“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” – Jeff Bezos
The above tweet, by the popular business tycoon, effectively summarizes the essence and significance of branding. Though it has always been a vital part of business strategies, a good brand design, in this era of digitalization of businesses, is becoming more important than ever. The advent of social media has given consumers the exposure to a wide array of businesses offering similar products and services. To survive in this market of cut-throat competition, businesses need to go that extra mile to stand out in the crowd, and the way to do that is good branding with unique designs. Branding creates an individual identity for your company, and also increases its credibility before potential clients. Extensive branding practices also lead to an eventual increase in a company’s revenue, market shares and stakeholders too.
Now that the importance of branding has been established, it is safe to say that branding is more of a long-term investment for your company than an added, avoidable expense. Contrary to popular belief, branding is not some expensive marketing technique, that is only feasible for big and established businesses. The cost of branding depends upon parameters like the market you are in and the level you wish to play at, so it naturally varies from case to case. However, with some research and common sense, it is possible to build a good brand design on a tight budget. Listed below are some tips and tricks to help you build your brand image effectively, without burning a giant hole in your pockets.
1. Know Your Audience
This is the underlying principle of all good marketing strategies. Identifying your target audience, their demands and consumption patterns, is the first step towards formulating a brand image that will appeal to them. Understanding your potential customers’ problems and branding your products and services as a solution to those identified problems, helps in building an emotional connect with the audience- an important base for customer loyalty.
Let us assume that your product is Protein Supplements. Your target audience will thus comprise gymming enthusiasts, ranging from young to middle-aged adults in the age group of 18-35. Such an audience will usually be on the lookout for pocket-friendly alternatives, with social media being their preferred platform for research. This information will help businesses dealing in Protein Supplements to build their brand design accordingly- to provide solutions to their audiences’ demands and convey their message to them through proper channels.
2. Establish Your Brand Identity
This is unarguably one of the most crucial aspects of branding, and can conveniently be achieved on a limited budget. A brand’s identity is a combination of elements like their definition and design. Defining a brand entails deciding on your goals and vision, drafting your core brand message, and deciding on the promise that you will make with every brand communication.
The power of first impressions is universally acknowledged and the audiences’ first impression of a brand depends largely on their design. It is the company’s visual identity, their signature look. Unique designs are thus essential in making the brand recognizable and memorable in a crowded market. Common elements of a brand’s design and their respective significance can be discussed as follows:-
Logo : A logo is the face of a brand so it must clearly communicate the brand’s objectives and values. Care should be taken to make the logo clear, uncluttered and classic.
Tagline : A catchy tagline, laced with wit and humour, serves a dual purpose of making your brand standout and etching it into the audiences’ memory.
Website : As the client’s window to your business, the website requires to be effectively designed. Clear fonts, aesthetic color schemes and the inclusion of interactive content increases the appeal of your website.
The design pattern and scheme of your brand must be consistent across all platforms (websites, social media, business cards, brochures, pamphlets, billboards, hoardings etc) as irregularities in brand design is counterproductive to good branding.
3. An out-of-the-box USP
No matter how unique your business idea sounds to you, chances are, there are already tons of other such businesses. To grab the audience’s attention in this saturated market, you need to prepare a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that will establish the point of difference between your brand and its competitors, and serve as a key in converting potential customers to your side.
Let’s study the case of MamaEarth in this regard. To stand out among other brands selling toxin-free products, MamaEarth relied on marketing the idea of sustainability. They started a ‘Plant Goodness’ initiative, whereby a tree was planted for every product sold. This struck an emotional chord with the audience, making them believe that purchasing from MamaEarth meant contributing towards environmental well-being. Analysts at Jefferies India Pvt. Ltd. have credited MamaEarth’s current annual revenue rate of ₹700 crores, largely to this unique branding strategy.
4. Utilize Social Media to its Maximum Potential
Social media is the best platform for branding your business without investing big bucks. According to the 2020 Sprout Social Index Report, 89% of consumers purchase from brands that they follow on social media and 57% of them follow a company’s social media pages to be notified about their new launches. The first step is to study the platforms’ audience demographic breakdown to understand who to target and where, and then allocate resources accordingly.
Your brand’s social media pages should contain unique designs but also display consistency in the fonts and color schemes used. Regularity in posting can be achieved by planning and scheduling posts using free social media calendars. Besides posting quality content, using popular hashtags and interactive content like polls and quizzes also goes a long way in increasing your brand’s social media reach, without resorting to paid promotions. Involving local influencers in your brand’s PR campaigns is also a budget-friendly branding strategy.
5. Increase Audience Interaction
The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly popularised webinars. They involve direct interaction with the audience and with some brainstorming, can be leveraged into a fantastic budget-branding exercise.
For instance, a brand selling art supplies can easily conduct a free webinar on different brush stroke techniques. This can serve as a live advertisement of the different paint brushes sold by your brand, on a limited budget, and help you earn new leads.
6. Prioritize Customer Service
A 2020 Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Study has revealed that customer service is a deciding factor for consumers while making purchases, even more than the quality of the product or service offered. Prioritizing customer service goes on to save a lot of money on advertising as it creates word-of-mouth among the audience. This is called earned media i.e., the recognition of your brand through remarkable service than paid promotions. Providing 24×7 customer support- taking complaints over calls and timely answering queries over social media- is one way to establish good customer service.
We hope that this article has helped in debunking the myth of good business branding being an expensive affair. With some good brainstorming, branding can be easily done on a budget. For umbrella solutions on all your branding problems, contact our team of experts at Digital Polo. We pride ourselves in delivering tasks within 48 hours or less, with the added benefit of unlimited revisions and 24×7 phone support, at reasonable prices.