As a business, your brand is everything. Your brand tells the world who you are, attracts new customers, and strengthens your relationships with your existing ones.
Building a strong brand is essential in order to grow and thrive as a business. There are many ways to do this, but if you want to truly build a strong brand rise above the competition, it is necessary to get smart with your strategies.
Here are 7 clever ways to build your brand.
- Work with Influencers
Influencers are, well, influential with consumers these days. A recommendation from an influencer can exponentially increase sales of a particular product or service. In order to build profitable relationships with influencers, it is important to first find the right influencers to work with.
Look for influencers that have a large number of followers in your target market. You can find influencers in just about every niche, whether film or music celebrities, social media personalities or subject matter experts. Once you have identified the right influencers, start building a relationship. You can ask them to review or simply promote your product, but this is much better when it comes out of a long term relationship. Asking for honest opinions and reviews is also much more powerful than simply asking for an endorsement.
- Build Credibility on Quora
Quora is becoming a platform where more and more users go to find answers. This also makes it a great place for brands to share information and build credibility. Providing valuable, expert answers that are relevant to your business and your niche shows you are an expert in your field, building trust with your audience.
You can augment your Quora responses by linking to content on your website that is relevant to the question asked. Not only does this give a more comprehensive, valuable response, but it also promotes your content, driving traffic to your website that could turn into new customers.
- Have a Referral Program
Referrals are one of the best ways to get new customers and build your brand image. Encouraging your existing customers to refer your products or services to people they know by offering incentives is a highly effective way to grow your customer base.
One example of a brand that uses incentive-based referrals very effectively is Dropbox. Dropbox offers current users of the platform a bonus 500 MB for each person they refer, up to 16 GB total. This was particularly advantageous to the company in its early stages, generating a great deal of word-of-mouth publicity.
- Relate to Your Customers on a Personal Level
Building a strong brand that your customers feel strongly about involves relating to them on a personal level. Building a personal relationship with your customers means they are more likely to remain loyal to you and be lifetime customers.
A great way to relate to your customers on a personal level is by sending them a card or gift on their birthday. This is a truly personal touch that your customers will appreciate. Use the information you have on your customer databases such as name, gender, and date of birth, to send your customers a message on their birthday. You could even take it a step further and send them a small gift like a coupon or special discount.
- Use Storytelling Techniques
Stories are a powerful and compelling way to build any brand. Good storytelling evokes emotion, which builds relationships with your users and strengthens your brand in their eyes. Brand storytelling can take a range of different approaches. For example, companies can share the story of how the business came to be, and the problem they set out to address. This is also a great way to highlight the problem you solve for your customers.
Another effective storytelling approach is to tell stories of hypothetical (or genuine) customers, and the benefits they have received from using your products or services. Compelling, story-based content is a powerful way to engage customers and build your brand across many industries, from B2B companies to Amazon-based e-commerce businesses. Check this Amazon brand content guide for more on creating compelling, branded content for Amazon.
- Hold Contests
Contests are another great way to build your brand. Contests generate engagement and help to spread the word about your business as users share contest details with their network. Contests are also a way to reward your most loyal and engaged customers with prizes and discounts.
Examples of successful contests include photo contests, where you invite followers to post a photo of themselves using your product, and include a hashtag related to your business and the contest. You could also ask followers to answer a question related to your product, and share it with their networks.
- Own Your Mistakes
One of the most telling brand behaviors is how they respond when they make a mistake. Everyone messes up from time to time, even big companies, and the important thing is how you deal with it afterward.
Showing you can own your mistakes humanizes your brand to your audience. Furthermore, it builds trust and often gains you their respect.