The path one must follow toward successful brand building is certainly no yellow brick road. It's more of a walk through a creepy forest. Still, the journey is worth it. Let us tell you how you can overcome the six biggest challenges when building a brand.
Building things is simple, right? You just need to add more to the foundation so that it grows and develops over time. For instance, when builders construct a new house, it’s just a case of adding more bricks and cement. After a few days of arranging these bricks together, they will have created a very sturdy home. Can you do the same when building a brand?
As simple as that sounds, there are always some challenges when building a brand. Just ask any builder and they will likely list a whole load of problems that could occur, such as trying to keep things waterproof and well-insulated.
Even though you won’t need to worry about these specific construction problems when you are trying to build your brand, you will still run into some issues of your own. In fact, most business owners complain that building a brand is one of the hardest aspects of their job. That’s because there are several things you need to juggle all the same time; you might find that there are just too many plates to keep up in the air.
You need a consistent brand that (deep breath) stands out, reflects your message, reaches the right target audience, and resonates with people. When you add all of that together, it can turn into a really big ask!
However, that doesn’t mean that building a brand is impossible. Sure, it’s challenging, but all of those challenges have solutions. Here are a few ways to resolve any issues that may crop up when you are trying to build your brand.
Your brand should always be relevant. If you ever find that you’re out of the loop, whether that’s regarding new technologies or trends, you will lose valuable customers. These days, the public expect companies to be modern and ahead of the curve. If you’re not, you’ll find that your level of customer engagement starts to drop.
Hack: Engage with your audience more! It really is as simple as that. And how do you better engage with them? You need to know who you are dealing with. Find out who your target audience is.
Once you understand your audience, know their communication preference, and understand exactly what it is that they want; you will become a lot more relevant to them. Don’t forget that their wants might change over time too—as long as you think outside the box and adapt to these changes, you won’t ever lose your relevance.
Do you think that your target audience misses or confuses your company’s message? They don’t really understand what you do? That will be because you haven’t built a brand story yet.
Hack: Write your story and let everyone know about it. Not doing this could make it harder for you to create a brand that is completely trusted—it’s the story that adds the human side to your brand and will make you relatable and easy to connect with.
Make your brand human and give it a face, but be sure to do so in a simple way. That will ensure that it resonates with your customers. Doing this well is easier than inventing a mystical creature and trying to sell it, trust us!
If your target audience isn’t aware of your brand, then how are they going to become a customer? Or perhaps they have heard of you but aren’t really sure what you do or why they need to start using you. It’s like leaving your brand in a dark room and not telling anyone it’s there. Hardly the way to win new customers!
Hack: Brand awareness is so important that we wrote an entire post about it. It’s simple to turn this problem around, though. There are many things you can do:
- jump onto the influencer marketing bandwagon
- flex your social media muscle
- make sure all the branding on any product packaging stands out
- start writing content your target audience wants to see
Choose one to start with and see an impact over time.
You have an audience who you are constantly talking to you, but they still don’t really understand your company’s message.
Hack: There is one thing that can fix this: content marketing! It’s been said for years but it really does still ring true that content is king. To make it work for you, you should share various forms of content that each aims to inform your audience about your brand. Take your pick from blog posts, infographics, videos, webinars… the list is endless. If a piece of content will educate and inform your target audience don’t be afraid to use it!
You should also use SEO, social media, and marketing newsletters too. These can help your content reach the people who it is intended for.
Even if you don’t realize it, your brand will be producing data. Whether you actually have this data or not is another thing. Then, not using this data is a huge error as continually analyzing it will help you figure out which campaigns are bringing you the results you need.
Hack: Don’t worry if you find it difficult to make time to review your data. There are plenty of tools and resources that will do this for you. They will track important KPIs to ensure that your campaigns are working.
Why not start using brand tracking software? Once you do, you will have a good overview of your brand awareness (aided and unaided), perception, and consideration. You’ll also be able to track your competitors’ performance as well.
Do you find that your brand is being used incorrectly throughout your organization? That, on a whole, you are unable to deliver what you promised and your message is inconsistent? If so, try to bring more consistency so all of your platforms are giving off the same message.
Hack: Write up some brand guidelines and make sure everyone has a copy. Then no one has any excuse when they diverge from the expected branding. These guidelines need to outline how the brand logo should be used and the exact tone that needs to be used in all content. It’s perfectly fine for tone to change depending on the channel, but make sure everyone is up to speed with these nuances.
You might want to set up a workshop so that you can spend some time training your team on the brand. Everyone can be brought up to speed and you can go away happy knowing that everyone is on the same page.
One other great tip to improve brand consistency is to centralize your content calendar. Everyone then knows which topics have been covered and the ones that need to be worked on.
You might be thinking that creating such a strong brand sounds like a whole lot of extra work for you. Trust us, though; it really is worth it. Even if you simply work at solving one challenge at a time, you will still be making your brand stronger bit by bit. Just actioning one of the points above will bring you some impressive changes.