In only a few weeks, you’ll be facing the new year as the leader of a business. Maybe you’re the CEO of an agile startup. Or a driven solopreneur chasing down your dreams. No matter what, you’ll want to take some time to build out a 2024 branding plan. It’s hard to underestimate the importance of branding, especially in our competitive world. The stronger your brand is with your target audience, the better your chance of enjoying serious growth. However, if you want to boost your brand, this doesn’t magically happen overnight. You have to invest brainpower and resources into giving your brand some well-deserved buzz.
There’s no one way to make sure that your brand rises in recognition and positive recognition during the coming 12 months. You’ll need to apply many different tactics and measure them all. That way, you can see objectively which are helping you achieve your branding goals.
If you’re looking for starting points, try these five tips.
1. Boost your brand within your content.
Your company should be publishing many types of content regularly. Content can include blog posts, social media posts, videos, transcripts, landing pages, emails, etc. All content should have a focus, such as being optimized for a keyword or driving lead generation. Looking ahead, make certain that some of your content includes a branding angle.
For instance, let’s say you decide to create a content cluster around a single longform pillar page of content. As explained by MarketMuse, a company that provides an AI-powered content strategy tool, you can connect a variety of content pieces back to the pillar page. And one of those types of content pieces may talk about your brand, such as your corporate brand history. Remember: Branded content is especially useful for garnering the attention of consumers in the awareness and consideration stages. Therefore, adding a branding element into some of your content cluster pieces could have an eventual effect on your sales.
2. Lead with your company’s purpose.
A company’s brand is often connected with its purpose or mission. If you haven’t already written your mission and vision statements or decided upon your overall purpose, now is the time. An example of a brand with a purpose is Starbucks. The coffee giant overhauled its mission in 2023 to read: “With every cup, with every conversation, with every community – we nurture the limitless possibilities of human connection.”
The Starbucks mission contains both a purpose and a promise. By doing something similar, you can start a conversation around your brand. You can also give your marketing team more to talk about within your content. The more you promote your purpose, the more aligned your brand becomes with it. Eventually, your target audience should be able to hear or see your brand name and know exactly what you stand for. That’s powerful stuff.
3. Take up some social stands.
In 2022, 71% of consumers surveyed said they wanted brands to take stands on socially important issues. While this doesn’t mean that you have to put out a comment on everything that happens in the headlines, you may want to issue statements now and then. For instance, if pay equity is something you strive for at your business, you may want to start a discussion about it on social media. Alternatively, you may want to make it clear how you feel about the issue when another company is under fire for its salary decisions.
Is there risk in drawing lines in the sand on social topics? Certainly. You could even lose some of your business, at least temporarily. However, you may forge tighter bonds with customers and clients who feel in sync with your brand-backed beliefs.
4. Strive for brand consistency.
All brands can fall into bad habits, such as pushing out inconsistent branding. Next year, concentrate on bringing together all your brand assets. This includes everything from your website design and logo colors to your preferred font styles and corporate podcast format. The reason is simple: You want people to have the same experience across all encounters with your brand. No one should be confused.
If you’re not sure where to begin, study some of the great franchises and retailers. McDonald’s. Dunkin. Trader Joe’s. They all follow similar branding aesthetics and playbooks. This is why they’re recognizable wherever you go. It’s impossible to mix them up with other establishments because their branding is so consistent and specific. Yours can be, too — right down to all your employees’ e-signature lines.
5. Work with influencers.
Social media has arisen as a marketing goldmine in many ways. You don’t have to limit your branding to organic posting and PPC ads, though. You could also try to hook up with micro or macro influencers who stand out in your industry or vertical. Influencers already have a base following. As long as their following dovetails with one of your target audiences, you could lean on them to introduce your brand to possible buyers.
Because influencer marketing online can require a lot of patience and oversight, start small in 2024 with one or two influencers. Give the relationships time to develop and try not to micromanage the content creation and deployment. Partnering with influencers is tricky, but the right collaborations can bring you a lot of visibility and authority. Many brands enjoy a tremendous discoverability bump thanks to plugs from respected influencers.
You have quite a bit to do to prepare your business to boost your brand in the new year. Just make sure that you don’t forget to add branding to your recipe for long-term success.
Featured image provided by Wilson Vitorino; Pexels; Thanks!