The ultimate goal for any brand or marketing strategy is to grow your business and increase brand awareness – but how do you keep up with a constantly evolving industry?

The importance of brand evolution

We work on brand and marketing strategies each day and for us, the number one factor of a successful strategy is that it constantly evolves. Your strategy is long term and it should always be developing and improving – it should reflect three key components: your brand, your target customer and the current market.

The last two may seem fairly obvious, but why is brand so important? A successful brand communicates who you are, your values and what you stand for. It should have a personality, and it should be considered long term – it’s certainly not something that is created overnight, but rather something that’s always evolving to keep up with competitors, your target market and changes within your own company.

Your brand is the face of your organisation and every customer’s first impression. It needs to be engaging – after all, if consumers don’t want to interact with it, what’s the point?

When we sit down to create a brand, we’re shaping your strategy by defining how people perceive your organisation, and how it’s positioned in the industry. Brand development is a strategic process and a major component in the success of your strategy.

As Paul Rand put it, “Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.”

Why use a multi-channel strategy?

The digital world is constantly developing and the use of social media and PPC (pay per click) are definitely proving their worth to marketers. However, it’s essential to keep a balance between online and traditional media. It’s tempting to focus marketing efforts on digital media – after all, it’s relatively low cost and the returns can be substantial. But think in terms of your target audience. You’re trying to reach them – what’s an average day like? Do they see outdoor advertising? Listen to the radio? Look for as many touchpoints as possible to get your message across. PR, advertising, radio, print, social media. They all have their place in reaching modern consumers and they all contribute to building your brand.

By using a true mix of media you’re forming an integrated approach to your strategy. There should be an all-round clear and consistent message, with many engagements with your audience. Repetition of the core message is key, and reinforcing your message via different media works even better. Evidence supports the illusion of truth effect – the concept that people put more trust in messages if they have heard or seen them repeatedly.

Marketing trends for 2017

Any strategic plan should take into account the market you operate in. We’ve taken a look at some of the key trends to look out for in 2017:

A greater focus on lifetime customer value
Companies are seeing the value in customer retention – it costs less to keep a customer than to win a new one. Make sure you’re engaging with your existing customers to build a loyal following. Quick wins are tempting but investing the time and finances now can really pay off in the long run.

Influencers will continue to play a huge role in digital
Bloggers, vloggers, early adopters – they’re all key to reaching and converting audiences in their thousands. Word of mouth and personal reviews are seen as very trustworthy and influencers are the gateway to large communities. Create a buzz amongst these groups and you’ll see your return on investment snowball.

Aim for transparency on social media
Go beyond ‘business as usual’ and give audiences a real insight into your company – what does your office look like, who are your people, what makes you unique? This is where your brand strategy comes in. Communicate who you are and what you stand for. Social media is the perfect platform for telling your brand story and engaging with users!

The power of blogs
Research by Social Media Examiner found that blogs are the third most influential digital resource when making overall purchases, behind retail sites and brand sites. Consumers said that blogs rank higher than Twitter for shaping their opinions and higher than Facebook for motivating purchasing decisions.

An increase in live streaming
Facebook introduced live streaming in 2016, making the feature more accessible than ever. Live streaming is predicted to increase in popularity in late 2017 – take advantage of it by doing features such as Q&A’s, giving demos and broadcasting events live for those who might otherwise not attend.

For more information on how The Creative Alchemist can work with your brand to implement a successful brand strategy, get in touch today.