43% of customers spend more money on brands that they trust and have become loyal to. A good branding strategy can increase your customer retention rates, which in turn can increase your ROI. In fact, increasing your customer retention rate by just 2% can lower your costs by 10%. In this article, we'll discuss tips for optimizing and improving your brand as you go forward, so you aren’t stressing about what steps are next. Check out the tips below to assess and refine your branding strategy!
Be Consistent, But Flexible
We mentioned in the previous article in this series that you have to stay consistent in the way you present your brand. However, being consistent doesn't mean that you shouldn't have any room for flexibility. You should still allow your brand to get creative and try different things, but make sure the overarching message never wavers.
You need to stay consistent with the way you present your brand so that your message stays crystal clear and customers can recognize your brand! Other than a consistent message, you can tweak your marketing strategies and phrasing so that you appeal to an additional demographic or grab a customer’s attention.
Test, Analyze, and Listen to Feedback
You should be constantly gathering data on your performance so that you can figure out where to improve your branding strategies.
First of all, analyze the data that you collect from your leads, sales, and marketing results. Use your data to see where you can use some improvement and whether your current marketing strategy is working.
Look deeper into the reasons that certain campaigns are failing and succeeding to find out if your branding strategy could be the reason. If you think your branding may be hurting your marketing campaign, it’s likely time to get back to the drawing board.
Changing your brand can be scary and it’s possible that it can derail your marketing strategy entirely. Make sure you always do research before you make any big changes, but don’t be afraid to test out new strategies and slightly alter things.
A very important resource for determining the effectiveness of your strategy is by gathering feedback from your customers. Conduct surveys after purchases and/or exit surveys when customers cancel their subscriptions. See what your customers really want from you, how you can better serve their needs, and what they expect from your brand.
Have the Right Company Culture
Having the right company culture is crucial for building a successful brand. You want to get all of your employees on board so that you can keep your vision consistent. You should all share the same mission and have the same ideals for your company.
Your brand should show off the good aspects of your company and you should aim for customers and the media to have a favorable view of your company. Participating in charity work or good deeds is a great way to achieve a good public image and be seen as a kind, generous, and trustworthy company.
Focus On Loyalty and Relationships
Your company needs to focus on creating relationships with your consumers. Building relationships creates trust between your brand and your customers, leading to brand loyalty from customers and the possibility of turning them into promoters. Brand loyalty can prove to be one of the most important weapons in your marketing arsenal.
There are a number of things you need to focus on if you want to create the trust that is necessary for loyalty to grow. First of all, you need to consistently provide a high-quality experience.
Make sure your sales and customer service teams are fully trained so they know how to interact with customers. A single negative sales experience can cause a loyal customer to disappear, so stay on top of any customer complaints, concerns, or reviews. Don’t just focus on negative experiences, make sure you’re interacting with customers that leave positive feedback and reviews as well!
You also have to show your customers that you appreciate their business. Consumers who feel that they are not appreciated or cared about by a brand will leave it. The same goes for customers who feel as if the brand doesn't truly understand or "get them." Consumers also want to feel as if they are getting value for their money.
Customer loyalty programs are an important tool as well. A rewards program where customers are rewarded with discounts or free items for consistent purchases will keep many of them coming back. Running regular promotions and sales can also help increase loyalty and trust.
Build Up Social Proof
Social proof is crucial for the success of any brand. You have to constantly keep updating and building up your social media networks. You should try to constantly increase your follower count and influence to gain more brand awareness.
Make sure you are still providing great customer service, showing appreciation, and producing quality content while you focus on increasing customer awareness. If you continue to provide great customer service and social influence, your following should begin growing on its own. Even if your social following is growing organically, you should still be actively promoting your brand and social profiles.
Follow Through & Be Transparent
In order to create trust and loyalty, you have to follow through on your promises. If your slogan or marketing campaigns promise a certain level of quality, for example, make sure that you follow through.
Customers want a consistent experience; they want to know what they can expect. The more transparent you are with customers about every stage of their customer journey and your products or services, the more they will trust you. Trust is essential to building permanent customer relationships, therefore, you must build trust to create a successful brand.
Have a Contingency Plan
You should always have a contingency plan in case something goes wrong. What will you do if you get bad publicity? Even the best brands can get bad publicity due to things that are beyond their control, such as negative reviews from disgruntled customers, a rogue employee, a cybersecurity flaw, or a negative campaign from a competitor.
The most important part is knowing that you can recover from most bad publicity. Don’t allow your brand to fail because you’re afraid to try and recover from some bad press or don’t have a plan in place. Have an emergency plan in place for all kinds of scenarios so that you are ready to salvage your reputation if something goes wrong. This will take the pressure off and allow you to face the problem with a level head.
Evaluate Your Performance
Some businesses will put their branding strategy into action only to find that it is not going as they expected. There can be many reasons why you are not succeeding in your branding and marketing strategy. If you are not seeing success, evaluate your strategies and see whether there are some things that you may have missed.
Ask yourself some hard questions. Have you been sending the wrong message to consumers? Have you been associated with the wrong people? Has negative press impacted your brand image, and if so, how you can remedy the situation? Have you been inconsistent in your messages? Have you been too promotional or not authentic enough? Have you missed out on truly understanding and connecting with your target audience?
Internet culture, social media, and your customers are constantly evolving, so your company needs to keep up. Constantly ask yourself questions that will give you insight about your brand’s performance, what is creating success, what is causing failure, and how to keep your brand and content relevant.
For help with creating a brand strategy and improving your brand image, contact us today.