Branding is the game changer in today’s digital world. It is justified to say that it has the power to change customer’s perception of your brand.
If you intend to stay in the market for the long-term, then it is imperative, you start focusing on turning your business into a brand from DAY ONE.
If you are not sure what is branding, consider two shoes. One is a regular pair of shoes; second is Nike. Which one has more value? What do you perceive by thinking of Nike? Athletes, quality, fast, performance.
That’s how the brand works. Think about Pepsi and regular soda. What’s the difference? One is quality; you know that its quality will always remain the same, no matter from where you buy it.
1. Consistent Quality
This brings us to one IMPORTANT point in business. Brands mean consistent quality.
Every startup indeed started from somewhere, every brand was once ‘just another business.’ But it was its quality and consistency in service that transformed it into a brand.
Around 46% of startups fail in their first year because most of them are incompetent and can’t provide consistent service. – Statistic Brain.
2. Marketing It Like a Brand
The second IMPORTANT point in branding a business is marketing. It is how you market your business.
You need to market your business in a way that people experiencing a problem always think about your business when they think about a specific product/service.
Take UBER. No one waits for a taxi. That is too old school. They call UBER through their smartphones. UBER is now a brand that everyone remembers.
UBER knew that people experienced a problem because it ran an experiment in a small city. Once it knew that the market is everywhere, BOOM! It expanded.
3. Solve a Major Problem
This is the third IMPORTANT point in business. Be an answer to a problem. A problem that masses experience.
Remember, unless you are solving a significant problem that masses experience regularly, your brand won’t grow BIG. To make it so, you have to come up with solutions that are out of the box.
Brands get 73% more customers than businesses without any branding – Small biz Genius.
4. Identify your customers
This brings us to our fourth IMPORTANT point. Recognize who your customer is or can be. Remember, as a businessman; you need to understand that not everyone can be your customer. The sooner you realize who your customer is, the better.
The best way to find out who your potential customer can be is by creating a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a group of characteristics that you think each of your customers will have.
Companies that have a buyer persona are likely to get 71% more customers than those companies that don’t have one. Stephen Zoeller.
5. Read Your Audience In a Smart Way
Meet your customers where they spend the most time. Let’s take the example of that UBER business model again. Where is UBER finding its target market? The answer is everywhere where pedestrians are. Their ads are placed on top of a bus stop. On the local radio station, on your mobile phone, and even on the Facebook Newsfeed.
This is called intelligent marketing, and that is how you can reach your target customers faster than others can. Now clever algorithms also allow you to retarget to your previous customers
Note: Don’t just market your product, instead focus on offering valuable content that your potential customers can learn from. If you do ‘in your face advertisements,’ most of your customers will get the blind vision – in which they will be ignoring your adverts unintentionally all the time.
While marketing, your buyer persona will help you in creating campaigns directed at your audience.
According to a study, 44% of marketers have a buyer persona created before the launch of the campaign – ITSMA.
6. Have a Budget In Mind& On Paper
Around 30% of startups fail because they run out of cash – Forbes.
The best thing you can do with your budget is to keep it safe and use it wisely. Almost all startups need money. So, even if you are sure that one thing will work, don’t spend too much money on it in the first go. Instead, take things slowly and test your product with small chunks of money. Once you are sure that the campaign will work, you can start adding more money to the campaign.
Let’s say you own a leather jacket online store and per click bidding price is around $3. You are sure that you can make around 30 sales by spending $100, but you are doing it the first time. So, what is wise for you? Better to spend only $10 first and see how many orders you can get. If you can make 3 sales or more, you should scale your budget otherwise not.
Also, make sure that you have a goal in mind or a target that you have to achieve by the end of the year. If your startup is aimless, it won’t go much farther.
7. Go BIG On Social
According to Techcrunch.com, Facebook has over 2 billion people and combines that with Instagram (1.5 billion) and YouTube (800 million), and you have around 4 billion people to whom you can market your products. As a startup, these are some of the best ways to get initial traction for your business. You don’t need to create something expensive, even a small infographic, sweepstake, or a funny video that relates to your brand in some way will do it.
You can also boost your best performing campaigns to get more people to learn about your product and service.
Note: Social media platforms don’t always translate into sales. So, make sure that you have a social media strategy along with an organic SEO strategy.
8. Don’t Forget SEO& Content Marketing
While all else is fine. It won’t work if your startups’ SEO & content marketing strategy is not up-to-the-mark.
Only 36% of digital businesses have a proper SEO strategy in place – Business Insider.
If you want to make it big on the internet, you will need both social media and search engines to market your products. Social media is mostly about brand awareness unless you use paid channels. But you can quickly get leads for your business while making them aware of your products – both at the same time.
A quick tip: Your SEO efforts are long-lasting. This means if you create a content strategy today, it will bring you results even after two years.
That’s all you need to know to make your startup into a killer brand in minimum time. Remember, on the internet; customers are the voice of your brand. If they say something against your brand, it can drastically affect your business. So, keep on the good side of your customers if you want your brand to flourish and last for long.