Whether you’re starting up a new business, music career, festival, online shop or the next Amazon, or even if you’re an already well-established brand building their empire online, branding is everything.
A well branded company is what sets them apart from everyone else online; with more and more businesses selling their products online, in an overcrowded marketplace getting noticed is key.
Ensure your customers know where to find you.
In an arena that is becoming over crowded you have to make sure that you stand out and make your customers experience as enjoyable as possible. A poorly performing website is where most businesses lose their customers to rivals; second to that is a poorly designed website.
Email footers are the most effective area to connect with customers you already have, ensuring they know what social networks you’re on and are reminded of your website URLs. Additionally, this can provide a space for any products you want to push or any events you want to sell tickets for. Put all of these links in your footer taking care not to use too many images as this can sometimes lead to emails being automatically placed in spam.
Online directories and Google maps are also key to being found. If possible ensure that any logos or branding is placed upon these sites and is therefore instantly recognisable to your existing and potential customers. Anecdotal evidence suggests that, on average, people only start responding to advertising and marketing after seeing your brand 9 times.
Brands are built on repetition. Calling out to your clients via blogs, email marketing, YouTube videos, radio spots, TV, banner ads etc. the list goes on and on. Take “Go Compare,” for example: they shot to fame when their adverts featuring an opera singer singing a jingle were shown over and over again, to the point where people loved it or hated it. Either way – they knew it. If that advert had been shown once, people would have forgotten about it, but putting it in front of people time and time again, it became recognisable and trusted as an established brand.
You have to engage with your customers on a regular basis for them to know you are there and ready for them when they are ready to shop with you.
Consistency is key
Once your brand identity is set up, try to maintain it throughout all of your marketing activities. Look at Apple Inc., for example: they have only once changed their brand identity to keep up with current trends. If you look at any of their products, websites, emails, letterheads, stationery and even their hardware, everything is consistent. You know instantly when you see the apple logo, or when you receive marketing emails from Apple: the fonts, the layouts and the colours are always the same, only the message changes. It is this consistency that builds trust in your existing and your potential clients. Trust is essential in an online business and consistency helps to build that.
When you have established your brand, ensure that any websites and marketing material reflects this and only try to update this as technology moves forward. Any websites you create should mirror your brand: if you sell tickets for events, ensure you choose a supplier who will work with you to maintain your brand identity and create bespoke ticket designs and websites based upon this.
Product-only websites are the same: make sure that all confirmation emails look and feel the same as the main website and are consistent with any marketing material you send out.
Some companies survive on solely selling the data collected from people shopping online. It is big business and an area that is currently thriving. More and more people want to sell their products, services or promote their creations.
Collecting data from your customers is essential for the survival of your brand. People buying from you – whether it is in the form of event tickets, products or lifetime memberships – will buy from you again and again if their first shopping experience was a good one. The data that they put into your website should then be yours to keep and do with what you will (if they are willing to give their data up to be marketed to).
Selling through third party websites as opposed to your own could be problematic as you often have to pay for that information or in some cases will not be allowed access to it at all. Make sure that your online provider lets you keep all of your user information. This can then be used for marketing campaigns and to allow you to send out emails to clients letting them know you still exist and that you are still better than everyone else.
Offering discounts to loyal customers in order to ensure their repeat business is a tried and tested method of creating a loyal customer base.
Merlin offer bespoke websites with your own unique URL which is fully branded to your current website, selling tickets, products and memberships (all at the same time if required, which is an excellent way to up-sell). We work with clients to offer a bespoke package tailored to you, ensuring that your brand identity is maintained throughout. All data collected from people who register on the website we create for you is yours to keep, enabling you to interact with your customers and hopefully guarantee repeat business. We do not charge extra for this data, it is yours to keep.
To find out how we can help you increase your online presence, call us on 01226 294413 or email us on email@example.com.