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This is a topic I try to explore at least once every 5 years. Branding is important and reflects both the nature of our modern society and how business is done best. The best businesses often have the strongest brands. The best brands also tend to have the best businesses. So in today’s exploration of branding, I will be answering some of the key questions about what Branding means to me as a digital marketer and a web design expert.

What is Branding?

Branding is a method of corporate expression. When I say that, I can already hear your eyes rolling but hear me out on this one. Branding in 2023 requires businesses to be authentic, self-aware, and courageous. Corporate expression is really hard for a lot of brands because they cannot be honest, authentic, self-aware, or courageous in standing up for what matters to them and their employees.

apple branding on products Why is Apple’s Brand so strong?

Apple’s brand is so strong because they are honest, upfront, and self-aware, yet courageous in how they express themselves. Even in their latest keynote, when they explored the value and impact of their latest models, they made sure to take the time to share and explore the WHY of Apple’s entire product line.

In their latest keynote, Apple didn’t start by telling you what their business does or how impressive their sales numbers are. Instead, they focused on sharing their mission for improving the wellness of the planet by focusing on creating carbon-neutral products. Experts in the field will debate on whether or not they actually do that well, but the core communication of their ambition to be one of the most environmentally friendly tech companies sits with us.

The vision and mission that guide Apple products is not the only thing that makes them successful. You can have a great vision but if your operations neglect the vision and mission, you might as well not have them at all. Apple’s brand is so strong because they don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk.

How to Brand Your Company Like Apple’s

To be honest, anyone outside of Apple can’t tell you exactly why Apple’s brand is so strong. It’s possible that even Apple doesn’t know why their brand is so strong. But I can give you the things I have seen that work and have turned businesses from purposeless money-makers who are stunted in growth to brands with solid positioning and a grasp on growth strategies rooted in their brand.

how to brand like AppleThe Four R’s of Brand Opportunity:

Brands are a dime a dozen. Do you feel like your brand is super impressive when it comes to quality and customer service? Guess what, almost 70% of interviewed businesses in Utah’s Silicone Slopes claimed the thing that sets them apart is their quality and customer service. So if you feel like a one-in-a-million company, there are 2000 companies just like you in your company. To help businesses find their Brand Opportunities, I have learned and documented these four R’s that I believe are foundational to a successful brand.

Are you Ready? 

A lot of what makes a brand stand out comes down to whether or not the business is ready to pitch itself in an authentic and honest way. Your brand needs to be able to find customers where they are at, invest in those platforms. Unfortunately, a lot of businesses I meet that want some help with their branding are simply not ready to invest in their brand in an honest and authentic way.

That’s not a dig by the way. It’s hard. Between SEO, Social Media, Local ads, guerilla marketing tactics, and more, there are dozens of things you should be doing to enhance the opportunity your brand brings to the table.

Are you Reliable? 

Great brands are reliable. It’s not a massively difficult concept to wrap your head around. If you say you will do or be something, you should honor it. If your marketing and branding say one thing, your customers will rely on you to be that business or brand. You cannot be a brand in name and online, or it simply won’t work.

Especially in the modern digital era, you cannot be a brand in name and commercials only. Modern consumers are informed and like to research their businesses before they work with them. If you are unreliable, your customers will voice that concern and frustration, which can easily turn into a brand tarnishing.

Are you Recognizable? 

Remember when I mentioned that most businesses claim their most unique feature is their quality and customer service? Yeah in the modern digital marketing age, customer service and high quality are not good enough to be recognized. You need to have so much more to stand out. You need to be recognizable on every marketing platform you are on.

To become recognizable, you need to dive a little deeper than just what you do and where you are located. Most consumers these days care more about the WHY of their business than the WHAT. Furthermore focusing on the why helps you be more recognizable in day-to-day business interactions.

Great brands are simply recognizable. They have unique logos that only apply to them, are named something easily accessible, and can be found with a quick Google search. Brand opportunity comes when you are easily recognizable. That’s why I have called myself the Metaverse Marketer. The rhythm of the words combined with the alliteration is insanely powerful name recognition is beyond valuable to me simply because it’s easily recognizable. I started it when I was a sophomore in college and it’s been the foundational point of my brand simply because it’s recognizable.

Have you done your Brand Research? 

If there is more than one person at your business, then chances are, there is more than one interpretation of your brand. Branding is often done in the small things that are based on research.

How internal research can improve your branding:

Internal surveys are one of my favorite brand tools for businesses of any size. Taking the time to ask people at your business what they think your brand represents and how it reflects your business is insanely important. It can give you valuable insights into what you are doing wrong, what you are doing right, or where you need to work on communicating your mission with others.

Internal research can also help you understand how different people view your business. In short, your interpretation of your business’s brand is going to be varying scales of different from what other people have. A really powerful branding tool can actually be personality testing to find out who is attracted to your online branding as a business owner and if you are actually hiring people who reflect your business goals.

How external research can improve your branding:

One thing I frequently do in my branding research is research what my competitors are doing. External research into your competitors can actually be valuable in answering the question “What do I do better than anyone else?” because you can see what your competitors do and what they claim they do better than you. If you can find discrepancies or items you know you are better at, you can start there.

 

Thanks for reading to the end of this post. If you find the information I provide to be helpful, you may want to consider working with me as your web designer or marketing consultant.

My expertise is in WordPress, and Shopify Marketing Optimized Web Design that leads perfectly into SEO, Social Media, and PPC Marketing campaigns. If you are interested in working with me, please fill out the request form below!

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