Branding is essential for any startup trying to get off the ground. Once you have you your branding –a company must protect its brand’s image by keeping it alive.
Marketing strategy helps keep your brand going — but your entire company is responsible to get your brands name out there and to retain your name and brand as a reliable trusted source. One difficult customer retention or service encounter can do years worth of damage to your brand and company. Consider having (or building) a brand expert within the marketing person or marketing department.
Branding for better customer engagement.
Here are 12 ways to improve your product branding for better customer engagement, whether your company is new or well-established.
Content as well as product quality and exposure are going to get your brand ahead. But “content” is a dry word for what can be some very fun stuff. Old Spice’s famous “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” spot went massively viral (its current YouTube view count is over 50 million) because it was fun to watch. Old Spice entertained its customers and reaped the profits: according to Adweek, the ad generated an 11% increase in sales.
Knowledge is power, and your consumers know it. If you can offer useful information to your ideal customers, you’re much more likely to draw them to your website and nurture a positive emotional response. Whole Foods, for example, shows it knows its customers by providing almost 4,000 recipes on its website.
People, and especially millennials, love to identify as “makers.” A millennial knitter may love a yarn company because their creativity-based brand personality syncs up with the knitter’s self-perception. And any creative person is going to appreciate something that provides inspiration. This is why providing inspiration for crafty and creative customers (Pinterest is a huge platform for this) and responding to their creations on social media can be such a powerful tool.
Play up your niche.
In a world where Amazon is responsible for about half of all e-commerce sales, startups can feel like the deck is stacked against them. But your unique product isn’t designed for everyone on the planet: it addresses a specific market need, felt by specific people. Make sure your branding caters to these people first and foremost–if you’ve reached them, you’ve already reached a huge portion of your customer base.
New customers are great, but they’re expensive: Brandwatch recently reported on research discovering that customer acquisition is six to seven times more expensive than customer retention. This is why making attentive customer service part of your brand personality is so important. Caring, responsive customer service helps your customers feel truly valued, and that’s what will turn them into brand-loyal repeat customers.
Remarketing shows online ads to people who visited your website without completing a purchase. These ads are so effective because they target people who largely are already interested in your product, even if they’re on the fence about buying it. Remarketing can be the little branding push that helps them press “buy”. Marketing firm Adhesion reports that remarketing is one of their most cost-effective strategies.
Maybe you can’t afford to plaster your logo on a NASCAR winner, but even small brands can find savvy sponsorships. Sponsorships attach your brand identity with something your ideal customers already value. If you’re looking for more local customers, you could sponsor a worthy local cause. Try sponsoring a podcast whose listeners are your ideal customers: Hawke Media reports that 71% of podcast listeners visited a sponsor’s website.
Smart Social Media.
Whole books have been written about the ins and outs of social media marketing, but you don’t have to get a marketing degree to learn some basics. For example, HootSuite reports that Twitter is especially popular among college-educated millennials. If that describes your customer base, allocate your social media resources accordingly.
Referrals build branding because they capitalize on one of the most important marketing connections that exist: personal relationships. According to Invesp, consumers are 90% more likely to buy a product that’s been recommended by a friend. When people feel good enough about your product to tell others, it sends a powerful message to future consumers about your brand. You can incentivize this process by offering rewards to customers who bring in more customers.
Popular kids mattered in high school, and they matter in the world of branding, too. But things have gotten a little smarter: your ideal influencer can be cool, but they might be an even better fit if they’re experts on the products you’re trying to sell. A good influencer partner can be very cost-effective: Tomoson reports that businesses make about $6.50 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing.
Okay, so you should probably do this one whether you’re branding a business or not. But promoting ethical and eco-conscious values can really raise your brand’s profile. A 2015 Nielsen survey found that almost 75% of millennials will pay more for products they know are sourced sustainably. To attract this sizable consumer base, make eco-conscious and ethical production decisions. And make sure consumers know you did it.
Step up your packaging.
Imagine that you visited a store with no sign outside and a fly-specked, flickering ceiling light inside. You know the store has a product you want, but the aesthetics of your visit are hardly adding to your shopping experience.
That’s what ignoring the packaging component of e-commerce branding is like. For many customers, receiving a package is the first time they experience your company physically rather than just online. It’s a big branding moment, and you want your package to look its best.
That’s why you should take a look at Packlane. Users can go to Packlane.com, choose a box style and size, and then design a work of art. You can upload logos and artistic motifs, select background colors and add text, and arrange components however you want. Unlike most custom box printing services, Packlane doesn’t charge more for using more than a few colors, and they can cover your box’s entire surface area both inside and out.
The results can be truly beautiful–check out their blog or Instagram to see the wide variety of styles customers have come up with. Packlane’s transparent pricing system can be scaled down much further than most other custom services as well–if you need an order of only 25 containers, Packlane can help. This makes Packlane an essential tool for any startup that wants to put its best face forward when shipping to customers.
What are some other strategies for improving your product branding?