Branding for beginners: 4 tips for a stronger image
Every entrepreneur knows that you need a name and a logo to market yourself. Because without a strong image, nobody knows who you are and what you stand for. But branding goes much further than simply stamping your logo on every business asset and piece of mail. Four tips to strengthen your company image.
What is an image? The image your customers have of you. And that can be quite different from your real identity. Due to the influence of media and especially social media, it is becoming increasingly difficult to fully control your image and reputation. But while as a company you always run the risk of becoming the target of someone's New Year's Eve conference (Youp van 't Hek about Buckler beer) or negative reporting (“press much more negative about banks”), you certainly have influence yourself.
4 tips for a better company image
- Who are you and what do you do? Some ads don't tell you anything at all. And with other expressions you really don't know who it comes from. What do you stand for? This is also a continuous issue for Bloeise. Communication agency? Ghost writer? Facebook specialist? Only when you have this clear to yourself, can you communicate it clearly. Bonus tip for networking: tell why you do what you do. That always makes your story interesting, even if you do insurance or administration.
- Consistent in everything. It shouldn't matter who helps you at that supplier, wholesaler or showroom, but often it does. The same goes for the utterances, and that's not just because the story is adapted to the channel. Consistency means that you communicate your story in the same way, with the same house style colours, tone (you or you?), visual material, storylines. And if you change something, do it completely and everywhere. That's why this tip: keep your house style and story in a document (a house style manual) that you can easily have handy when creating an expression.
- Think from your customer's point of view. Being followed on every site you visit by those red shoes you looked at at Wehkamp that weren't in your size. Annoying screaming advertising from Zalando. Well-known examples of well-known brands. But also standard confirmation emails from MailChimp with wrong translations can annoy. Just like needlessly repetitive advertising. This way you load your brand with a negative sentiment. Think from the perspective of your customer. That means that you 'design' and think about how your brand comes across. And you can only do that if you look at every contact you have with a customer: via every channel (online, offline) and every employee. So that colleague from administration who calls about that unpaid invoice also does branding. Because barking someone off is never good, especially if it is for example due to a death in the family. Tip: play your own customer and go through the entire process of becoming a customer and staying a customer. What could be better? So-called no-brainers are you business card, you business account and you printed matter.
- Be generous. Getting something is not only very nice, but also triggers it principle of reciprocity making customers feel 'obliged' to give something back. As a content marketer, I would of course like to point out that sharing your knowledge via blogs and white papers will help you thought leadership and leads results, but of course you can also give offline. For example, take a look in your kitchen cupboard at the office: which coffee mugs did you receive? Because how does it feel when you drink from that one cool coffee mug? Good tip for promotional gifts is Premiumgids.nl.
And lastly, don't take yourself so seriously. It's just work. By that I mean that you can safely show a personal side, like Coolblue does, for example. Show that the company consists of people who carry out their work with passion.