Your brand is your most valuable business asset: you pour resources into establishing your brand as a symbol of everything you provide to the market, and when they see it, experience it, and hear about it, it should be telling your customers that they’re welcome, and what you provide is for them.
In order to do it’s job, and bring people to your business, your brand needs to be visible to as many as possible. If your brand is a sign pointing to your business, it shouldn’t an inch high, hidden in bushes and visible only to people who go looking for it, it should be a mile high, standing proud against the skyline to guide your customers home. But how can you achieve that? Today we’re putting brand visibility under the spotlight to give you some tips.
What is a Brand?
Firstly, we have to know what a brand is. It’s so much more than what you might think of as your ‘branding’ – logos and advertising. A brand is every way your customers experience your company, from yes, posters, banners and broadcast adverts, to the colour scheme used in your stores, and how your customer service staff answer when they pick up the phone.
Look at Waitrose: they have a strong, carefully defined palate they paint across their marketing and packaging, but also values that ring through everything they do. Even jokes about the apparently luxury items included in their ‘Essentials’ range are an expression of the Waitrose brand that signal to potential that this shop is perfect for them.
If you haven’t thought about how can express your brand in every part of your business, not just advertising, start now, and come up with a plan your employees can implement, whether it’s a formula of words for greeting customers, or a change to your refund policy to emphasise your generosity, exclusivity or whatever other value you need.
Before you can make improvements, you need to know how your brand currently stands. Work with a market research company on brand tracker surveys to compare your visibility with your competitors – if you’re lagging it’s a signal you need to change your approach.
With a thorough understanding of what your brand stands for and how it ranks with others in the field, it’s time to boost your visibility. Advertising campaigns can help here, with more research required to find out the best places to deploy them for maximum effect. If you’re chasing a millennial audience, full page ads in the Telegraph are going to be a waste of resources at best.
Consider associating yourself with events that appeal your chosen customers – the biggest brands can endorse football teams, round the world races, arts festivals, but even if you’re working at a lower level you have plenty of options. Even if you’re just a local shop trying to make more of a splash, making your presence felt at a fete or school sports day can build you a local profile. If you don’t deal with the general public but are a strictly b2b operation, get a foot in the door by offering sponsorship to a relevant conference, or organising your own!
Though it requires the outlay of resources, this can build you visibility, and you’ll your investment recouped with greater and greater numbers of customers and clients.