Branding your store or business is key to communicating to your customer what your products and services stand for. Keeping your brand top of mind is also imperative to influence a consumer’s buying decision. To top it all off, many consumers today lack trust in brands, so making your brand authentic is a challenge every marketer faces.
How you communicate your brand to the masses can impact your effectiveness and determine if a customer recognizes your corporate message or chooses to ignore it.
Below, 12 communications executives from Forbes Communication Council share their best advice for effectively communicating your brand to the customer.
1. Try experiential marketing.
Experiential marketing externally and internally is great to reinforce your brand, but be sure that the branding execution is consistent, especially during a rebrand. Using consistent colors and current logos will help tell the same story throughout. Don’t feel like you need to cram too much into it, either. Keep it simple with contact info, if you decide to even include that. – Charlie Riley, Lawley
2. Showcase your brand in the real world.
Like the Instagram reels that display under items as you’re shopping online, companies can showcase real customers wearing or using their products through photo displays, rotating onscreen video or live-streaming social feeds in their stores and offices. This real-world view gives customers an immediate answer often asked when shopping: “When would I use this?” – Sarah Hanel, VASCO Data Security
3. Embrace the swag.
Put your efforts into catching your customer’s eye. In high-traffic areas, use digital devices, such as tablets, to showcase your logo or marketing collateral. For a tech-free approach, turn to clothing and swag. Put your staff in well-branded clothing showcasing your brand colors and logo. Keep your team hydrated with branded mugs and water bottles. Give away branded swag to customers as well. – Alysia Gradney, Vision Source
4. Offer self-service opportunities.
Self-service provides greater opportunity to engage customers on their own terms, where they are more likely to take advantage of offers because they have the ability to choose how and when. Self-service also allows you to build profile information on customer preferences, including how and when they engage, so you can proactively reach out when they are most open to hearing your message. – Jennifer Kyriakakis, MATRIXX Software
5. Set clear, broad brand guidelines.
Having broad but clear guidelines can help your marketing team create on-brand assets or experiences for in-store or out-of-home campaigns. Cover not just basics like logo treatment and font, but also the emotions you want to elicit from customers and key values you want to be associated with your brand. Let the guidelines serve as a North Star to create a more consistent brand experience. – Nadja Blagojevic, Axiom
6. Escape your constraints.
If your logo is a circle, why put it on a square door? If your logo is a square, why put it on a rectangle tag? If your name is long, why shrink your font to make it fit the sign on the building? Don’t get anchored to using a space how it’s “traditionally used” or to using your marcomm like everyone else does. – Betsy Rohtbart, Pitney Bowes
7. Create cohesive online and offline experiences.
Keeping cohesive communication online and in-store enhances brand experience. Use data from your e-commerce store to design your physical store. Translate your high-converting online real estate to physical stores in a cohesive way. For example, Amazon’s physical stores arrange books with book cover facing out, the same way a book is presented on Amazon.com. – Lu Chen, THINX
8. Find ways to show your company culture.
Your company’s culture matters more now than ever since consumers want authenticity. Find ways to showcase values and beliefs of the organization and employees within your design. This can be as simple as having a picture of the last time the company participated in something charitable. Showing culture can have a strong influence on the entire vibe of your store. – Clayton Johnson, Clayton Johnson SEO
9. Transform your real estate into engaging content campaigns.
Design your space wisely by encouraging shoppers to interact with your brand via their smartphones. You can liven up every wall in your store by showcasing brand and influencer content from networks like Instagram and Snapchat through digital displays. But don’t forget to encourage customer participation by selecting fun branded hashtags for your shoppers to join in on the conversation. – Nathan Peterson, Tagboard
10. Power in grassroots.
SoulCycle and theSkimm (via its Skimm’bassadors) have taken a new twist on this traditional grassroots marketing tactic. SoulCycle instructors will often grab coffee with class members post class, clad in hip SoulCycle-branded hoodies. Skimm’bassadors spread the word about theSkimm in their local communities. They get Skimm swag and opportunities to connect and brainstorm with the SkimmHQ. – Monica McCafferty, R&R Partners
11. Stay consistent.
The user experience in store or in an office needs to be brand focused at every corner. It should be completely aligned in colors, logo, feel and customer interaction. From the outside of the building to the bathrooms, everything needs to be consistent. Simple, subtle touchpoints throughout the journey will help keep the customer in-tune with your brand and mantra when they visit in person. – Steven Pulcinella, ProspectsPLUS!
12. Show (don’t tell) your story.
Take a page from stores like STORY, which is on the cutting edge of the next generation of retail. Take your brand DNA and bring it to life by not simply placing products on shelves but showcasing the stories behind the products, the people who love and use them, and how they reinforce your brand values. Stores are fast becoming a brand showroom, evolving beyond transactional points of sale. – Harsh Jawharkar, Narvar