As tech has become more and more commoditised (and easily accessible to a wider audience), strong brand marketing has become a necessity for companies to stand out from the crowd. The few tech companies that do have strong brand marketing, like Apple and Microsoft, have managed to separate themselves from the rest of the market with resounding success. In the early 1990s, Apple’s sales struggled against the achievements of Microsoft, and so in a speech Steve Jobs gave in 1997 he talked about the importance of brand marketing for the future of Apple. Retrospectively, we all know this was a smart move. Apple’s brand marketing has helped them evolve into the industry giant they are today.
But what can brand marketing do for YOUR firm? Effective brand marketing sets your firm apart from the competition, and aids in attracting the right target audience. To help you out, we’ve summarised 3 quick tips to build your firm’s narrative, identity, and deeper meaning:
1. Inject personality into your brand marketing
Your brand should have a personality that is going to resonate with your target audience. All too often, we come across IT firms that either don’t have a brand, or have a poorly thought-out brand with no depth. Brand marketing is more than a specific colour palette and font choice. It should be the personality behind your company.
When coming up with an effective brand marketing strategy, think about what your firm stands for, where your firm is headed, and the type of business/clients you want attract. One way to do this is to align your firm’s personality with industry influencers, which will help to anchor and give direction to your thoughts. Before approaching a marketing agency, it is important to have your brand identity defined. However, if this is something you struggle with, we are more than happy to help clarify any queries you may have.
But why does your firm need a personality? Humanising your brand means that clients are more likely to trust you with their business. The more relatable your firm is, the more your potential clients will want to absorb your marketing messages. If your firm is unrelatable, your audience might stop engaging with you completely. Having a distinguishable personality will attract an audience that is suitable for you.
2. Have a strong online presence
More often than not, we are approached by clients whose websites are out of date and cluttered. A bad website simply adds your firm to the chaos of the market, meaning that you can’t be easily found and singled out by clients looking for your services.
A strong online presence is a must-have for all firms, due to advances in social media and the availability and accessibility of the internet. Prospective clients can now evaluate their options much more easily, as they are able to view your products or services, and compare you against your competitors. In fact, three of the top four most common ways professional services buyers check out firms are online, which really highlights the need for a strong online presence. Think about it–if you were sifting through hundreds of firms, you’d only remember the ones that ticked all your boxes and left a good impression on you. This is exactly what branding does for firms.
Your online presence is a huge part of your brand. A poorly thought out digital presence is all that most people will see before they discount you and choose a competitor. Updating and simplifying your site will help you cut through the noise and clutter of the market. A strong online presence will single you out from your competitors, while giving you the opportunity to really showcase your key messages and values both by the content and by the design. So if this is the first place your prospective clients see you, they will have a really clear idea about what your business is about.
3. Drive brand loyalty
The easiest clients to generate business from are those you already have a relationship with. If you’re not following up with previous clients or making sure they’re having a seamless user experience, then you’re not nurturing your professional relationship to its full potential.
Those who have worked with you before–or those already in contact with you–are the easiest to convert, because you already have a relationship with them. You can do this easily by setting up a subscription for a monthly newsletter, supplying your warm leads with regular, helpful blogs, and creating case studies depicting how you’ve helped other clients in the past. These tactics will help keep interested clients warm to your firm, while also attracting new leads with content that shows how your products or services have benefitted previous clients.
Effective brand loyalty also results in satisfied clients referring your firm to their network, which helps to extend your reach even further. Keeping in contact with previous clients and maintaining a good working relationship with them ensures that they think of you the next time someone they know is looking for the services you offer.
Making sure that you’re branding your firm correctly is integral to your marketing efforts. As well as identifying and attracting the right target audience, it helps you stand out from the rest of the market, giving you the ability to take the lead in your industry. Branding unifies your firm from within, which projects outwards to your clients and prospects.
If, after reading this, you’re thinking that you’re missing some of the non-negotiable brand marketing points we’ve raised in this blog, we are more than happy to help you out. We can talk to you about your firm’s branding in more depth, as well as walk through other marketing strategies—like content, email, or search engine—that will help your firm. Contact us here if you want to start a conversation, or if you’d like to receive more helpful tips then sign up for our newsletter.
We are currently running our 2018 state of the industry survey, which looks at the marketing tactics that firms in the professional services sector use, and how successful they are. To receive the report for free and be entered into a prize draw with a chance to win an Apple Watch, take three minutes out of your time to select 19 multiple choice questions. Good luck!