Most of the time at AEK Solutions, we are met with the particular challenge of growing businesses online. Whether that’s focused on brand awareness, lead generation, or customer engagement, these are the types of problems we’re used to.
So when a client came to me recently and wanted to rename and rebrand his business, I was intrigued. Yes, I’ve built businesses before (i.e., FutureDerm, FutureDerm Media, AEK Solutions, ResearchingEverything), and yes, I’ve been through branding exercises on my own, for myself. But to have our team replicate the process and ensure we’re doing it right for someone else? That was something I wanted to thoroughly research and assure I was doing properly.
The result? Here are the 3 steps to properly branding (or re-branding) a business:
The best companies in the world don’t sell — they brand. For example, Apple never tries to “convert” you into buying an iPhone. Instead, they paint a picture of the “iPhone experience.” They focus on branding. I do the same.
1.) If you have sales already, find out as much as you can about who and where they came from.
It’s exciting to start from scratch. It’s exciting to have a brand that’s untarnished, a brand that could be the next Apple. A fresh slate.
It’s also, honestly, not that smart.
Nothing, and I repeat, nothing, is as expensive as your first customer. If you have customers, praise God and the universe, and find out as much as you can about them.
This includes the following:
- Use Google Analytics to determine which pages are being visited the most.
- Use Google Analytics to determine which pages are converting the highest.
- Use Google Analytics where they are coming from.
- Use SEMRush to determine which keywords you’re ranking highest for.
- Create a survey for your existing customers.
- Incentivize your existing customers to answer the survey — a $50 Amazon gift card, for instance, could be appropriate, depending on the price of your product or service. Ask them questions like the following:
- How do customers see the brand? Why did they make the purchase?
- What do they think about the brand after using the product or hiring the service?
- How do they interact with you now?
- What would they like to see from you in the future?
- How old are they? Are they male or female or non-binary?
- What stores or websites do they frequent?
2.) If you don’t have sales already, figure out what your brand is.
In today’s world, you need to be producing content much more often than brands of yore — in fact, Gary Vaynerchuk recommends producing as many as 30 pieces of content per day, including ads, social media posts, written content, blogs, and website updates. (!) Even if you’re less thrilled about producing content, keep in mind that nearly every customer review and customer service update is now public and easily accessible online.
With that much on the internet about your business, it is impossible to create a brand that is artificial. For instance, if your team, product/service, and mantras are family-friendly and accessible, you’re probably more Applebee’s than Apple, which is more professional and luxe. And that’s OK! But it’s going to be impossible, with the sheer amount of customer-facing information that goes out, to be something you, your team, and your products are not.
Think about the following:
- Why did you (or the company founder) create the business?
- What are the best-selling products or services? What need were they created to fulfill?
- What is the differentiating factor between these products or services and their competitors?
- What is the ‘secret sauce’ of the products or services?
- What type of feedback have customers given you about the products or services?
3.) Choose messaging (including name), colors, logos, fonts, and a mission statement in line with your brand.
Typically, the biggest mistake is that small companies try to do too much. People are busy with their own lives and only give you an average of 3 seconds online before they choose whether or not they’re going to clickthrough. That means they don’t care about much besides 5-10 words in 24-plus-point font. What are you going to stand for in those 5-10 words (and in those 3 seconds of limited attention you get)?
At AEK Solutions, for the client described above, we assemble our team of creatives and have a brainstorming session, where we discuss the best ideas based on the answers we received from the questions listed in #1 and #2. The secret here? There are no bad answers. We keep the ideas flowing. And sometimes the ideas that capture the brand best were ones we would’ve initially rebuked, had we not kept going.
Creating a brand that is in line with your team, product/service, and mantras can be challenging, but it’s essential that it all is streamlined and focused.
If you want top-notch digital marketing strategy, or have questions about your own digital marketing strategy, reach out to us at AEK Solutions for a free, no-obligation Q&A session. AEK Solutions is dedicated to creating new sources of repeatable growth online by embracing a rapid-experimentation, funnel-based approach. We also utilize creative and technology, such as geotargeting, customer experience management, and moments of influence testing to develop solutions to specific digital marketing issues.