Strong branding is essential to every marketing strategy, whether you run a large business or are just starting out. The problem is that most new marketers don't learn to recognize the differences between strong branding vs. weak branding until a marketing campaign has failed. You can save yourself plenty of trial and error by learning to spot the differences early on so you can leave the gate with a winning strategy.
Strong Branding vs. Weak Branding Strategies
When developing your overall branding strategy, the most important step is to take stock of the heart of your brand. Boiling down the essence of your company in a single sentence may seem nearly impossible, but it is actually a common and surprisingly helpful practice. It is also often referred to as a mission statement. Developing a mission statement may not seem like it should be at the top of your priority list, but this is the “rudder” that guides all of your additional marketing efforts. Without a strong mission statement, it is difficult to get the rest of your team on the same page. It is also easy to get lost in pursuing multiple competing goals rather than moving your business forward with a cohesive marketing approach. Once you have the essence of your brand, you can use it as a guide to assess whether each new goal or marketing effort is consistent with your big picture goal.
Graphic design is a crucial part of maintaining strong branding vs. weak branding. Whether you hire an in-house graphic designer or choose to outsource your graphics needs to another company or designer with years of experience, the visuals you choose to represent your brand are the first impression consumers get of your business. Images are a powerful way to connect with potential customers in a short amount of time. Research shows that 74 percent of marketers actually use graphics in their social media posts, proving that graphics aren't just for blog posts and business websites anymore.
One of the best strong branding vs. weak branding strategies you can put to use with graphic design is to create infographics that are relevant to your customers. For example, a local dentist's office could benefit from creating infographics that discuss basic dental hygiene and sharing them on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The more “shareable” your graphics are, the more reach they will have, drawing organic traffic to your website. Strong branding vs. weak branding is all about providing easily identifiable and valuable content to your audience. By contrast, an example of weak branding would be only sharing graphics from other websites, or funny images that are not strongly related to your field.
Another aspect of branding through graphics is choosing a logo and a website theme that fits your business. Weak brands tend to have logos that are abstract and difficult to connect with the business' area of expertise. Strong visual brands are not only eye catching, they make sense in the overall context of the company as well.
Brand consistency is by far the most important thing to get right when learning the difference between strong branding vs. weak branding. Strong branding is always consistent, without exception. From your Facebook page to your website shopping cart, users should be able to identify a clear visual “theme” to your brand. This is where graphic design comes into play, but consistency in branding is about more than just visuals. Carefully consider the wording you use on social media to make sure it matches up with the tone you communicate on your website. While it may be acceptable for a fun and trendy clothing shop to be more informal on social media, more traditional institutions should maintain that feel on every platform. Your customer service is just as much a part of your branding as your graphic design, so it is important to make sure that your entire team has a clear idea of the brand image and values you want to project.
Getting Help with Branding
Whether you are a fledgling business struggling to navigate the strategies that distinguish strong branding vs. weak branding or a seasoned marketing professional looking for a boost, Brandgy can help. Give us a call today at (352) 578-2000 or contact us through email to learn how to take the next step toward making your brand even stronger.