No matter what industry you are in, a strong brand strategy is a must. The goal seems simple enough: get your slogan, logo or spokesperson (or animal) ingrained in your audience’s mind so that they have a higher chance of turning to your product when they need it. With online platforms, unleashing your brand strategy to the world makes it even more obtainable.
I’m new to brand strategy, you may be thinking. I have an idea of how to reach my audience in traditional ways but don’t even know where to start online.
You’re not alone. Many businesses aren’t sure how to effectively craft their brand into a strong entity and carry over that message to the World Wide Web. That’s why we’ve come up with several steps for success to get your brand headed in the right direction.
Here are 5 ways to inspire the launch of your brand’s online strategy:
Step One: Outline what your brand is and is not
Before you can broadcast your message out to the masses, you need to decide what makes up your company’s brand. What do you sell? How is it different than other products? How will you present your product to your target audience? Hammer down the specifics on your brand strategy before you start signing up for social networking sites and make sure your message is clear, accessible and easy to relate to.
Step Two: Come up with a “mascot”
Brands benefit from spokespeople or characters. Take Progressive, for example. Progressive’s eccentric and quick-witted character, Flo, is a fun and personable character that plays on the emotions of customers. Many people trust the Progressive brand because of the company’s commercials and human-like presence on social media. Your customers want to interact with a personable online presence not an entity. Humanizing your brand is key to obtaining and keeping customers.
Step Three: Determine which social platforms are the best for your message
Now that you have your brand’s message and content figured out, you need a platform on which to communicate with your customers. A great example to look to is Old Spice. The deodorant company’s quirky and hilarious brand message lends itself to many social media sites, but they tailor most of their content for a small handful of platforms. The brand particularly excels at releasing quality video content on YouTube and witty one- or two- liners on Twitter. (They’ve even been known to get into hysterical spats with Taco Bell once in a while.) Don’t get caught up in the infinite social media sites and think you need to have a presence on all of them. Chose two or three to start with and build your presence on those sites.
Step Four: Maintain brand image across all platforms
There’s nothing more frustrating to a customer than a non-consistent message or image. What does the company actually stand for? Who are they, really? If they’re not consistent with their image, are they consistent with what they offer? These questions are reasons why it is so crucial to maintain a company’s brand across all platforms: website, social media, and content creation. Disney is a great example of a corporation that sticks to the same voice and brand image across the digital universe.
Step Five: Don’t be afraid to break the mold
Launched in 2004, Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty overturned the standard beauty industry message by showing women they are beautiful no matter what. Dove wasn’t afraid to broadcast a message that might be offensive to some, including fellow beauty industry leaders. Ultimately, however, the brand is widely accepted and the campaign has been recognized as one of the most effective company campaigns in the last decade. What is your message? Do you represent a product or idea that has the power to change the way people think or feel? Don’t hold back. Represent your brand’s message in a thought-provoking light by using social media to your advantage.