Horizon Featured Article

Useful Ideas to Help Your Brand Stand Out

Northsail Appreciates the Value of Tactical Brand Marketing

When we created Northsail, we set out to create a brand that customers can trust; a custom software developer that always delivers on-spec, on-budget and on-time.

Since then, we've worked tirelessly to build strong, long-lasting relationships with our customers, which has helped us build tons of loyalty for our brand.

Building your brand marketing and making the right impression on customers isn't easy though. It often requires trial-and-error to find out what works best for your business' image, as well as engages your target market.

That's why we've put together some helpful tips that you can use to help strengthen your brand image, and provide your customers with better brand marketing, which inevitably leads to better conversions and more repeat customers.

5 Tips for Expanding Brand Visibility

The #1 mistake that business owners make when they think about brand marketing and brand visibility is, they think this means slapping their logo on everything they possibly can.

While, it's absolutely important to make sure that your brand is prominently featured across all your marketing materials, more isn't always better.

In fact, if you utilize things like your logo too often, or just start putting it everywhere without any rhyme or reason, it can actually work against you. Customers can be put off by excessive, sloppy or obtrusive branding.

Instead of coming across as a tactful, well-managed business, you could appear amateurish or unprofessional. This kind of impression can be a death-sentence for new businesses that are still looking to get a foothold in the market, or a nail in the coffin for a struggling business trying to achieve sustainability.

Thankfully, if you follow the steps we have outlined here, you'll have the tools you need to set up more impactful and engaging brand marketing materials.

1.) Put Your Brand at the Forefront of Your Email Marketing Campaigns

You designed what you think is a great email campaign. You send out the first few emails you've got planned, but you're just not getting the click-through you need for the campaign to be successful. What can you do?

Start by trying to put yourself in your customer's shoes. When you open the email, what's the first thing your eye is drawn to? That single item, whether it's a product image or simply a block of text, needs to grab the reader and hold their attention.

Consider things like your brand's personality and tone of voice. Your business is more than a brand logo or a 'tagline'. More often these days, customers want a brand they can relate to. One that makes them feel welcome; like a friend or family member.

Is your email easy to read and concise enough to be absorbed within 15 seconds? Because that's how long you have to engage the average customer, before they click away to something else.

Check out some email templates online, if you're having trouble putting together something that's both clean and effective. Make sure that wherever the customer's eye is initially drawn, your brand is very close nearby. It will promote a deeper immediate engagement with your brand.

We have lots of other great Email Marketing Ideas, if you want some other suggestions to bolster your brand marketing through your email campaigns.

2.) Your Products Shouldn’t Overshadow Your Brand

Whether you're looking to put out some flyers that are delivered directly to your customers’ doors, or are considering some new signage for your business, brand marketing is crucially important.

All good marketing efforts utilize products to show potential customers how the business can fulfill a want or need, but the products being offered shouldn’t overshadow your brand.

You want customers to associate not a single product, but your brand as a whole, as the solution. And these same theories apply to things like direct mailers (flyers), in-store signage, as well as mediums like billboards and printed advertisements.

There are plenty of ways to help encourage emotional engagement with customers; not just through brand placement, but also from a design standpoint. Here are a few helpful design suggestions for your physical marketing materials:

We offer some other useful suggestions in helping to build a positive customer experience in our 'How to Use Prizes and Rewards in Successful Promotions' article; you should check them out. The better your customer experience overall, the more likely customers will want to take action and buy your products.

The most important point to take away here is that if the rest of your signage is appealing and engaging for customers, your brand will have a greater impact and will be more likely to stick in the minds of your customers.

3.) Build Excitement for Your Brand Using Social Media

One of the most valuable tools in any business' toolbelt is utilizing social media in their marketing plan.

In fact, social media can make or break businesses; based on how much of a presence you have on these platforms, as well as how you’re perceived through these mediums.

Generating brand awareness is possibly the most useful tool that a social media platform can offer you. If you get your social media brand marketing right, the entire rest of your sales process will become more efficient.

This is because social media offers something that virtually no other marketing platform can give customers: the opportunity to share positive experiences with your business directly, in places where others can observe the interactions. All to a larger audience than you could ever reach using old-school marketing channels.

It also means that if they have a bad experience, you're going to hear about it. This is the piece of the puzzle that becomes a stumbling block for many businesses. How do you handle negative feedback?

The answer is as simple as it is frightening; you deal with it head-on. Don't shy away. Don't make excuses. If your business made a mistake, own up to it. It's a crucial part of maintaining excellent customer service standards and creating loyal customers.

Customers want to deal with a business that's transparent, and we all know that there are bumps in the road every once in a while. No one is perfect, and no one expects your business to be perfect either. The real test is in how you deal with issues as they arise.

It’s actually been proven that businesses with virtually no negative ratings online are less trustworthy than a similar brand with some negative feedback; especially in larger, established businesses.

This is because most people realize it's just not realistic for a business to have zero unhappy customers. The old expression 'too good to be true' makes a lot of sense in this context.

If you talk to the customer directly, apologize and make every reasonable effort to put things right, you can turn even the more irritated customer into a champion for your brand.

When another target customer sees you calmly communicating responses and trying to fix problems, it demonstrates that you aren't afraid to admit your mistakes and will do what’s necessary to find solutions.

Good or bad, communication and quality content are the keys to effectively using social media for digital marketing your brand marketing and encouraging business growth.

4.) Engage Customers with Prizes & Giveaways

If you're just looking for some great Contest Prize Ideas, feel free to check out this page, which has a number of fantastic suggestions.

Using brand marketing in your promotions and giveaways isn't as complicated as it seems. Careful positioning of your brand logo in all of the promotional materials is important for both the digital and physical marketing campaigns.

However, many businesses overlook a simple, useful way to help build your brand marketing through these promotions - SWAG.

What is swag? Well, it stands for 'Stuff We All Get', and it originated in the early days of the internet, when businesses would often use branded giveaway items as a marketing tool. It's less prevalent these days, but no less effective than it's ever been, if you use it tactfully.

Never underestimate the value of branded pens, lanyards, t-shirts, hats or anything else you can have put together for a reasonably low cost and at high volumes.

You may not think customers would appreciate being given a t-shirt with your company logo on it, but you may be underestimating how much customers love free stuff. Many will take it, if it's offered; even if they wouldn't have gone out of their way to get their hands on it.

What value does it add to your brand? Let's say you're giving away pens that have your company logo on them. One in the bag of every in-store purchase. The customer will take that home and likely set it aside for later use.

Every single time they use that pen, whether it's for jotting down a phone number or writing a grocery list, they're going to notice your brand. After a few uses, your brand is going to be ingrained in their brain. The next time they need a product that you offer, you can bet there's a good chance your business will be the first place to come to mind.

It may not seem like a lot from the start, but this repetitive exposure to your brand is a helpful way to build recognizability and familiarity through your brand marketing.

5.) Get Customers Talking with Loyalty & Referral Programs

What's better than finding new and innovative ways to reach your customer base? Having your existing customers do that for you.

As we talked about in our In-Store Promo article, it's very helpful to merge your ongoing promotions with your loyalty programs, or offer specific referral bonuses for your customers.

If your customers are already excited enough about your brand, they'll likely be willing to share their excitement with their friends and family. You can capitalize on this by providing additional bonuses for referred clients, or design your loyalty program to track the customers that are bringing you the most referrals, and then encourage them with extras.

It's a nice way to show customers how much you appreciate their positive word-of-mouth, but also in a roundabout way, you're also bringing them on as a recruiter for your brand.

Once you figure out what kind of bonuses promote the most action from your existing customers, you can ramp up these types of promotions to create a stable of happy customers that will sing your praises far and wide.

Then you can sit back and reap the benefits of these brand champions, because the best kind of brand marketing you can have is positive customer testimonials.

Your average target customer is more likely to trust in these reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations, because they aren't coming from your business directly. It makes them feel much more genuine and honest (even if the referrer is doing it for self-serving purposes).

Add new customer promotions to this (like a 5%-10% discount on first purchases), and you can really incentivize customers to take action and click that all-important 'BUY NOW' button.

Let Northsail Help You Better Your Brand

The Best Businesses are Built on a Foundation of Open Communication with Customers

In today's marketplace, target audiences appreciate honesty and openness in the businesses they choose to support, no matter the industry you're working in. It's that kind of honesty that Northsail strives to achieve, which is why we will actually turn down projects where we don't believe we can exceed the client's expectations.

This is also the reason that we're giving clients an opportunity to try out a new service in development called 'Horizon'. We want to hear what you think about this service before it goes to market, so we can continue providing the best tools, services and features to all of our clients.

Best of all, you can try it completely FREE. All we ask is that you take a few minutes to let us know what you think about Horizon, once you've had a chance to check it out.

Why not check out this amazing, intuitive new service today? Let us show you why when you're looking for reliable custom software development, there's only one solution - Northsail.

Sign up for early access to Horizon!

We’ll send you important updates about the early access program and your free invite when we are ready.

Your contact information will only be used for the early access program, not for future sales and marketing.

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