Marketing a brand today seems to revolve mostly around getting to know how to use Facebook, Twitter and the internet in general. At least, if you are to judge by the number of books on branding and marketing that are best sellers. While the web, in particularly social media, is undeniably important in raising the level of awareness and familiarity with your brand, don’t forget that many brands became household names decades before anyone had heard of MySpace. Yeah, MySpace.
The customer is the backbone of turning an unknown entity into a recognizable brand. Whenever possible, take advantage of old-fashioned face-to-face contact with customers. Ask them questions related to how they use what you are selling. What could be done to improve quality? What are you not doing or seeing that would increase loyalty to your product? How does the competition compare and why do they choose you over them?
If your fleshly contact with customers is limited or perhaps even non-existent, then consider a survey. Surveys can be mailed out, handed out or done online. Marketing research is an industry built upon the solid foundation of people taking the time to fill out a survey. Entice completion by attaching a coupon or offering a discount if the survey is returned. What goes into the survey will vary, of course, but keep in mind you are looking for things specifically related to the current awareness of your brand, its value, customer loyalty and input on how to improve such aspects.
In almost every case, a focus group should be avoided if you are trying to brand a creative entity. Don’t rely on the opinions of others to gauge mass market entertainment value. Stake your own claim and be an innovator. For everything else, the focus group is definitely open for consideration. Hand the job over to a professional research company that will have more experience in knowing who to invite, what questions to ask and how to handle the meeting overall. Additionally, you may also use free instagram likes to grow your profile. Aside from the fact that you have focus groups, having set of followers on your social media account is also helpful.
If you don’t keep intensely aware of industry trends, then your brand will fall behind the times. Since trends today are changing at record pace so you can’t just watch CNN and read the Wall St. Journal. Work subscriptions into web sites, journals and newsletters into your budget and don’t be afraid to take a chance on attending out of town trade shows, conferences and seminars. The cutting edge is distinguished from the mainstream for a reason. By the time the latest trends that can do wonders for your branding needs hits mainstream news outlets, it is no longer cutting edge. Get to know what is happening in your business well before customers become aware of it and as far ahead of the competition as is possible.