Many SMEs make the classic mistake of thinking branding as something best left for giants like Microsoft, Apple, Google, or Nike, or when they have more budget. However, this is far from the truth because branding matters for global companies and SMEs, and you start even before you set up your business.
Imagine, will you ever approach a stranger standing in the corner of the market with a board saying “SALE.” This guy has no company shirt, logo, or sign that gives any clues that he is a salesperson. How would you feel approaching him? Probably apprehensive or creeped out, right? A weak or lack of branding can make a company look like -that creepy guy. To strengthen a brand, focus on the internal branding strategies to engrain the company’s objective, goal, and value within the employees. Let us explore three inexpensive ways to strengthen your brand.
1. Brand-educating Your Employees
Brand engagement training helps educate employees about what a brand is and how to communicate about it. Teach the employees about how to support the company’s brand and why it matters.
For instance, a picture from a company’s event on social media with drinks flying around posted by an employee can benefit or damage a brand. It all depends on how the employee communicates it. Empower and engage the employees to be the brand ambassadors via adequate training on the company’s objectives, goals, and values.
Employees are the faces of a company as they interact with the customers, clients, and vendors. The more they know about the company and what it stands for, the more confidently they will sell the brand. A brand-educated employee will have the confidence to deliver and engage with the customer to create an impactful experience.
Internal branding is an ongoing process, where business leaders must continue to invest in employee training with every change within the organisation.
2. Communicating Your Brand Strengths
In addition to educating your employees about the brand, companies must prioritise their strengths and amplify the aspects they want to be known for. The next step is to communicate these brand strengths throughout your communication platforms.
Ask yourself the following questions to figure out your brand’s strong suits and what makes you stand out.
- How would you describe the brand in 3 words?
- What do you want your brand to be famous for in the market?
- What are the brand’s core benefits that is not easily duplicable?
- What difference does your brand want to make in the industry and to the target customers?
Gaining clarity on who you are and what makes you better than the competitors will allow you to pinpoint which brand strengths to infuse into your employees’ minds.
3. Telling Your Brand Story
After identifying the brand’s strongest suits and transforming the employees into confident brand ambassadors, it is time to target the market. This is where creativity comes into play to design an appealing brand story and strike an emotional chord with the target audience.
The Name & Logo
A company’s name and logo are two symbols that are the face of any brand and the first thing the customers will notice in their encounter. Coming up with a name and designing a logo that describes what products or services you provide is crucial. They will act as anchors to identify all other visual mediums such as your outlets, websites, and business cards.
Showcasing Your Culture
Sharing internal stories about work culture can be a powerful source to build a strong brand identity. This helps create emotional bonds with the customers and turn them into loyal tribe members.
Remember how the entire family gathers up at Christmas and whether you like someone or not you have to speak nice things according to every individual’s personality. It is hard work, but that is what makes the holiday season go smoothly, and everyone feels connected. Similarly, customers come from different backgrounds, so show each the culture that might attract their attention and convince them to buy and enter the sales funnel.
Share internal stories about how the brand works. Giving customers insight into the company’s daily activities can help them understand and connect with the employees and organisation at a personal level. This results in deepening their trust in a brand and earning their long-term loyalty.
According to statistics, 81% of customers prefer buying from the brands they can trust.
Employees Loyalty Speaks Volume About Your Brand
Employees never leave companies they feel proud to be a part of. Instead, they love to brag about the brand and act as unofficial ambassadors wherever they go. Not only does it attract new customers but also top-talent in the market.
Create a strong brand image by being an excellent employer to work for. This helps attract customers and talent to be associated with a brand in one way or the other.
For a business to enjoy long-term success, the brand must turn itself into something more than it sells. In other words, the ability to transcend its category. Infusing the brand’s values and missions into the employees through ongoing training can turn them into confident brand ambassadors. On the other hand, determining a company’s strong suits can help create a strong brand story to build an emotional appeal amongst the customers.
You do not need to move heaven and earth to strengthen a brand. All it takes is consistency in employee brand training, research into who you are and what you do best, and a pinch of creativity to tell a compelling story.