Effective branding is hard. There are so many different ways for it to go wrong, and one of the most common weak points is a lack of ubiquity in a company’s branding efforts; customers aren’t always on your website or looking for your logo in other places, and if they don’t see it for a while, they may end up forgetting all about your company in the first place.
Some areas that call for branding are obvious, like a web site or a social media page, but there are plenty of gaps in branding that exist in even the most thoroughly planned branding strategy. We’ve put together this quick examination of some common branding blind spots, areas where a brand’s mark or influence may not yet have made it.
We discussed the importance of a solid email list and the content that’s effective to use when marketing via email in a previous article, but email is a highly versatile (and often misunderstood) medium when it comes to branding. In general, it’s a simple task to include your brand’s colors, imagery, and logo when designing mass emails with tools like templates or a style guide. However, many miss the mark when it comes to emails they send personally, like when they are helping a customer or reaching out to a lead. Including your brand’s stylings, even if it is just the use of colors or the brand’s logo on the email’s footer, is another way to increase your brand’s ubiquity and leave an impression.
Another medium that is enjoying renewed (and somewhat ironic interest in the digital age) is the telephone. Many people are looking specifically to connect with and talk to another person, not inanimate advertising, or worst of all: A robot. If your brand has a phone number for interested individuals to call, make sure you have guidelines for yourself and for others to answer the phone in the same way. Include key information like your brand’s name, a slogan if you have one, and an inviting greeting, like “We’re so glad you called today, how can we help?” Outside of phone hours, a voicemail message that contains the same brand elements and a promise to get back to the caller works wonders for solidifying your brand, and leave people with a positive impression of it.
Somewhere in your house is a mug, pen, fridge magnet, or a creepy teddy bear with a brand’s logo or slogan on it. Maybe you’re not even sure where you got some of these. (We can relate.) More importantly, however, is that many of these objects are something people use every day, with the exception of the weird teddy bear. One of the disadvantages that an exclusively digital brand has is an absence of presence in the physical sphere, and therefore a lack of interest or engagement from individuals who aren’t actively on the Internet or searching for your brand. Physical items can act as a bridge to your online presence, and everybody likes free stuff; consider giving away small tokens to other businesses or individuals with your branding on it, and allow the merchandise’s inevitable disbursement do the work of raising brand awareness for you.
One advertisement is better than zero, but things get more complicated once you have two or more. While advertisements are a form of marketing in and of themselves, they also represent an opportunity for branding. Advertisements that don’t make use of the same visual arrangements, colors, logotypes, fonts, or even words may be perceived by target audiences as being from different brands, which can lead to confusion or even dismissal by the same demographics you want to reach. Advertisements can, therefore, be used as great springboards to convey identifying information about your brand, and jumpstart the process of associating your brand with more material than just ads based upon recognition of your brand’s marque in areas like blogs, and other content, like…
Much of the Internet’s purpose is to share information that may otherwise be obscure or difficult to access locally. While this sounds like a grand statement about research, or connectedness, what we really mean here is that the Internet is fantastic for sharing weird stuff, or more professionally, specific content. Anyone can turn on the TV and watch mass-produced, palatable media, so why would they look for that online? This is where your brand can step in. Providing content that is tailored to your audience’s interests creates another area where you can utilize your brand’s imagery and style to raise awareness. As a bonus, brand credibility will come from sharing content your audience enjoys without an overt sales pitch.
Great webinars themselves give your brand credibility and an awareness boost, but for the same reason that simple bullet-style presentation helps your audience stay on top of the subjects being discussed inside a webinar, consistent brand messaging used during your webinar helps to solidify the connection your viewers make between your webinar’s value and your brand. In some cases, brand messaging inside a webinar can help viewers who may have joined via an invitation from a friend identify who is actually hosting the webinar if they weren’t made aware of it beforehand. Webinar branding can be very simple and low-key, like the use of common fonts and your brand’s logo in the corner. In fact, the WebinarJam platform offers support both for seamlessly importing template-branded PowerPoint or Keynote presentations during your live time, as well as the inclusion of in-video annotations, pinned messages, and other techniques to tell your audience who you are.
We hope that this guide may have provided you with some ideas about where your own brand may have some blind spots, and pointed you in the right direction towards shining a light on the areas your brand needs it the most. Now, go out there and spread your brand like wildfire!
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