In this marketing article we are sharing, we would like to bring you back to the essence of marketing, which is an outward expression of your brand identity. Understanding this principle will help you create marketing strategies that are sustainable and effective.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have shared about the principles of creating powerful marketing campaigns to attract and retain customers. This time round, our focus will be narrowed into making your marketing efforts sustainable by aligning it to your brand identity.
Defining Brand Identity
Branding is a broad topic and it generally covers key aspects like identity, character, tone of voice, communications. Some of us see a business as simply an entity that consumes and generate resources and revenue. But for those who see it as a “living body”, you will understand that it has a life of its own, how it “behaves” and interact with your employees and customers can be deliberately governed and shaped by its management team.
We know to some extent that our behaviour is affected by our values, attitudes and experiences. The core of your brand identity is being defined by the following key questions:”Why does your business exist and what does it represent?”
How does brand identity affect business decisions?
Here is an example to illustrate the point we are intending to bring across. Now imagine that you run a hipster cafe and the reason for your existence is to draw like-minded friends to a commonplace at your neighbourhood to build a hippy culture. You begin to make new friends (customers) and your social circle starts to expand. You are now being touted as the “lead hipster” that draws in the crowd within your neighbourhood.
Understanding who your identity will naturally enable you to make informed and smart decisions about your business. You will position yourself in the most hip location, you will choose to be on social media platforms that are able to reach out to your hippy friends, whenever you have a promotion or event, you will dress and speak in a way that resonates with this community. This naturally affects the way you draw in the crowds, instead of giving straight out discounts, you can invite an up and coming local band to do a gig over the weekend. The illustrations and design of the invitation will look bold and creative.
During the event, you will spontaneously take photos and slot in #hashtags to create awareness and update the latest happenings as the event unfolds live. Of course, in order to satisfy the gastronomical demands of your customers during the event, you could invent a customized menu to suit the occasion! This would be a good opportunity to experiment new dishes and get immediate feedback, since your guests will tend to be more “forgiving” and open to share as they are enjoying themselves.
Growing your business through authenticity and consistency
By now, you will get the drift and would have understood that knowing your brand helps you to be creative and targeted in your marketing efforts. This alignment is holistic, ranging from the selection of friends, being consistent in the image you portray, creating a band of followers that desires to connect with you.
Knowing yourself well is the first step to creating sustainable friendships. The next step is portraying your identity with authenticity and consistency. Your customers come back to you because they know that you represent and conduct yourself in a manner that connects emotionally in depth with them. They intrinsically know that they can count on you to fulfil what you set out to promise. Through nurturing a relationship of deep trust, it will result in your customers becoming a living and walking testimony for your business and causing it to grow organically and sustainably over time.