Are you posting a lot of content but still not cutting through the noise? Maybe it’s time to check if your brand is truly working to its best potential.
You’ve heard it all before: a strong brand increases business visibility.
But the benefits of having a distinctive brand doesn’t stop there: it makes customer acquisition and charging a premium much easier, even during a recession.
Yet despite all this, many business leaders lack a real understanding of branding. Thus, poor branding can have a lasting impact on the bottom line. Let's have a look at some of the most common branding mistakes, and how to avoid them.
1) Not giving enough attention to building the brand.
In today's fast-moving world, it's easy to fall behind the curve without noticing it. Many businesses are so focused on sales and operations that they treat their brand as an afterthought. But if they don't take their brand seriously, who will? In the attention economy, everyone has a brand whether they look after it or not.
A strong brand is the combination of reputation, visibility and a clearly articulated difference. Having an excellent reputation within a particular circle is great, but not having enough visibility will make it hard to grow.
For example, being highly visible by posting content often, but without a remarkable difference will get you lost in a sea of noise. The key is reputation, visibility and remarkable difference. You need all three to grow long term, both profitably and sustainably.
A strong brand is the combination of reputation, visibility and a clearly articulated remarkable difference.
2) Putting tactics before strategy
There is immense pressure to keep up with technology and the latest digital marketing trends. As a result, many businesses feel that by simply creating content on an adhoc basis and often posting on social media, they'll win more clients.
They invest a lot of time and resources in tactical activities such as blogging or creating online videos to build an extensive following, only to realise many months down the line that a follower isn't necessarily a buyer.
Following is not buying. Social media audiences are incredibly fickle, as just because someone has decided to follow you on social media doesn't mean they are fully engaged with your business. You can have a 100 'likes' but no sales. Sound familiar?
Technology is only a tool and is nothing if you haven't got something compelling to say. All your content should be cohesive and 'on brand'.
If a piece of content doesn't enhance your reputation, increase your visibility or communicate your remarkable difference in a way that inspires action, it's just a waste of time and resources.
To ensure all your content is on brand, you need to think strategically before embarking in any kind of tactical marketing activities, however tempting that might be. Build solid foundations first, which will pay for themselves tenfold for years to come.
Have you defined the best-fit and most profitable positioning for your business? What is your remarkable difference? It is rarely what you sell, or how you do it, but rather some intangible 'X factor' which makes your customers feel connected with your business in a way that competitors will find hard to copy or imitate.
Consistent brand presentation across all platforms increases revenue by up to 23% (Forbes)
3) Lack of brand differentiation
We all know that a profitable business is a business that has found its niche, but we often forget that it's also by finding a niche within a niche. Taking a stand and not being afraid of being different takes courage. Still, it's worth noticing that every successful business with legions of raving fans also often have just as many vocal detractors.
Brand differentiation, through intelligent positioning, is even more vital for smaller businesses with limited resources and marketing budgets. It establishes reputation, increases visibility and communicates remarkable difference all in one swoop and at minimum marketing spend.
Positioning your business is the most fundamental act of leadership. It defines your why, what, how and will inform all future critical business decisions you'll make for many years to come, from which clients to work with to who to hire when growing your team. Ask yourself the fundamental positioning question: 'How are we going to become and remain different?'
Following isn't buying. You can have a thousand followers but no sales.
Building a strong brand isn't easy. It requires focus, commitment and seeing branding as a long term investment rather than a quick-lived short-term win.
Start evaluating where you are today by taking Acacia's brand performance scorecard.
It is confidential, free and will give you more clarity about your brand and how to prioritise business growth initiatives.
Taking the brand performance scorecard only takes ten minutes and you'll receive a personalised report via email within 48 hours.
The future belongs to those who build it. Don't wait.
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