The retail industry is in a precarious situation today. The internet has made it easy to sell and reach a wider audience, leveling the playing field for big and small players. We’ve seen established brands fall and new ones rising in their place.
Any business that wishes to make its mark on the market needs to respond to changes as quickly as they happen. With new trends emerging every minute, traditional businesses need to reinvent themselves if they hope to survive in the 21st century.
Businesses of all sizes benefit from brand investments. Consumers today are more discerning than ever, and they also keep a close eye on the establishments they shop from. You can set yourself apart from the competition by investing in good branding that speaks about what you are as a business and what you hope to achieve.
We’re seeing brands utilizing new technology to present their products in a different light. For instance, some brands have used augmented reality to improve the online shopping experience. Here are a few ways you can revamp and revitalize your business.
1. Don’t overthink the message
A strong branding strategy practically runs itself. Consistency is key to a brand’s success, and all you have to do is to keep the message simple and repeat it over and over again. Any deviation from the established message will only confuse consumers and damage your brand. You don’t need to make the messaging more complicated, especially if your existing strategy already works.
Let’s say you run a clothing store. Your brand is heavily identified with the clothes you sell, and you have a loyal customer base. If you expand your product line to include non-clothing items like computers, you’re only going to confuse your loyal customers. Make sure that any changes to the branding don’t obfuscate your original message.
Appearances are everything in the world of business, and it’s important that you keep your branding tight and focused. Anything that has your brand on it, from the website to the shopping bags you use, needs to be consistent. You’re only damaging your business if the left and right hand are doing two different things. You can undo years of hard work if you’re not careful.
2. Know what you stand for
The point of a business is to provide a service to customers. For instance, if you’re in the hotel business, you want to provide comfortable lodging to travelers. Restaurateurs want to serve good food. But retailing isn’t as simple as selling products. You also need to create an experience around it. Otherwise, people will go to an online store.
Branding isn’t complicated. If you don’t know how to position your business in the market, you can emulate your direct competitors. But you also need a differentiator. Customers will identify with your brand if they can see what you stand for and what you hope to accomplish. If you cultivate your brand’s story, customers will gravitate towards your business.
3. Listen to your customers
Consumers evolve, and businesses need to evolve with them as well. There’s no assurance that your strategies today will still work in a few years, so you need to keep your ear on the ground. If you’re too slow to adapt to emerging trends, you risk falling behind your competitors. That means you should allow your brand to evolve in response to market changes.
But you shouldn’t veer too far from the brand’s core messaging. Otherwise, you could lose the things that make your brand special. Visual elements can always be refreshed. You can switch out your old typeface for a newer and more modern one. The logo might also use a few tweaks. You know you’ve done a good job if your customers can still recognize the old in the new.
The bottom line
You can’t build a brand overnight. It takes a lot of hard work, experimentation, and resources. But if you play your cards right, you can take your business to the digital age without losing its core components.