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Most Businesses Misunderstand Branding - Here's Why

Most Businesses Misunderstand Branding - Here's Why

If you had to describe your business's branding, what would you say?

If you're like most businesses, you'd probably start talking about the logo, slogan and, perhaps, a key advertising campaign. Often, when people talk about working on their branding, this is what they mean - they're trying to improve the visual elements that customers and prospective customers associate with their brand.

The problem is, most businesses stop there. But, branding is so much more than just your logo and slogan, and most businesses are completely missing the point.

Your brand is the collected thoughts, feelings and experiences that people (both customers and others) think of when they consider your business. It's the voice and personality they imagine your business to have. A big driver of this is the content you create.

Content - The New Brand Marketing

People love content; they read blog posts, watch videos, listen to podcasts, and follow businesses and personalities on social media.

The amount of content that people consume is steadily increasing, with the effect that for many businesses their customers have far more 'interactions' with their content than they do with salespeople or marketing campaigns. The effect this can have on your brand is huge.

What can businesses do to take advantage of this demand for content?

Start Creating Content Now

Consumers want content, and if they don't get it from you, they'll get it somewhere else.

That content they're reading elsewhere? It's building another business's brand, possibly a competitor's. You don't want that. You want them to be reading your content, benefiting from your expertise and knowledge, and keeping your business top-of-mind. That's branding.

To achieve this, you might need to start creating content in volume, across several different channels. Not every business will have the budget and expertise to create content everywhere they like, but that shouldn't stop you.

Some are better than none; simply pick the content format your customers like most and start there.

Create Quality, Targeted Content

The content you create will significantly shape how consumers view your brand. Better get it right then.

Over the long term, the content itself will help to define your audience. Those who are attracted by your content will read more, while those who don't will go elsewhere. The same piece of content can delight one person and offend the next.

Content needs to be more than just high-quality; it needs to be highly targeted to attract people who will buy your products and services:

  • Who is your target market?
  • How do your customers want to consume content?
  • What content do they want?
  • What questions do they have, or problems that you can solve?
  • What don't they like?

Create a Unified Message

Your brand is the collected experiences of the customers and prospective customers who interact with your brand. Increasingly, content is becoming highly important, but your brand is also affected by your logo, your marketing campaigns, your customer service, your store design and much more.

When these elements work together, they can have an amplifying effect, reinforcing the same message again and again.

Unfortunately, many businesses fail to develop a cohesive branding strategy, instead delivering a fractured, disjointed message that drastically changes from one medium to the next. Conflicting messages confuse and annoy customers - and customers don't like to buy from brands they don't understand.

The Future of Brand Marketing

As the demand for content grows, the creation of content will increasingly drive your brand image. This has several key implications.

Firstly, businesses will rebalance marketing budgets to focus on creating higher quality content, with some other marketing areas seeing a reduced spend.

Secondly, companies that successfully meld their advertising and content to create unified campaigns will experience greater success.

Finally, the content space is likely to become even more competitive; it's only going to get harder to attract new readers, viewers or listeners. This means businesses should invest now to get ahead.

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