Businesses today are never just about selling products anymore. If you want your business to survive and thrive, you’re going to want to make sure it becomes a household name—if not a popular brand in your hometown, at the very least. One of the biggest challenges a startup faces now isn’t just the hurdle of having to reach their target market. But more so how to keep their audience engaged and coming back for more.
Anyone can successfully build a little platform and start selling products. But to make sure it lasts and is constantly on top of people’s minds is something else. It takes strategic marketing, clever advertising, and a genuine connection with your market to build a valuable relationship and maintain your spot in the world of businesses.
For this article, we’re talking about the best practices you can keep following to establish brand sustainability.
Are you ready?
Let’s go! Develop discernment
To establish brand sustainability, you’re going to need to develop brand discernment. While data from research can be helpful, it’s good to ask yourself whether or not your business is telling a story. Now remember that when we talk about storytelling, we’re not always referring to stories you can read, but stories you can experience. And for a customer to enjoy an experience, there has to be a beginning, a middle, and an end; simply put, there has to be some form of change that takes place from when they started.
That factored in, look for your brand’s “tension.” When it comes to marketing, know that your customer’s “struggle” is your antithesis. As a result, your solution to their problem is your thesis. Therefore, the tension you’re looking for in this equation is the customer’s problem. After all, this “tension” is precisely why your business exists. In other words, if your business has no problem to solve or no concern to bridge, then what even is the point of your brand’s existence?
Ultimately, brand discernment comes to down one cruciality: storytelling. This is your brand’s heart, vision, and spirit.
Create a meaningful message
When it comes to brand sustainability, stories matter the most. That being the case, it’s important that you’re able to successfully come up with messages that rightfully evoke emotions, if not a call to action. This matters because stories that are well-told last. It also helps that engaging storytelling naturally draws people to care about your business.
In turn, this translates to brand loyalty and makes it easier for your market to remember what you have to offer. These are things no media or tech will never be able to do. Meaningful messages require a heart and soul, and the technology you use can only amplify that. Without the right message, there’s nothing to broadcast and talk about.
The best digital marketing companies can help you with graphics, and design, and SEO, but unless you’ve established what message you’d like your business to be known for, you’re not really working toward brand sustainability.
Make your objective clear
Branding is easily maintained when your objective is clear. When your customers know why your business exists, they’re more likely to turn to you when they know what problems you solve and it’s clear how you solve them. For instance, when you want to make a cohesive brand image, it’s vital that you have the answers to the following questions:
- What issues does my brand fix?
- How does my customer think, feel, and look like?
- What do they want?
- Who is my direct competitor?
- How do I want my customers to feel when they engage with us?
- Do our customers or clients trust us? If so, what is their driving reason?
- Why is the rationale of my brand direction?
- If my brand were alive, how would he or she behave?
Once you have your data on the following guidelines, you can start planning your brand road map, what your logo will look like, what your tagline should be, and when you think you should re-brand, if the need arises. It’s important that business leaders establish a timeline when executing their brand’s goals. How will I want my business to be perceived and how soon should I re-strategize if I don’t see the results I expect?
Keep researching your market
There will never come a time when you can say: I know my market well enough to stop getting to know them for the next year or so. Business owners who fall into that trap often lose their brand’s relevance and zing. This is because your target market is made of humans, and humans evolve. That said, needs evolve as well. It’s also no secret that trends come and go. All these continue to shape present demands and market consumerism. At any point, anything can change, and you can easily lose the market you once thought would always be there. Whether you’re facing a pandemic or the introduction of a much more savvy competition, not putting the effort to continue finding out what it is your customers want and need can only spell trouble.
Keep running surveys. Find out what kind of entertainment your customers look for. Keep listening to how they speak. Look out for competition, too. Startups or not, figure out what these brands are doing and study how they execute marketing tactics.
Understanding exactly what your market is made of is crucial in being able to speak to them head-on. From copywriting to social media timing, being well acquainted with the people who buy your products or support your services is essential to keeping your head above the water, if not actually making a profit.
Keep going back to your target persona. Is your ideal consumer still the same? Is your market slowly branching out to a different, much diverse demographic? What movements do they listen to? What do they advocate for? Do you share the same message? Do you speak their language? Keep going back to these questions to make sure you’re selling your brand to the right people. Otherwise, you could be targeting the wrong crowd.
Hold on to your unique selling proposition
At the end of the day, it’s what sets you apart that will draw your customers to you. Are you the cheapest among your category? Do you offer the most bang for your buck? Do you offer more choices? Are you the most sustainable in your category? Whatever it is you do well the most, keep holding on to that, and review that reality every now and then. Are you still the cheapest among your competitors? Do you still have the most options? If you no longer hold the crown for something, what do you intend to do to remain on top, assuming that you are?
Brand sustainability is more than just about letting people remember your business exists. It’s about reminding the people who buy from you why they should keep buying from you, and why you’re still the best among your contemporaries.
The truth is, keeping a brand alive is a lot of work, and it’s never a one-man show. It takes an entire village to make a business work. And while you don’t always need thousands of people to help your brand succeed, you’re going to want to work with the right people to achieve your targets.