things you need to know about creating visual content that will catch the eyes of Zoomers.

 

First of all, they are very confident users of social media, so they see tons of visual content every single day. That is, your content has to be high-quality and eye-popping to drive attention.

 

Secondly, since they are digital natives, their attention spans are much shorter. Namely, an average attention span for Gen Z is only 8 seconds, which is much shorter compared to 12 seconds for Millennials. This fact explains the striking popularity of TikTok among younger users.

 

How to use this in your strategy? Invest in visual content! Provide eye-popping images with your posts and, also, try integrating bite-sized videos with music, effects, and overlays – these are proven to be effective for marketing purposes.

 

To give you an example of great visual content, look at how stylish and bright is the Instagram feed of Guess. Or check out the Fenty Beauty brand’s TikTok page to see their entertaining unpacking videos, makeup tutorials, and other eye-catching content.

 

branding

branding

Higher Purpose

 

The second one of the top characteristics of Gen Zers that we mentioned earlier is “They want brands to really care.” This generation cares about the world. Unlike many other people, those who belong to Generation Z tend to be well aware of environmental, social, economic, political, and other issues that the world faces these days.

 

And they want to see that you care about these issues too.

 

According to a study on Gen Z relations with brands conducted by IBM and The National Retail Federation, over 50% of Gen Zers would choose socially responsible and eco-friendly brands.

 

What does this mean in terms of marketing? This consumer contingent wants brands to represent their values and beliefs. Thus, the best strategy to market to this generation is to define a higher purpose of your business that can make our world a better place.

 

How to use this in your strategy? Find a way for your business to contribute to the world and society, and then communicate your purpose to consumers.

 

A great example of social responsibility as a business asset is shown by Levi Strauss. The company is committed to addressing the issue of water scarcity by reducing the amount of water used to produce its products, and consumers love it!

 

Build Loyalty Through Communication

 

Unlike other consumer contingents, Gen Zers won’t keep buying from you for no reason, just because they liked a product. They don’t want to deal with voiceless and faceless brands. Instead, they want you to interact with them. Thus, to gain their loyalty, your brand needs to talk to them.

 

What does this mean in terms of marketing? According to the study by IBM, three-quarters of people from this generation want brands to respond to their feedback and comments. Moreover, they want to receive timely and personalized responses.

 

How to use this in your strategy? If you want to attract consumers from Generation Z, you need to keep communication at the core of your marketing strategy. To do this right, you should adopt commonly-used social media listening practices and tools that will help you keep track of all mentions and respond ASAP to all consumer comments.

 

A great example of a brand that constantly communicates with its customers and prospects is Too Faced.

 

branding

Team Up With Influencers

 

Generation Z tends to trust the Internet much more than any other generation. And they spend much more time on the web and social networks than, let’s say, watching TV. That’s why they value the opinion of so-called influencers much more than the opinion of traditional celebrities.

 

What does this mean in terms of marketing? According to a report by Morning Consult, about three-quarters of Gen Z users are following digital creators, also known as social media influencers. They trust them and their recommendations. Moreover, that’s how most of them learn about new services or products. That’s why influencer marketing is a big thing these days.

 

How to use this in your strategy? Look for influencers whose audience matches your idea of a perfect customer and collaborate with them.

 

Today, many brands are collaborating with influencers to expand their outreach and drive new customers. For example, here is a shot from a recent partnership with Mercedes Benz by Zach King, a famous American filmmaker and illusionist.

 

branding

The Bottom Line


To market to Generation Z, it’s crucial to understand what they are craving. And to understand that, you need to understand what is driving them and what values they have. Simply put, you need to know their personalities.

 

Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a better understanding of this consumer contingent and its needs and interests.

 

To sum up, here we’ve discussed the top five strategies that are proven to work in marketing for Gen Z. These are:

 

  • Active social media use;
  • High-quality and eye-catching visual content;
  • Finding a good purpose;
  • Timely and effective communication;
  • Influencer marketing.

 

Try integrating these practices into your marketing strategy, and you will win the hearts of Gen Z!

 

Author’s Bio:

Written by LinkxSeo team. This is a team of marketing professionals with over 10 years of experience in marketing. The blog of this team will tell you about useful tricks of the world of SEO and Marketing. Click here to learn more – https://linkxseo.com/

 

 

Getting your business seen by the right people and staying competitive in today’s market requires a solid advertising strategy. Hiring a branding firm is a smart move if you want to manage your business efficiently.

 

All of your branding and promotion needs can be handled by an agency’s experienced staff. There are a number of variables to take into account while deciding on a marketing strategy.

 

What Are The Benefits Of Working With A Branding Agency?


The following are some of the benefits of working with a branding agency:

 

For The Money You Spend, You Can Obtain More Return On Your Investment

 

When you employ a branding agency, you gain access to their expert personnel, including designers, content writers, and more.

 

It can be difficult to find an in-house branding specialist who is both qualified and familiar with your company’s needs. Such personnel may require extensive training before they are comfortable in their new roles.

Let Your Workers Off The Hook

 

In order to save money and improve the workload of their current employees, some companies assign extra obligations for advertising to them. As a result of the increased burden, their productivity suffers. It’s better to use a service and let your employees get back to doing what they do best.

 

Take A Step Back And See Things Objectively

 

Employees of your branding agency will be unable to objectively assess the state of affairs in your business. Due to their day-to-day duties, they may not be aware of the thoughts and feelings of their consumers. An outside branding firm, on the other hand, will have a better understanding of how a customer thinks and approaches things from a fresh perspective.

 

You Have The Ability To Stay Informed

 

An advertising firm stays up-to-date on industry changes and advancements. Joining workshops and reading news allow it to stay in touch with other advertising professionals and keep their skills fresh. An in-house employee may not be able to keep up with the latest developments in his field.

 

You Can Quickly Increase The Scope Of Your Advertising Efforts

 

The agency you pick will be able to handle any rise in advertising for your products in the future because it has the necessary experience. You’ll need to hire extra staff if you’re simply using in-house branding staff.

 

Reduce The Price Of Training

 

Ad agencies save you money on training because their personnel is already highly qualified and experienced. That means you don’t have to spend money on sending your employees to seminars or training programmes, which will save you money.

 

Make The Most Of The Most Recent Technology

 

The software, thorough reports, and other resources an advertising agency uses are all included in the fee you pay for the agency’s services. As a result, you would need to buy and educate your own advertising employees to use these technologies if you had an in-house advertising department.

 

Advertising Companies Are Less Expensive Than In-House Marketing Teams

 

In-house advertising teams cost money to operate because of the salary and other perks they receive, such as paid time off and health care coverage. You have to pay your employees even if they don’t have enough work on a certain day. Instead of paying for time spent doing nothing, working with a company like this is far more cost-effective.

 

Advertising Gurus Have A Lot To Teach You

 

Unlike a general marketing firm, an advertising agency has specialised knowledge and is up-to-date on the newest marketing techniques and technological advancements. You can also learn a thing or two from their strategy and decision-making by recruiting them. You also understand the current industry trends and what changes you may make to your organisation in order to remain competitive.

 

Adapt Your Strategy To Suit Your Situation

 

There are some times of the year when a particular advertising strategy is more appropriate. The agency may focus on social media advertising at certain seasons of the year, but at other times, it may shift its focus to other mediums. Depending on the circumstances or the exact goals you wish to achieve, the agency will alter its advertising plan.

 

To Avoid Overspending, It’s Best To Hire An Agency

 

In order to keep track of how much money you’ve spent, an expert advertising firm will have the essential tools. Using their services, you won’t go over your allotted spending limit because they’ll keep track of how much you spend where and on what. An in-house employee would have a difficult time keeping track of all of the company’s spending on several platforms.

 

Set And Achieve Realistic Goals

 

An experienced branding agency will collect data on your behalf, analyse it, and create detailed reports that you can use to maximise the use of your resources and achieve your objectives. If any of your tactics aren’t working for you, they’ll tell you how to improve them.

 

It’s Time To Grow Your Company

 

This gives you more time to focus on other elements of your business when a professional branding agency handles all of your branding and marketing. You know that you can rely on the help of qualified and experienced experts to help you grow your organisation.

 

Accountability

 

In the event that your existing tactics aren’t yielding the intended results, you can always consult with your agency about how to improve your results. In this manner, an in-house employee cannot be held responsible for any mishaps that occur.

 

There are times when you may want to tell the branding firm to look into what went wrong and adjust their strategies accordingly if certain branding policies aren’t bringing in the desired outcomes.

 

Achieving A Sense Of Security

 

Employing a third-party branding firm gives your company peace of mind. When they don’t think they can learn or offer anything new within the company, employees may look for work outside the company.

 

When this happens, the company is at a disadvantage because a new employee may not be a suitable substitute, and he may require a significant amount of time to acquire the same experience as the prior employee.

 

As you can see from the above factors, employing a branding agency is a great way to gain a lot of benefits and expand your business.

 

 

Branding represents who you are as a company, your philosophy and values, and the story you want to tell your audience. Consistency is, however, crucial to the success of your branding efforts. According to a study from Salesforce, 75% of consumers expect brands to offer a consistent experience across multiple platforms. Another study from Canto also showed that consistent branding increases total revenue by 33%.

 

To ensure consistency, your company must invest in brand compliance measures. Brand compliance ensures that your company stays in control of your identity and image, regardless of how many partners and channels are introduced into the mix. Without an effective brand compliance strategy, you’re failing to take advantage of the opportunity to build brand recognition, trust, and authority.

 

Branding Guidelines

 

What Is Brand Compliance?


‘Brand compliance’ refers to a marketing initiative that aims to ensure that all branding elements align with the company’s quality standards, visual identity, and values. Staying true to your branding allows you to protect your interests, ensure the loyalty of your customers, and prevent errors and misuse that can adversely impact your company.

 

There are different ways to ensure consistent messaging. For instance, you can establish a dedicated brand compliance department or you can use software that allows all the relevant teams to store, access, and manage on-brand digital assets in one central location.

 

The goal of brand compliance is to ensure that every step your company takes—even the seemingly trivial ones—adds value to its brand. Here are some of the other goals of brand compliance:

 

  • Ensure that the brand looks and feels consistent in both traditional and digital communications.
  • Execute brand content with the correct imagery, logo, colors, and fonts.
  • Maintain a distinct personality by using the same voice and tone for all platforms.
  • Structure marketing campaigns and company projects so that elements stay on brand.

 

Why Is Brand Compliance Important?


Essentially, a company’s branding is its unique identity. It’s what makes you stand out from your competitors and encapsulates your company’s values, voice, and personality. Brand compliance helps you protect this identity for your employees and your customers.

 

Branding Values


Here are the other benefits of developing a compelling brand compliance strategy:

 

  • Build Brand Recognition: Brand compliance makes it easier to build brand recognition. Existing and potential customers will be able to recognize your company—no matter which platform they may be on—if you’re consistent with your messaging. When a consumer is familiar with your products and services, they’re more likely to make a purchase.
  • Prevent Reputational Damage: Off-brand content can harm your reputation. Even tiny irregularities in branding can significantly dilute its integrity. When your branding is inconsistent and sloppy, you give potential customers the impression that your products and services are just as haphazardly made. Brand compliance demonstrates your company’s reliability and internal due diligence.
  • Ensure Better Positioning: Branding enables you to take a specific position and convey this to your audience. Brand compliance helps you reinforce how you place your company in the market and against your competitors in your customers’ minds.
  • Prevent Marketing Chaos: Off-brand content is less effective in capturing your audience’s attention and building long-term relationships with your customers. Brand compliance ensures that your marketing campaigns all hit the right message for your target audience. More importantly, brand compliance improves the productivity of your marketing team since campaigns will be based on already established brand concepts.
  • Prevent Misuse And Misinformation: Misuse of your branding can adversely impact its reliability and your company’s public image. By strictly insisting on consistent branding, you can prevent other entities from engaging in false claims or advertising. You also reduce the chances of costly lawsuits due to rogue messaging.
  • Increase Sales: A report from Canto showed that 75% of consumers want brands to provide the same values no matter what channel they’re on. If the marketing team is creating and releasing campaigns with differing tones, something will feel off. Effective brand compliance ensures that these campaigns are consistent throughout, leading to a better bottom line.
  • Build Institutional Know-How: Brand compliance makes it easier for you to ensure that branding guidelines are effectively transmitted across current and future employees, partners, freelances, and agencies that’ll help you create content and other digital assets for your company.

 

How Do You Enforce Brand Compliance? 


Having a written set of guidelines is a good start. However, you shouldn’t stop there. Brand compliance isn’t a one-time activity—you’ll need to work on maintaining your brand integrity continuously. Here are some tips to help you out:

 

  • Use Software: As previously mentioned, digital asset management (DAM) software can help streamline your brand compliance efforts. DAM software can help you achieve both consistent branding and marketing operations efficiency. It can reduce the turnaround time for marketing initiatives and facilitate collaboration and communication between your team members.
  • Establish An Audit System: Regularly assess marketing materials and company communications once they’re created and distributed. Occasionally, there may be missteps in branding, so it’s good to have a system to evaluate upcoming projects, content, products, and services for consistency.
  • Involve Your Team: Get your employees involved with your brand compliance efforts. International business leader Doug Conant once said that ‘you must first win in the workplace if you want to win in the marketplace.’ Make sure that everyone is on board. Provide brand training and testing to help your team understand how advantageous the outcomes will be to everyone involved.
  • Monitor Results Of Your Efforts: Brand compliance doesn’t stop with implementing the strategies and measures you’ve come up with. Regular monitoring is necessary to ensure that everyone’s on board and that the results are meeting your expectations. Monitoring also helps you determine whether there are areas you can improve, adjust, or completely overhaul.

 

Final Thoughts


Brand compliance is challenging, but it’s attainable. It requires careful planning, a well-organized team, and an intuitive software to tie everything together. To ensure consistent branding across the board, design and implement formal guidelines that your team can use. They should have the right resources and tools to ramp up your brand compliance efforts. 

 

Every company has a unique value proposition (UVP) and something they excel at. The thing that makes you more desirable than the competition is likely your UVP. You’ve spent a lot of time and effort building expertise, but you also have to showcase it or your potential customers will never know what’s so great about your company.

 

McKinsey recently released a report pointing to the impact of COVID-19 on innovation. Digitization rose exponentially due to the necessity of staying home. This created more space for entrepreneurs, with 1.5 million new business applications in the U.S. alone.

 

If you want to stand out from the crowd, you must show what makes your brand different. Here are the top ways to showcase your expertise along with a few examples of companies doing it right.

 

1. Use Photo Evidence


Sometimes you don’t have to say a word to show your expertise. The right photograph is worth 1,000 words. Rather than saying you create amazing websites, show off some screenshots of those sites. Instead of pointing to your updated equipment, share an image of it.

 

Invest in photographs of your top players. A professional headshot makes a different impression than an image shot in someone’s backyard.

 

leroy merlin

 

Leroy Merlin is a French interior design firm. Rather than talk about their many successful designs, they show some of them in unique representations. You can see everything from a teen bedroom to a living room.

 

2. Use Numbers


If you’ve been in business for a while, your experience is obvious. Use cold, hard numbers to show users how much expertise you have. You can also highlight some of your more interesting projects, but for your headline or tagline, utilize the number of years and why that makes you an expert in your industry.

 

eam mosca

 

EAM-Mosca states they have 35 years of experience with a team of experts in the industry. They then offer advice from their people in strapping machines, materials, spare parts and service and support advice. They make it clear they can offer an all-around solution to users.

 

3. Know Your UVP


In order to share your unique value, you first must know what it is. What do you bring to the table that no other brands like yours offer? You should study the competition to see what their UVPs are. Choose something outside the norm.

 

At the same time, your UVP should be something your target audience cares about. You might have the cleanest factory floor in the area, but if people don’t understand the benefit to them, they won’t care.

 

4. Let Your Value Speak for Itself


Some people are kinetic learners and they have to try something before they’re convinced of its value. One thing you can do with service as a software (SaaS) type business is to offer a free trial. If you sell a physical product, you can showcase the advantages via a video or customer testimonials.

 

gong

 

Gong offers potential leads the opportunity to try out their software simply by sharing an email. Note how they talk about the advantages of their software in one short paragraph and then get right to the call to action (CTA) of getting them to sign up to try it out.

 

The company knows if they want you to continue to use them into the future, they need to sell you on the convenience of the product by getting you to use it and see how much it helps you.

 

5. Tell a Story


Since the beginning of time, people have loved to sit around a fire and share stories. When you share your expertise via a tale, consumers are much more likely to listen and absorb what you have to say.

 

Storytelling can enhance your images and headlines. Think about a fun way to share your expertise via video, infographics or blog posts.

 

pipers farm

 

Pipers Farm utilizes family farms and they tell a story about how they started and the families they work with. It pulls the reader in and shows what is unique about the company. You go along their journey with them and learn about their expertise in the process.

 

6. Use Icons


Another idea is using icons to set off your areas of expertise. You can list out the benefits of doing business with your brand and list each with an image, subheading and a few details about the thing you’re good at.

 

You’ve likely seen this method utilized on service sites where they say something like, “Benefits of our service” and then list out the specific features they feel they excel at. The way people see you and the image you want to project are sometimes two different things, so make sure you can back up any claims you make.

 

Know Your Strengths


Before you can highlight your expertise, you have to know where you excel. If you have weak areas that discourage potential clients, work to turn them into positives. Once you have a list of the things you thrive at, go ahead and share what they are with anyone who visits your website.

 

Ideally, you’ll share your expertise throughout your site. Your blog posts should highlight your experience. You’ll have testimonials, reviews, benefits lists and many other elements all pointing to you as the best choice for the person to buy from.

 

Eleanor Hecks is the editor of Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

 

brand identity

59% of shoppers like to buy products from brands they trust. But earning that trust is not something that many brands know how to do.

 

A brand is much more than just a logo and a name, it’s the overall visual, written, and value-based image that must be curated over an extended period and across all modes of communication with the target audience.

 

The good news is that for smaller companies, developing a brand image might actually be easier than for large corporations. This is because SMBs can take a more focused approach when developing the brand, using little specific details that drive home what the company stands for and what makes it different.

 

Let’s explore a few of the most effective ways to build a strong and unique brand identity below.

 

Create Seasonal Product and Gift Collections


The first item on this list might seem a bit surprising, but it’s actually a powerful strategy that can help create separation from all of the competitors in your niche.

 

Having a consistent selection of products is essential, but you should also consider developing seasonal product collections such as holiday gift boxes. These can be curated collections of products that are perfect as a gift or as a seasonal treat for yourself, and the only limit to what you include or how you package it is the way you want to highlight what your brand is about.

 

You can create beautiful packaging that reflects your unique style, messages highlighting your voice, and products that deliver clear value to your customers.

 

At the same time, these gift boxes are an excellent product to showcase on your marketing campaigns. By running social media ads with beautifully packaged gift boxes, you can grab the attention of people who might otherwise not click on your regular products.

 

Put Your Customers First


A brand’s strength is only as great as its customer base. Therefore, when creating a unique brand identity, it makes sense to start the process by taking a customer centric approach and figuring out precisely who you want to cater to, and how.

 

Customer centricity implies putting your customers above all else, focusing on providing them with the best possible experience, and trusting that success will follow. This means not just delivering good-quality products but also ensuring that the values your business puts forward are aligned with what your ideal customers care about. 

 

What’s more, it means addressing any issues they might have quickly and doing everything you can to ensure that every customer walks away happy.

 

Find a Core Differentiating Idea


The term unique brand contains a pivotal clue about how to develop it. Uniqueness is a trait that’s only possible in relation to something else, so the right way you make your brand stand out will largely depend on the type of competition you will be working against.

 

To develop a memorable and engaging brand that will be more appealing than others, you must first perform a thorough analysis of the landscape in your market, figuring out what your competitors are doing, how they’re positioning themselves, and how you can fill a currently unmet demand.

 

Sometimes, that will mean addressing a common issue that all other brands fail to solve. Perhaps no one is catering to the segment of an audience? Or maybe there’s an ethical issue that more and more customers find important?

 

Whatever it might be, finding what could make your brand different can become the driving force behind everything you do, including the branding, the voice, and the type of marketing campaigns you run.

 

Provide Amazing Customer Support


If there’s one area where it’s absolutely crucial to stand out from the competition, it’s customer support. Even a few bad experiences can derail your brand’s reputation, so it’s vital to promptly address every issue and offer helpful solutions that turn frustrated customers into loyal fans.

 

And the good news is that even small brands now have numerous tools for creating an omnichannel customer support system that quickly addresses all issues.

 

For one thing, you should implement a live chat function on your website, where people can quickly get answers to questions without having to fill out forms. When a live support rep isn’t available, you can use a chatbot instead, directing customers to helpful resources that enable them to solve the issue independently.

 

You should also have someone monitor your social media messages, where many customers will go to learn more about your brand and figure out whether they want to work with you.

 

Finally, consider creating a knowledge base that can act as an all-encompassing resource. This will prevent your support agents from having to explain each issue individually, as they will be able to provide a helpful link that explains the problem’s solution clearly and with visuals.

 

Bottom Line


Developing a strong brand identity is one of the best ways to carve out a space in the market, no matter how competitive it might be. Using the strategies listed above, you can create more exciting products, cater to the right audience, and find ways to stand out from the rest.

 

Image Source

 

86% of consumers cite brand authenticity as a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support. And another study found that 81% of consumers need to trust a brand before committing to buying from them.

 

It’s more than clear that building a brand is an integral part of success. Customers want to know who they are buying from and want to be able to trust the brand if they are going to choose them over more established brands like Amazon. What’s more, they need to feel that the brand aligns with their ideals and values, which promotes brand loyalty and gives more purpose to the relationship.

 

But despite the clear advantages of having a strong brand, many companies struggle with finding the right approach when developing a unique and appealing brand.

 

To help you avoid some of the more common pitfalls, let’s explore the main steps that go into building a strong brand that you can maintain and use to drive sales.

 

Leverage Social Media


Social media remains a vital part of promoting and growing a business online. And with the number of social media users set to reach almost four billion in 2022, that’s not surprising.

 

However, while it’s great for generating sales and engaging your audience, it can be equally powerful as a tool for building your brand presence and establishing a strong brand voice.

 

After all, social media is all about communication, as it’s the perfect place to interact with your audience, nurture direct conversations, and showcase what makes your brand different from others.

 

Many brands have been able to grow Instagram followers by creating unique content around their products and services, emphasizing the brand’s voice and style, which the target audience found appealing and aligned with their own identity.

 

The same can be achieved on almost any social media platform, as long as you understand how to use it for showcasing your brand and connecting with your audience.

 

Over time, your social media platforms can become a hub for your audience to interact not just with your brand but with each other as well. And that sense of community will make the appeal of your brand experience stronger.

 

Make Employees Your Brand Ambassadors


Getting your customers to share positive experiences is a crucial part of running a successful business. But that’s not the only way you can use people’s genuine experiences to showcase what your brand is all about.

 

Your company is not a faceless business entity but a collection of people who come together to provide the best possible service to clients and achieve success in the process. Therefore, why not put those people in the spotlight and allow them to talk about what your brand is about, who the people are behind it, and what types of ideas and values they represent.

 

You can also get ideas about how to position your brand by conducting employee surveys. Your team members are the people who deal with clients every day, and they also know how the company operates better than anyone else. So if you ask them what they think would represent the company best and the core values they believe should be put forward, you could gain valuable insights that help you create a more authentic brand that resonates with the people you are trying to attract.

 

Know Your Audience by Heart


branding

Image Source

 

Audience research is complex and takes a lot of time, which is why many business owners end up relying more on assumptions about who they want to sell to rather than hard data they can back up with research.

 

But when trying to build a memorable brand that’s different from the competition, assumptions simply won’t cut it. And usually, the companies that invest more in customer research end up on top simply because they create a brand that’s more appealing, engaging, and in line with the core values that the customers are looking for.

 

But what exactly should you research if you want to get to know your ideal buyers?

 

Well, the first step is developing a customer avatar based on the ideal buyers you want to attract. This avatar should lay out the key demographics, psychographics, browsing habits, core values, biggest challenges, and other relevant data that will help you make informed decisions about your brand.

 

You should also look into what your competitors are doing and how they’re positioning themselves, which can help you identify gaps and opportunities for branding that others might not be using.

 

Finally, make sure to talk with your customers directly and ask them what they like, don’t like, and place importance on when choosing who to work with. Usually, direct conversations with customers will provide you the most value, even if they take the most effort to organize.

 

Bottom Line


Building a brand is an integral part of running a successful company. Without a strong brand presence, it’s almost impossible to compete with more established companies, not to mention industry giants like Amazon or Walmart.

 

The good news is that if you leverage social media, put a face to your brand, and get to know your audience well, you can build a brand that’s aligned with your audience, making marketing and sales much easier.

 

 

branding

 

Think of a product that is practically similar across the board. Say water. Now think of three different companies that sell water and how they managed to convince you to think of “their” water in a specific way. In fact, you might find that even though you’re aware that water probably just tastes the same, you tend to prefer a particular company’s water over the others. The company has managed to create a certain feeling in you about its product, and this feeling made you choose the product. 

 

This is one way of explaining what branding is all about. But, in case you still want it broken down, let’s get into it some more.  

 

What Is A Brand?  


The easiest way to understand branding and, in turn, what a branding agency is, is to first understand what a brand is.  

 

A brand is what your clients and prospective clients immediately think of when they think of your company and product. This image can be in terms of practicality (e.g., the beverage tastes good) and emotion (e.g., the beverage makes me feel young).  

 

A brand is therefore not just about the physical and practical features of a product, but also about the emotions it evokes in the people that experience it. The name of the product must be a cue that suggests the physical and emotional associations of a product or a company. So must the logo, general visual identity, and the messages the company puts across.  

 

The American Marketing Association sums it up this way,  

 

“a brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” 

 

Branding is, therefore, the process and methods employed to build this perception of a given company or product to the market.  

 

The Agency  


Now that you have a working grasp of what a brand and branding are, you can now dig into what it is precisely that branding agencies in UK can do for you.  

 

What’s been said gives you a rough idea of what you might expect a branding agency to be and do.  

 

A branding agency communicates to the market the qualities that set you apart. In a world filled with so much competition among “similar” products, a branding agency will create your presence in the marketplace by stressing specific characteristics of your product or service over others.  

 

The best way to do this is usually through looking very closely, not just at what your product has to offer, but also what your company and team have to offer. What is your product and company personality? Yes, your product does have a personality; if you think it doesn’t, it’s time you take time to figure it out. You might be selling water, but what kind of water? What will help you start defining your water?  

 

Take a look at the visuals your company is attaching to the product. Do they communicate a positive or negative association? Are you selling a dull or vibrant personality through your product? Does your message tie together with what the visuals and quality of your product are saying?  

 

A branding company will build your company’s story then express it in every single facet of your product and communications. You won’t need to worry about a conflicting representation anymore as the company will make sure your brand’s message is coherent across the board.  

 

Your clients usually don’t have the time to put together complicated multi-dimensional images when they’re in the shop trying to choose among products. A customer will choose the product which brand image is clearest and can spring to mind vividly in a positive way in a matter of seconds.  

 

This strength in image is what your branding agency will be responsible for.  

 

branding-agency

 

How Do They Do It?  


Knowing what branding agencies are is incomplete without knowing how they do what they do.  

 

Their methods are quite straightforward yet these need a good strategy to successfully implement. The steps to building a successful brand might include: 

 

  • Clarifying Brand Perception Goals- you have to identify the one statement you aim for your clients to say about your product or service after using it.  

 

To identify this statement, you should know your competitors very well and what they offer and don’t offer. Finding this out will help you add value to a product or service that’s already on the market and stand out from the pack in the process.  

 

How can you create a shortcut for your customer when they’re trying to choose one product? What sets you apart as a company? That is part of building your brand’s perception.  

 

  • Aligning Your Product With Its Promise -what does your business promise to offer? What mechanisms are in place to make sure that it does exactly that? You must be trusted as a brand.  
  • Ensuring Your Messages Communicate Your Promise- everything from your company colors, logo, and all marketing material should be in service to your promise. They’re a function of your promise.  

 

Be consistent and intentional in every part of your communication. Every piece you release to the public becomes part of the story. 

 

Build A Successful Brand 


As you can see, you can control, to a very great extent, how people end up seeing your product or service. To do this, every stage of building your business must have in mind what you want your brand to stand for. Even with this knowledge, you might still find it difficult to stay consistent, coherent, and effective in your brand building. This is where brand agencies will come in. Their expertise will help you produce the results you need in the marketplace.

 

B2C Product Packaging

Because e-commerce and remote experiences have become an integral element of today’s market, never mind why, it’s important to focus on your presentation. That is, how your brand is perceived by customers off-site, or within their homes.

 

When you ship a product to a customer, one of the first things they encounter is your brand packaging. If you ship the goods in a plain or non discreet box, not only will they notice, they’ll probably be underwhelmed. There’s a reason why you see that happy Amazon smile on every one of their boxes, parcels, or envelopes. Yet another layer down is the outer wrapping of a product, and it also matters how distinctive that is.

 

These days, the packaging is just as important for your branding and marketing efforts as any other strategy you might apply. How can you use this to your advantage? What are some ways that you can leverage your B2C packaging to boost your branding efforts?

Get Creative


To stand out from the crowd you must be unique. That’s why product packaging should be creative, engaging, and most importantly, brand-defining. A box is a box, but a cool and creative box is truly something special.

 

Thelma’s Treats, a Des Moines Iowa cookie maker, packages its delicious and fresh cookies inside a to-go oven. Granted, the oven is made of cardboard, but when it arrives on your doorstep, and you slide the tray of cookies out, it’s just like pulling them out of — you guessed it — your oven!

 

You don’t have to be quite so elaborate, but the takeaway should be that you need to create a unique and captivating experience for your customers. These kinds of experiences are always memorable, and they’re certainly buzzworthy.

Public Unboxing is a Thing


There are entire communities dedicated to unboxing appealing products during video recording or a live stream. Influencers and audiences alike love when product packaging is top-notch.

 

Content creators often start by capturing footage of the unopened packaging. Soon after, they will begin opening up the package, whether it’s a box, parcel, or something more elaborate while commenting on the setup, what they find inside, and the initial presentation of the products.

 

It’s a communal experience, which involves the audience, as much as the creator. Everyone gets the opportunity to experience the event, whether they have the product in their hands or not. All of this generates buzz, and the content is shared across the internet from social media to messaging boards.

 

You can encourage your customers to hold unboxing events, not just by saying that outright but also by providing a tailored experience — this ties into the strategy above about getting creative. When designing your packaging, think about how people will be interacting with it. What will it look like on those live streams? Will people enjoy it and want to get in on the action?

Make It Easy


Product packaging, for the most part, exists to protect the goods contained within. That is a critical element of a successful package design, but it’s also important to ensure usability. Can your customers remove the packaging easily or is it frustrating?

 

It’s important to strike a good balance between protection and usability. We see this a lot with tamper-proof solutions. The design is more complex to prevent tampering or to improve safety — like pill bottles meant to keep children out — but that can lead to more frustration. Even so, tamper-free designs are necessary for select goods, so it becomes about deploying them in a smart, efficient way.

 

The same balance must be honored with your product and brand packaging. It can be difficult to achieve with certain materials, like hard plastic, but a solid workaround is to create a viable entry point, like pull tabs, perforated edges, and beyond. These helpful additions make it easier to breach the package, without compromising integrity. Smart designs can also help, where the packaging is lovingly crafted, from the onset, to provide a pleasant unwrapping experience.

 

It reflects on your brand, like it or not, so when it’s difficult to open packaging or the entire experience becomes a hassle, it leaves a sour taste in people’s mouths.

Presentation


Although it’s something that has applied for dozens, if not hundreds, of years in retail, the presentation of your product packaging and how it looks on store shelves still matters.

 

You may wonder how shelf appeal differs from doorstep appeal, and the distinction is quite easy to quantify. When a package lands on a customer’s doorstep, they’ve already invested. But for a package sitting on store shelves, you’re targeting people that haven’t yet purchased your product.

 

It means that you need to catch their eye, more so than the competition, and the packaging needs to provide a good representation of your brand, at a glance. That’s no small feat.

 

Above all, any packaging you create needs to be universal. It must have appeal in-stores and online. Here are some ways to make that happen:

 

  • Emphasize your company logo
  • Choose vivid colors
  • Use minimal design aesthetics
  • Make it functional with carrying handles, resealable options, and more
  • Share more information about your product
  • Employ unique shapes, materials, and compositions

Go Green


Over 80% of consumers from North America, Asia, and Europe believe it’s “important” or “extremely important” for companies to develop eco-friendly products. Moreover, 77% of respondents say that plastic is the least environmentally responsible packaging material.

 

What does this tell you? People want to do business with environmentally-conscious companies, and they value the ideals behind sustainable operations.

 

Applying this to your brand packaging means going eco-friendly for the materials and design. You’ll likely find that people love eco-friendly packaging, especially when it’s not overtly harmful — such as those plastic soda rings that wreak havoc on ocean creatures.

Incorporate QR


Slapping a QR code on your packaging can generate a lot of buzz and fun for customers. Even better, they can be used to create augmented reality experiences, or alternate reality games (ARGs). It’s also a neat little way to incorporate technology into your packaging, without actually embedding electronics or devices.

 

Most QR codes are designed to open a website or app store page after being scanned, but they can be used for much more than that. They can show nutrition information, product sourcing, deliver messages, or share marketing details and promos. They’re also extremely accessible because most smartphones include QR support built-in.

Reinvent Your Brand Packaging


So, there you have it! Those are some excellent ideas for reimagining and boosting the perception of your company through product packaging.

 

Be creative and unique. Consider the usability of the packaging and how easy it is for customers to open or engage with. Prioritize the presentation for both in-store and online experiences. And finally, think of the ways you can use customer sentiment to boost your brand, through events like live unboxings, incorporating eco-friendly materials, or leveraging modern technologies.

 

There are truly some amazing opportunities if you know how to unwrap them!

 

 

Eleanor Hecks is the editor of Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.

 

 

Personal Branding

 

Will we ever be the same again? Businesses are being transformed at this time of the Coronavirus and the economic challenges we now face. This transformation has happened quickly out of necessity and the need for survival however it’s likely to leave a lasting legacy on how we live our lives and run our businesses.

 

This crisis has created the space for us to reconsider our values and who we really are on a personal level.

 

For small business owners and entrepreneurs who are currently adapting, it’s time to consider your business operations, your values and your personal brand. What we learn in these challenging times can help set us up for the new world that will emerge after this crisis.

 

It’s time for us to put humans first in business, to reveal our own personality as the leaders of our brands and how that relates to how we do business. Your brand is not your logo; it’s so much more than a cute icon, font and colors. It’s not even about the clever slogan you use. Your brand is a representation of who you are. For small business owners and entrepreneurs your personal brand and your business brand must work cohesively together.

 

In this article we will look at your personal brand and how you can use it as a representation of who you are, or who you are becoming. Crisis can often change us, and we have the power to decide who we become.

 

As we conclude 2020 and start to plan for 2021, it’s the perfect time to assess your personal brand. Much of the planning can be done, even during the pandemic. Working on a personal branding project can be a great way to enjoy life in lockdown. Even personal branding photo-shoots are likely to be okay in your region since they can be done while maintaining social distancing.

 

We’ve seen an influx of individuals who have become unemployed and are now using their downtime to kick-start an online business leveraging their own personal interests and personal identities.

 

Below are seven questions to ask yourself when planning your personal branding.

 

1. What are your goals?


Consider who you are and what you want to be known for. Create a list of all the attributes that should make up your personal brand. Consider how you may be able to communicate those attributes visually through your image. You’ll likely have an intuitive understanding of what you want your personal brand to be however, by listing your goals you’ll be better equipped to communicate your desired message.

 

2. Where will your photography be used?


Your image is a key component of your personal brand. You’ll probably use your photography on your social media profiles, your website, and any media opportunities that present themselves. It’s worth considering the various formats and styles you may need and have them ready to go. In some instances, a square image will be required and in others, a landscape or portrait may be suitable. If you’re using your photo on your website in a banner you may find it crops differently from device to device. Consider what type of imagery will work across multiple platforms. Put together a list of images you’ll need to ensure you capture everything at your photoshoot.

 

3. What style of imagery suits you?


You probably have an intuitive understanding of what style of photography will best suit your personal brand. Create for yourself a mood board by taking clippings of sample images you like that you can then show your photographer. That will give your photographer a clear understanding of where you want to go visually whether it be highly corporate or casual. In your mood board, you can include anything you think may be helpful, even samples of color swatches or lifestyle images that reflect something about who you are or want to be.

 

mood board

Image Source: Science Direct 

 

4. What is the ideal location?


For some, a highly professional office setting may best suit them. For others, a natural outdoors or urban setting might best communicate the right message. Don’t choose something just because it looks nice, be deliberate about your message be creative. For example, there may be clever ways to bring the outdoors inside to communicate a specific message about who you are.

 

5. What style of clothing is suitable?


What you wear will say a lot about your personal brand. Your clothing can often make or break your success. Should it be highly professional, edgy, casual, modern, or fun? There are many different looks you could go for so consider how they may best represent your personal brand. If you operate a business with a logo, you may want to use the colors from that logo if they also suit you. What props may also suit your message? I recently saw a business coach who works in time management, in all his speaking engagements he has a pocket watch displayed. Accessories can be a great way to reinforce your message.

 

6. What makeup and hairstyle suit your brand?


For those that wear makeup on a daily basis, it may be worth getting some professional tips and advice specific to your complexion and desired look. When it comes to photography, the makeup techniques may be slightly different from what you would normally wear so get the experts involved and check the images are suitable before you complete the photoshoot. For those that don’t usually wear makeup (men, I’m talking to you), don’t be concerned about makeup for photoshoots and trust the experts to guide you. Your hairstyle should also be done in a way that is consistent with what you commonly wear so you maintain consistency with your message. When it’s done well, it will look natural and effortless.

 

7. How should you present yourself?


Your words and your presentation are critical factors for your personal brand. You may have your selfie pout down pat however that might not be quite right for your personal brand. Take a look at your mood board and practice a few poses in the mirror so they feel natural. Practice the way you speak by recording yourself presenting and listen back to how it sounds. You can also search through YouTube to find other business people and entrepreneurs who come across in a way in which you’d also like to be perceived. Practice their presentation style as a full-dress rehearsal in the mirror to see how you can make it work for you.

 

Next steps…

 

We trust these questions will help you enhance your personal branding. Of course, to make the most of your brand you need to be seen. By having your personal branding on point, you’ll be ready to take your digital presence to the next level. Digital marketing is a powerful way to get yourself noticed by the right people. Whether it be SEO, social media management, or support with advertising campaigns, we’d love to help you. Contact us today!

 

 

 

covid-19 branding

 

The global COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the business world. With millions of people staying home, ordinary commerce has been disrupted, and brands are noticing the changes. Businesses are working to adapt old strategies to fit the new normal, but it is easier said than done.

 

Before life starts to return to normal, take the time to prepare your brand to bounce back after COVID-19 has released its grip. While no one knows precisely when life will look like it used to, it is a prudent idea to be prepared for that day so that you can jump into post-COVID-19 operations as quickly as possible. Here are a few things your brand can do to build itself up in preparations for life after COVID-19 while maintaining momentum during the current quarantine.

 

Communication is Mandatory


During these uncertain times, customers want to know what is going on. Do not assume your customers already know your new practices, hours, or availability. Any changes in your business that will affect customers must be communicated and explained, so customers know what to expect. Lean on your existing systems to mitigate delays while informing customers of issues beyond your control and the steps you are taking to fix the problems. Use shipping APIs to bring as much stability to the shipping process as possible, regularly update inventory levels so customers can’t order products you do not have in stock, and above all else, be honest with your customers. Customers will understand delays or changes due to the current world state, but only if you tell them what is happening. Going radio silent because you are afraid to disappoint customers will inflict more damage than if you were honest.

 

Adjust Your Marketing Strategies


Before the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses were reasonably secure in and successful with their online marketing strategies, but these old marketing methods must be adjusted to suit the new global situation. Companies that are still using the idea of selling just to sell are not going to find success in the current climate. Businesses should shift perspectives and sell to provide a service or fill a need. Unless you have a real reason why someone would need or want your product, your marketing message will fall flat.

 

Businesses that specialize in jewelry are an example of how a business can pivot their marketing tactics to reflect customer needs. Most people are not planning large weddings for the near future, but jewelry companies are still able to market their wares because of how they changed their messaging. Instead of marketing rings for the typical large summer weddings, jewelry companies are encouraging customers to buy rings to celebrate the significant moment in their lives and relationships even if they can’t host a proper party. Change your marketing messaging to provide comfort and an uplifting perspective that shows how your product can fill a need while remaining sensitive to your customer’s struggles.

 

Double Down on Inexpensive Marketing Methods


Marketing does not have to break the bank to be effective. Pay Per Click, PPC, ads are cheap, very cheap. Internet traffic is up, but there are fewer ads which drives down the cost of ads. Paid ads are bringing in a better return on investment post-COVID than pre-COVID, so now is the time to grab the unclaimed paid ads slots. SEO may not return a profit instantly, and it may be months before you reap the benefits of SEO, but you will never see those benefits if you stop SEO marketing out of panic.

 

Embrace Change


The current pandemic has shown businesses that change is inevitable and unavoidable. The next massive industry change might not be a pandemic, but another shift will happen in the future. The next substantial commerce change is likely to be the bounce back after COVID-19 has passed. Business might be slow right now, but you should be preparing for a surge in customers in the future. No one knows when the rush will hit, but your brand should be prepared regardless. Bolster and secure your e-commerce site so it can handle a sudden increase in traffic, have backup marketing copy that you can switch to once social distancing guidelines relax, and continue your SEO strategies to see long-term benefits.

 

The world is experiencing an unprecedented crisis, and you should take every opportunity possible to reinforce your brand to prepare for a post-COVID world. While things remain uncertain, communication is paramount. Tell your customers what is going on and what they can expect from your brand. Adjust your typical marketing strategies to reflect the global situation. Provide new and appropriate reasons why customers need your product instead of selling just to sell. Instead of cutting marketing efforts, double down on effective and inexpensive methods to maintain your brand’s digital presence. Embrace change and prepare for a customer surge so you can hit the ground running once COVID-19 has passed.

 

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