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Branding is important to your marketing strategy because it helps define your business in a way that ordinary marketing doesn’t do. In fact, there is a lot of confusion about what marketing is supposed to do. Many business owners feel that, as long as they promote their products and services, that is enough. But they forget that the brand strategy you use is far more important than the marketing strategy. Without a brand strategy, you are only advertising products and services without bringing your brand to the attention of your customers.
The problem with this thinking is that direct marketing of goods and services does little to nothing regarding increasing your brand presence or prominence in the digital environment. But, to succeed, you must develop more than a marketing strategy. You must build a brand strategy. To explore the idea of brand-building, first, let’s look back in the past and see how far we’ve come.
Words from a Prophet
In 1995, Steve Jobs predicted that “every business will be online by 2005.” He was right for the most part. Every business that cares about continuing its success, that is, got online by the early part of 2003 and many joined shortly after that. Now, the only type of business that is not online is a business whose transactions would not make sense online such as a restaurant or lawn mowing service. Anything that is delivered in the physical world is still a brick-and-mortar “real-world only” type of business. Everything else is online, or at least it should be.
Building Your Brand
That being said, why do some online businesses fail and others succeed? What is it that successful online businesses have learned to do well that others haven’t? The answer is Branding. Daymond John, successful millionaire entrepreneur and CEO of FUBU and co-star of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” focuses his website on brand building. He is a brand expert and makes suggestions to entrepreneurs as to what they can do to improve their brand perception. In his book, The Brand Within, he drives the point home about how important it is to be unique when you are developing a business and to think of your business as more than a company and to build a brand instead.
A New Way of Thinking
Going online changed the whole method of operation that business owners had to achieve to find success with their target audience. They had to adjust to the new type of digital advertising that varied from traditional print, TV, or radio ads. While they are similar, digital media is produced using different equipment and conversion tools that make it ready for the online environment.
Business owners realized that they needed digital content that would work in the online digital environment. But some forgot a fundamental principle that is essential to their success: Advertising is not the same as marketing.
What is Advertising?
Advertising is taking a concept and creating creatives or ads that will persuade others to buy the product or service. Of course, this is one of the goals of every online business owner. You have to make sales to survive. But what many have forgotten is the fact that advertising is just an activity. It is a process of creating a commercial that you hope will catch the attention of the desired audience.
Marketing and brand building are completely different.
What is Marketing?
When it comes to marketing, we are crossing over into a more diverse concept. Marketing involves an overall approach that allows you to promote your business. Yes, it can be used to market specific aspects and ads can be included in this process. But it’s important to understand that marketing is about more than advertising. It’s about building your business perception, not just your business so that you will build a long-term connection with potential customers.
What is a Good Brand Strategy?
Building a brand takes time. The process of building your brand should be inherent in everything you do including your marketing and advertising activities. You should include your brand assets in all of your content that you market to the world. The goal of building your brand is to become so prevalent in the minds of customers that your brand is the first thing they think of when they are in need of the types of products and services you provide.
Integrate Your Strategies: A Hybrid Approach to Brand Development
We all know how important online marketing is. But don’t forget that there are also many “real-world” techniques that still work. One of these is sending physical mailers such as postcards and flyers to potential customers. This technique is still highly effective and, when combined with online digital assets, you can create an entire strategy that works in both the real world and the online environment.
Don’t Leave Your Offline Customers Behind
One idea on how to implement this hybrid strategy is to include a coupon or redemption code on a real world flyer that is mailed to people in their mailboxes. Then have your URL to your website or sales page on the postcard where people can go to redeem the code. This type of approach helps to combine the best of both worlds and also appeal to people who may not be online but who still appreciate your brand.
Don’t Forget Mobile Users
When discussing any strategy involving an online brand marketing plan, it’s important to remember your mobile users. It is predicted that by the end of this year alone (2017), there will be around 4.77 mobile users worldwide looking for content and shopping opportunities. (Statista)
Forgetting about this growing number of people is like leaving money on the table. Also, Google wants business owners to include the mobile audience in your marketing strategies and to make your content user-friendly to mobile users. To see if your website is up to par with Google’s latest standards, use the mobile-friendly tool.
Developing a Brand Strategy
When it comes to developing a brand strategy for your brand, what should you do to make sure you are reaching the people you need to reach in the best way? How can you develop your brand while also focuses on your marketing? The truth is, the best brand strategy works hand-in-hand with your marketing plan so that everything you do helps build your brand marketing plan while also marketing your products. Just remember not to market without considering your brand. That’s what it’s all about.
Elements of Good Brand Development
When you are working on promoting your brand, you should focus on the elements of brand development. Many of these are digital assets that can be created by you or by hiring a professional design company. Some of the most important assets are listed below:
- Business logo– Your business logo is one of the most important assets that you have to help promote your brand. Remember that your logo will be everywhere, including in the offline and online environments. Developing a good professional logo design for your brand is one of the essential things that you can do to secure your spot as an online business. Without a great logo, you cannot stand out from your competition or create a unique personality for your brand, both of which are essential for building your brand.
- Website– Like your logo, your website should stand out and help you define yourself in a growing world of digital assets and online businesses. There are over 1 billion websites online today, many of these in your niche area. So you have to find a way to stand out. If your site is well-done, professional, and user-friendly, people will positively respond to your brand, and they will be more likely to consider doing business with you. Our expert team is dedicated fo building excellence website design service in Tulsa and all over the nation.So remember good brand development results in more sales and customers.
- Media assets– Having strong media assets such as professionally-done videos, podcasts, infographics, and other digital assets will go a long way toward helping you make an impact with your target audience.
- Social media presence– Having a strong social media presence is also important to building your brand. Part of your brand strategy should be to include a strong Facebook page, Twitter profile, and YouTube channel, to name a few. This starts with a great brand strategy that includes all of the digital assets that help positively promote your company. Media has a huge impact on building your brand strategy and presence online. The more people see you, your logo, your videos, and other assets, the more they will do business with you.
How to Use Marketing to Promote Your Brand
Hopefully by now, as a business owner, you are starting to see how marketing is different from the process of brand promotion. Marketing is important, and it helps you sell products and services. It helps you promote individual items, much as advertising does. They all work together to help you make sales. But building a brand is a much more comprehensive process that requires time, dedication, and expertise.
It involves using a wide variety of techniques, tools, and strategies that all point back to your brand. When you have a successful video channel on YouTube, along with a popular Facebook page that customers love to visit and comment on, and a weekly podcast or webcast that tells people what you’re going to be doing next, imagine the impact you can have on your target audience.
An Integrated Approach
Today, building a brand is about creating a strong presence in a variety of environments, channels, and platforms. Multichannel advertising, large scale promotions, and strong marketing all happen in unison when you coordinate your efforts and streamline the process.
When you think about how many ways you can get to your target audience, from Facebook posts, PPC ads, SEO Services, videos, and blogs, you start to see what it means to brand your business. It’s a concerted effort that combines the best of the best to create an image and personality for your business.
We talk to a lot of content writers in the various places we go, and many of them say that great writing is about giving people information. But it is more than that. It is capturing the personality of the writer in the content. The same goes for your brand strategy. When you create a good brand strategy, you are capturing the personality, persona, and unique characteristics of your brand for your customers to see.
When you focus on marketing a product alone, you may sell that one product. You may make one customer for one day. But when you sell your brand, you are creating a client for life, repeat sales, and recurring revenue, as well as brand evangelists.
What are Brand Evangelists?
The term “brand evangelists” refers to creating customers who are so in love with your brand that they go around converting others to try it too. You can find these people on social media, through your YouTube channel, and your website. Some of them evolve naturally because they like your products so much that they want to share with others.
How to Encourage Loyalty for Your Brand
You can enable such eager shoppers and brand evangelists by providing a social media share button on your website, as well as placing it beside specific products so that you can let your happy customers promote them on your site. Offer to reward loyal customers with future discounts for sharing and promoting your brand. This will go a long way toward increasing the level of appreciation for your brand.
But building brand evangelists just has to do with creating happy customers. This is why it is so important to focus on building your brand strategy and not worrying as much about marketing. If you have your brand strategy in place well, the rest should fall into place.
Understanding that your brand strategy is essential to your marketing will help you to focus your efforts on what is most important rather than spending too much time on advertising in isolation which typically only sells individual products but does nothing to promote your brand.
Increasing Customer Engagement
One of the factors that help to increase your brand’s marketing efforts is to increase your level of customer engagement. This involves some things, including creating a positive and user-friendly atmosphere that provides customers with an opportunity to connect with other customers who are interested in your brand. Creating a sense of comradeship between customers can help improve your credibility and create more sales and brand evangelists. It can also serve to help you connect with customers, as well.
How do I create or increase engagement for my brand?
You can do this by allowing comments on your videos on your YouTube channel, creating an on-site chat system, or by using social media, to name a few. Additionally, just creating more hype for product releases through the creation of infographics, videos, or other multimedia can help increase the level of interest in your brand. All of these components should work together and complement each other for a seamless, integrated marketing approach. In today’s digital world, nothing stands alone.
Another Idea: Special Events to Gain More Leads
Another important aspect of running a successful business online is to create a leads generation process that continues to work for you. It should be evergreen while still taking into account the various things you need to do to stay up with the seasons and trends.
Running contests and having special events or live videos can also increase your customer engagement levels. You can create live video events through a number of sources such as Ustream Live, YouTube, and Facebook.
The Steve Jobs Method: Leave Them Spellbound!
Steve Jobs was a special person. Not everyone has the charisma, unique talents, or abilities he did. But you too can create hype for your product releases and overall brand by following some of his methods. For example, can anyone forget how the earth stood still the day he unveiled his famed iPod in 2003? Let’s face it: it’s just a music player. Or is it? The way he came out on that stage that day in front of thousands of people and announced the iPod could only be compared to something Biblical.
He didn’t just walk out and say, “Here’s Apple’s new music player.” That was too simple. It lacked pizazz. So, instead, he looked out at the audience who had been waiting for this moment for months and said, “Close your eyes and imagine a thousand songs in your pocket.” When the silent crowd of over 1,000 people opened their eyes, he reached in and pulled out his magic music machine, and held it up, announcing that “this is the iPod.”
The crowd screamed with delight as they realized that Jobs and his creative team of A-players had been able to create something that seemed so incredible during that time that you would have thought it was sent down from Heaven. He continued, “Don’t think of this as a music player. No. It’s much more. This is a tool for the heart.”
And the iPod was born, millions of dollars of sales were made, and everyone went home happy. Well, everyone but Apple’s growing list of competitors who were upset that he, not they had created a virtual music player first.
That’s a great story that we love to tell whenever we need an example of real inspiration that comes from the passion of the heart and soul of the inventor or brand owner and permeates into the minds and hearts of countless millions who share his vision.
You can do this too if you can create hype and perhaps an air of mystery around what you have created. The iPod is old news now, but for that time, it was magic. Perhaps that’s what we create for brands when we contribute to creating a marketing and brand strategy for businesses. We understand the importance of making your brand seem so significant that it’s like nothing else on earth. This is our goal, to create uniqueness from something ordinary.
How to Create a Winning Brand: The Story of Hawaiian Tropic
When you analyze what makes a brand great, it’s not necessarily the products. It’s the brand strategy. Look at another example of greatness: Hawaiian Tropic. Just ask its creator, Ron Rice, a former 8th-grade Physical Science teacher who was stirring up a “concoction” in the basement in his spare time to create a better suntan lotion.
The product, he said was nothing extraordinary until he put it in the Hawaiian Tropic bottle, a beautiful bronze-colored bottle that seemed to communicate high quality, then added the bikini. That is, the bikini-clad long-haired lady sporting a great sun tan walking down a long beach in the Hawaiian coastline. Then add a guy who takes her hand as they walk off into the sunset. Sounds like the end of a romantic movie, right? But it was only the beginning for Hawaiian Tropic. Shortly after the airing of that now famous commercial, sales skyrocketed, proving once again that products are everything but the brand is everything.
We’re not saying that great products are not essential. You should do everything in your power to make your goods and services as great as they can be. But what we are saying is that focusing on the brand strategy can mean the difference in the perception others have about your brand. This has to do with “perceived value.” Perceived value is the value that others place on your brand. It is not the actual value which is the retail or street value of your products. It is the amount of value that others place on your brand due to what they, value. Matching up your customers’ needs with what you provide equals perceived value. Much of this strategy is done by focusing on your brand.
The Components of Marketing
Once you get your brand strategy right, you’ll start to see an increase in customer loyalty, brand recognition, and customer engagement. Then your marketing efforts will be more focused on your brand and the components of a successful marketing plan.
Building Your Brand
So where do you start to build your brand? Perhaps you have a great website, but you don’t think it’s growing at the rate you hoped to see by now. What can you do to increase your customer engagement levels, customer loyalty, and brand evangelists?
What can you do to watch your brand increase its level of credibility, improve your customer conversion rate, and ROI? It sounds like a tall order, but it’s pretty simple.
You just need someone who understands how it all works together and has the skills to build a systematic plan of execution. That’s where we come in.
Who are we? We are the brand experts at createthemovement.com. We focus on the components that are necessary to build a brand and make that the focus of our work. We take good companies and small businesses that have a presence on the internet and show them how they can do more, make more, and be more.
Using all of the components of a good product and marketing campaign, along with the integration of all of the main aspects of branding, we help brands find their voice and build their empire online.
We can’t promise you’ll be the next Apple or Hawaiian Tropic. But if you let us work on your brand, you’ll see positive changes take place for your online business.
Doing something is better than sitting back and hoping for the best. You must take some positive action to make something happen.
So go to our site and check out all of our services and find out what we do. Then let us know what your goals are for your business. Sometimes it’s only that one step you take that leads you to success.
Landing on the Moon
As a famous astronaut once said, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The same is true for your brand. If you make an effort to do one thing differently, you may find that it was just what you needed to boost your company to the moon.
Create the Movement
When it comes to landing on the moon, consider us your launching pad. Visit us today at createthemovement.com and see how we can help you make your brand a household name. Check out the many services we offer for brand development. We are your one-stop place for brand development. It all starts with one step.
Contact us to learn more. Don’t wait too long-the world is waiting!
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