"Why spend time in branding when our sales are going well?" That is a good question. Nevertheless, branding is invaluable. The reason for customers to choose a brand can go beyond price, product and availability. Due to the increase in online webshops, competition is fierce and customers are making informed choices before making a purchase. That is precisely why branding is so important. Because with the help of powerful branding you can distinguish yourself from the rest and leave a good impression with existing and potential customers.
However, a fresh and powerful brand image isn't build in a day. How do you refurbish your brand, without losing the core of your message? This article is therefore aimed at providing a few helpful tips.
Make sure to provide a fresh look & feel in all marketing communications. This starts with a colorful logo. Colors in a logo are proven to increase brand recognition with 80% (source: Fastcompany.com). But visual branding is more than just a logo. Think of a new corporate design, implemented across all marketing instruments. Make sure to use recognizable email templates, newsletters, graphics, videos, compelling photos and social media activities. All in the same format.
Also, make sure the messages send out are entertaining and interesting for your target group. Think from a customer's perspective. What does he or she wants to see? Throw out the old brochure and design an engaging infographic with concise and coherent content, that is easily read and shared by your audience. Base the layout of your website on a UX (or 'user experience') design, which is user friendly and responsive (optimized for mobile devices). Provide an efficient site navigation that is easy in use and provide readable content. The aforementioned elements all contribute to a recognizable image.
Case: Damen Shipyards
An example of a company that has successfully implemented their branding is Damen Shipyards, known for their enormous yachts and ships. After transformation of their communication channels, the Dutch multinational owns a fully integrated digital platform with graphics, pictures and videos. The result was an increase in sales of million dollar ships, search engine optimization, enhanced customer experience, high content-sharing and high-quality leads.
Have you been using the same online communication channels, with a low amount of success? Then try new things like:
Victor Lamme, professor cognitive neurosciences at the University of Amsterdam, claims that when marketing activities are aimed at the following three important basic emotions: 'I want to experience something fun' (emotion 1), 'I am afraid of things, so solve it easily' (emotion 2) and 'I do what others are doing (too)' (emotion 3), chances are your marketing efforts will be successful.
Lamme uses booking.com as an example, the website includes beautiful pictures of hotels and holiday destinations. These destinations function as a reward (emotion 1). Upon visiting the page of your dream hotel, you will see that there are only two rooms available. Therefore, you will have to decide quick (emotion 2). Meanwhile, you see that four other people are checking the same webpage of the hotel, you also read the positive reviews, thus you decide to book (emotion 3). Lamme concludes that every person is being influenced by emotional rewards. This is proven with statistics, as 75% of the online customers indicate that their purchase of a product or brand was based on emotion.
Booking.com employs the 3 basic emotions with the help of beautiful hotel and holiday destination pictures
The processing time of visuals is much shorter than text. Moreover, visuals are being stored longer in our memories than words. That is why consumers want brands to communicate via visuals, rather than text. Creative and exclusive images trigger readers and speak to our imagination. Because of this, consumers are more likely to follow brands and make purchases. Statistics prove that 90% of purchase decisions are being influenced by visual factors.
Branding needs to be an integral part of your marketing strategy. Your target group needs to hear from you frequently. Whether this is through an impressive blog post or a tweet, every moment of contact illustrates your competences. First of all, this results in an increase of analytic traffic, like website views, retweets and blog subscribers. Secondly, it increases subjective traffic, like sharing content from other media, interviews and blogs.
Eventually branding is about leaving a good impression with your current and prospective clients. Always ask yourself whether your client is able to identify oneself with the brand. After all, your brand is the identity of your organization.