Branding can be a very vaguely used term and I find a lot of people don’t really know what it is or what it’s for.
Branding is your customers’ experience of your business.
You might want to read that sentence a few times and let it sink in.
For the purpose of this blog post, I’m going to break branding into two sections:
- Awareness of Your Users’ Experience
- Brand Communication
Awareness of Your Users’ Experience
Putting yourself in your customers’ shoes is a very important skill. Businesses that struggle seem to have a hard time doing this. The goal is to create the best possible experience for people visiting your site, whether:
• clicking on a search result
• viewing or reading an ad
• viewing your website for the first time
• using any portion of your website
• seeing/following a social media post
• watching a video you’ve created
• purchasing your product or service
• experiencing/using your product or service (different that purchasing it)
• receiving and invoice or receipt from you
• needing/using any customer service you might provide (i.e., returning a product or asking a question about a service)
• understanding/experiencing your unique selling propositions
…and any other experience that is part of your business. All these experiences make up your branding.
Notice that I’ve distinguished between viewing your website and using your website and that both are included as part of branding. This highlights a distinction that many people fail to make: branding is not just the colors and images and logo on your site and products – though it does include those things (those are actually design elements). Those design elements are part of the (visual) experience of your business and that is only part of the total experience of your business (your brand).
The reason a great experience is so important is that a really happy customer is going to bring you more business. That’s why properly executing the whole sales funnel is so important. You’re actually focused on the next customer by ensuring the current one doesn’t hit any roadblocks or speed bumps in your funnel.
So, put on your customer hat often and look at the various aspects of your business from their perspective. If you feel stuck, I offer critical point analysis to assist you.
Brand communication is about saying the right things at the right time within each part of your sales funnel. Generally, my advice is to be very direct.
Here are some general tips:
1. Show Your Products
Make sure that your product offerings are front and center. This alone will increase sales.
2. The Brand Promise
Be aware of your brand promise. What promise is your business willing to deliver on? (Note: a great brand promise is measurable.) If you’re clear about that, you can hold that in mind as you examine how each part of your users’ experience (each part of your sales funnel) relates to that promise. Are you delivering?
3. Unique Selling Propositions
A very important part of branding is what are called “Unique Selling Propositions” or “USPs.” Do you offer a money back guarantee on your product or service? If so, make sure that this is clearly visible where your products are displayed. Are your products available for immediate download? Make sure that is clearly communicated. Can a customer get your product next day or in 2 days? Make sure it’s very obvious. I’ve seen businesses that have great USPs but fail to communicate them. For one client of mine, simply placing a money back guarantee badge in the right places in their sales funnel played a significant part in increasing sales by 100%!
4. Use Your Research Data
In sales funnel design, the key is to let your keyword research guide your branding efforts. Make sure that, when a user is landing on a page on your site, that you are speaking as directly as possible to that person – in this case by literally using the same words they are using.
So good branding is about being able to execute successfully on all the parts of the sales funnel – because they’re all part of your customers’ experience of your business. If you need help in any particular area, the Branding module will allow you to become an expert very quickly in everything you need to know about branding.
The essence of the branding portion of your sales funnel is to design great experiences (note: simple is often great) for your website visitors and communicate directly to them in the language they are using to find you (using your keyword research). Clearly communicate your unique selling propositions. And remember that every aspect of your business is part of delivering your brand promise. Creating the best possible experience for your customers in each part of your sales funnel is well worth the investment. To state that another way, invest in your customers and they will invest in you.