How to Brand Strategically to Grow Your Business

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Posted by Faye Martinez | December 19, 2022 | Filed under: Marketing

All entrepreneurs want to lead their business forward and the fact is, it takes more than just getting your marketing out there. Traditionally, in marketing, we always talk about the four P’s- price, product, place, and promotion.

However, when we say that we want to grow our business strategically through branding the first and foremost principle of marketing is the customer.

As long as people have something to sell, we’re marketing. From tradesmen to cavemen the concept has always been that if somebody has a need, you figure out a way to get them to get what they need from you. So marketing dates back ages ago and it always starts with the customer.

The key is using customer insights and proven marketing principles to align your brand and build your roadmap to move your business forward.

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One of the first things to do is make sure that you are effectively tracking your leads. Create a database that’s not just focused on tracking demographic information but on finding out how they heard about you, how they contacted you, and how long it takes for them to convert to sales.

A lot of businesses feel like they know their customers purely through anecdotal evidence of this and that but the real score is when you have the analytical insights that you can see what your customers search for and find the patterns in their buying behavior.

So when you say that you know your customers, it means that you know what they think and feel about your business and that you want to know whether it’s good or bad.

These constructive comments are a goldmine in businesses not only in terms of marketing but in terms of what products and services you’re offering, how you’re offering them, or how you implement them.

So the highlights here are two things- tracking data and talking to your customers. With these insights and the foundational principles of connecting with your customers as the bedrock of everything you do from building a messaging framework that aligns with what you want leads and customers to think and feel about your business. You can then start to create a marketing strategy that will resonate, reach, and persuade your audience.

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What about a small business with only a small group of clients to talk to?

It’s not important whether you have a small or large group of clients to talk to, what matters is how you talk to them. You have to find out the discerning patterns when you speak to customers. After a while you will start to notice some words being used over and over again, the same sentiments being shared, and with that, you can already tell what the pattern is.

For example, a business owner struggles with selling to his clients and after about seven to ten phone calls he noticed that every single one of his clients brought up the same thing. That they didn’t have time to do what he was trying to get them to do and they didn’t understand the purpose of it.

It’s all about asking the right questions and the answer that you need to hear will come to light.

Should a brand be built around customer needs or about what’s excellent about your business?

The answer to this is both. What is excellent about your business is excellent to you but it may not be to your customer. And what they do think is excellent about your business may be different than what you think is or isn’t excellent about it.

A great example is that your favorite kind of apple is honey crisp. This is because it tastes like cherries, sweet, and delicious but you have no clue how it tastes to someone else. So unless you know how that honeycrisp apple tastes to your leads and customers, how are you going to market it to them?

This is when a brand strategy comes into play. What is brand strategy? Your brand strategy decisions must answer, “how can we get there?”. Branding is about finding the alignment between what that apple tastes like to you, how you perceive it, and how your leads and customers perceive it.

It’s about finding that line in between and bringing alignment to them.

Understand that different customers are in different places

Not all customers are the same, there may be patterns linking them but they are never the same. So it’s important to realize that different networks have different types of people looking for different types of things. Yet a lot of businesses are still trying to go after the latest trending platform and they expect to understand who their customers are on that platform.

Keep in mind that people may look for what you’re selling but if that’s not in their mindset or interest while they’re on that platform then it’s not going to work.

How to avoid chasing shiny objects and identify where your customers are, what they need, what they want, and who they are.

Most of it is by trial and error. It’s a lot of push and pull of letting yourself experiment with what you think is the right path and if you don’t see the results that you want then you simply adjust and go back.

The first part is to determine the demographic of your customer and the platform they’re on. Is it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc? And understanding the psychographics of where they are in terms of headspace when they’re on that platform. 

This all takes time. So expect that at first, you’re not going to create a full-blown strategy that’s going to hit the nail on the head in a short amount of time. 

The reward comes when you understand it and immerse yourself in what your leads and customers are doing.

How to know if you’re misaligned right now with your brand

The easiest and most straightforward way is to have someone from the outside do a brand audit. Nothing is better than getting raw feedback from actual people and customers. Talk to them and find out things that are working and what are not. Find out how they describe your business, what things they point to as benefits, ask what platforms they’re on, who they go to for reviews and advice, and where to look for these products and services.

Ask everything that you can think of. The best advice in business is always to talk to your customers.

When to do A-B tests and is that the only implementation to understand real data?

You have to be a realist when it comes to business. And as much as you might want to get things going fast you also have to understand that if you have a timeline that needs to be implemented- you can’t rush the strategy. Doing this may end up costing you more money down the line to redesign and adjust, but if there is a warranted need to jump in and do it-you’ll get data and there is no such thing as bad data.


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