We live in an age of high-speed processes.
When you can buy and sell everything at the simple click of a button, it’s fair to say that brands need to redouble creativity to survive in a fast-paced environment. There is nothing more fleeting than your reputation in a digitally-savvy market that is crowded by countless other businesses like yours. Surviving is not so much a matter of maximising your online visibility. After all, with over 1.5 billion websites on the world wide web today, it’s easy to see how having a website is no guarantee that your brand can get noticed. There is far too much going on in the online space. The digital market is continually growing and evolving. While it is indispensable to maintain your digital presence, it’s also no recipe to success.
Building a positive brand reputation doesn’t stop at your web design. It’s a tricky balancing act to position yourself not only despite your competition but also against it. Ultimately, your target audience is unlikely to remember your brand’s name if you don’t make your communication stand out. However, being heard and seen is not quite the same as being appreciated. Building an excellent first impression in a hectic digital world is a challenge of every day.
According to a new study from Do Something Strategic, a social impact expert, young adults pay little attention to brands. Of course, while some brand names stand out, if you’re not an international corporation, you need to find another approach to your branded campaign. Indeed, survey respondents explain they prefer brands that champion causes. As a result, talking about what the brand stands for is more likely to be successful with your audience than promoting your activities. For old-school marketers, it’s a considerable strategic shift, from a brand-focused mindset to a value-oriented approach. However, you need to be careful. Young adults don’t need brands to take a stand, but they expect them to act proactively to make a difference.
Suits and strict office wear have become a thing of the past. While there are still some business environments that rely on a formal dress code, such as the financial industry, for instance, more and more companies have embraced a more relaxed approach. Indeed, surveys indicate that over 60% don’t think their dress code boosts office productivity. Almost 1 in 2 employees believe they would be more productive wearing clothes that make them feel comfortable. While you may not realise the importance of your office wear, your audience can’t help but take notice. When someone as successful as Steve Jobs showed the world that he could bring Apple back onto the market wearing a pair of jeans and a simple top, it questions the value of a strict outfit. Your customers tend to feel closer to brands that dress like them.
You need to reach out to your audience. With hundreds or more of different brands fighting for attention on the market, customers want to establish a meaningful connection to a business before committing to a purchase. The closest way to win a customer’s heart is to engage at a personal level. Of course, you may not be able to cold call every single one of your potential buyers. However, you can use video marketing to engage with your audience and inject some personality to your brand. Vlogs, video tutorials, and live streamings are popular strategies to reach out to users and showcase your brand. More importantly, the presence of a real face and voice brings the brand closer to the viewers.
Introducing the history of your company and its main actors is typically the purpose of the “about us” page on your website. However, while the page covers an essential aspect of the getting-to-know-each-other phase, it is also a type of content that proves difficult to digest. However, you can make things more manageable for potential leads by offering a VR tour of your company. Indeed, augmented reality and virtual reality provide advantageous experiences to interact with a new location. Brands such as IKEA have already been using AR to help customers choose furniture. What’s stopping you from making VR the new official tour of your company?
Businesses can’t afford to ignore their social responsibility towards the environment. Indeed, companies are single-handedly responsible for colossal carbon footprint and wastes. You need to take measures to build a visibly green and sustainable strategy in every business process. Ultimately, addressing common values that are meaningful to your audience can not only boost your brand but also help to retain customers.
Every business should make it a rule to give back to their community. Depending on your size, budget, and niche, you may find a variety of ways to provide charitable support. Some companies choose to give a certain percentage back to a cause, such as Who Gives A Crap who are currently giving back 50% of their revenues to finance toilets in Africa. But, you can also afford your support on a limited budget, by offering volunteering opportunities. Finally, you can also consider local support, such as helping the local school to repair damages after flooding, for instance.
Last but not least, not many brands make the most of their customers’ creativity. Bloggers, vloggers, and niche experts are active on their social media platforms. Many are keen to reach to their favourite brands to promote their profiles. Brands such as H&M have created branded #hashtags that encourage users to develop their connection to the brand. Not only can your business appear more active and interconnected in the process, but you also profit from new content and audience groups.
Nowadays, having a website is not enough. Your reputation is the result of strategic decisions, from your choice of dress code to your sustainable activities. Surviving in a crowded market is all about ticking the boxes of an ever-demanding and digitally-savvy audience.