Thanksgiving is almost gone, and we're already ringing in the new year...kind of. We believe in looking ahead so we can know exactly what our clients will want, and need, when it comes to their marketing and consulting needs. In the advertising and marketing realm, there's no such thing as being too far ahead. Or, at least, we don't think so, which is why we're bringing you into 2014 with a classic stance on reach and marketing: branding. Despite the amount of social media, digital marketing options, and other attention grabbers that brands use for exposure, we believe that the tested and tried methods work. We could go on for a while about branding (it's what we do), but we'll outline three big reasons for optimizing your branding strategy in 2014. Let's do some time travel, shall we?
Make it Come Full Circle
This year, make a resolution to have a 360 degree branding strategy. What does that mean exactly? Cover all three of your bases: value, prospects, and competition! First, make sure that you're demonstrating a strong value for potential customers. Nowadays, consumers are interested in the ethics and morals of a brand just as much as they are interested in the product the brand represents. Second, you'll want to address your customers? Is your brand being projected to your target audience? Make sure that the message you're displaying is reaching the right group! Think, too, about what your customers want and what they already appreciate about your brand. Don't take past knowledge for granted. Make sure that the data you've already collected about your demographic is nearby. Finish off your "full circle approach" by thinking about your competitors. Know who they are, what they're doing, and how you can improve yourself if they happen to be doing really well! Use everything as a learning experience to file away.
A Happy Workplace is a Healthy Workplace
Healthy for your branding strategy, that is! After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season we're all exhausted! However, a workplace that lifts the mood may also lift the branding success. Entrepreneur writer, Melanie Spring, explains the "happy worker" rationale of a college town Donut Shop, "Hiring is not easy for any business, especially if most of your employees are hourly part-timers...While the college student workforce isn’t known to be the most reliable, the company goes out of the way to show employees they respect them." Stereotypes stick to certain employee groups. Make sure that you're creating a happy space for your employees by ignoring stereotypes and your company will have a healthy brand image to match those smiling employees.
Memory is Key
We all remember brands for their triumphs or not so classy moments. But, with that being said, it's evident that memory plays a major role in brand health and success. Keep slogans simple and easy to recite to a friend, make sure logos are crisp and clean, and remember that in the realm of branding less is more (even with all of the animated .gifs and flashy social media icons). Your customers and prospects want to be enticed by your product. So, while branding helps them get there, a flashy branding strategy with no substance isn't going to keep them coming back.
For the new year, think about some of the other ways you can make a difference in your branding strategy. Start small, add a little bit, and make sure to always reflect on what you know already works!