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Ever wonder why some brands seem to have the magic touch, while others fade away?

The perceptible difference lies in brand presence, which can be loosely defined as the sum of all the ways your business is perceived.

A strong brand presence is the Holy Grail of identity-building: It sets you apart from the competition, exuding that intangible magnetism that consumers crave. When shoppers go out of their way to find a Target and Trader Joe’s or wear the brokerage-branded hat their real estate agent gave them at closing, it’s rarely just savings and convenience driving the bus – it’s brand presence. Marketing guru Seth Godin might have put it best: “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.”

Brand presence is important to every bottom line.  Forbes wrote in 2021, “Your brand matters regardless of the size of your business, and arguably it matters more for small businesses where customers likely have more convenient options.” Every day, Hammer Marketing sees firsthand the power of branding for e-commerce companies as well as brands with physical locations. Businesses that build a strong brand presence enjoy:

Of course, you can’t simply snap your finders and have a strong brand presence. Establishing strong brand presence has always required effort; it’s even tougher in today’s crowded marketplace, where smart differentiation is harder (and more of a delicate dance) than before.  

Not sure where to start? Fear not: Below are key tactics for enhancing your brand presence and, in doing so, setting up your business for success.

But First: Marketing’s Five P’s

Building a successful brand presence requires more than just a memorable logo, catchy slogan, website, and random Instagram posts. Those are ingredients of brand presence, yes, but like a single egg in a cake recipe, they don’t cut it on their own!

Building a strong brand presence means assessing and then curating your brand across all five pillars of marketing. They’re easy to remember because they all start with P:

Purpose: Strong brand presence is built on clear and compelling brand purpose. Look beyond your business’s overt mission (“to make money restoring and selling bikes,” for example) and ask yourself: “Bigger picture, why is my brand here?” Maybe it’s “To get people outdoors – the missing ingredient in the quest for health and happiness,” or “Because recycled bikes reduces our carbon footprint.” Your response is what will connect you with your right-fit audience. Simon Sinek’s Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action delves into the importance of purpose in business; it can help you define yours.

Perception: What exactly do you want your target audience to think and feel when they encounter or even think about your brand? Once you’re clear on this you can embark on marketing efforts that get you there. Renowned digital marketing expert Neil Patel frequently writes about brand perception; his blog offers insights on how to influence brand perception.

Personality: Imagine if Apple swapped its sleek logo and less-is-more voice with Old Spice’s verbose, playful presence, and you get a sense for the nuanced importance of personality to branding. 99designs is a platform that offers resources on branding design; you can find insights on their site on topics like developing your brand voice and creating a brand style guide.
Position: How is your brand different from its competitors – inherently, but also in terms of how you convey it? This question is vital for all businesses, but especially businesses in crowded markets. The American Marketing Association website is a great resource for making these calls.  

Promotion: Content marketing and social media engagement all fall under promotion, an increasingly important aspect of branding and not one to be taken lightly. The Content Marketing Institute has a variety of resources on creating and distributing content that promotes your brand and achieves your marketing goals.

And Now: Building a Strong Brand Presence

Once you understand the 5 Ps and how they work together to develop brand presence, you can take added steps toward creating yours:  

Step 1: Understand your target audience inside and out

Conduct market research to drill down on your ideal customer’s demographics, needs, and online behavior. Develop detailed buyer personas(profiles describing the various types of individuals or groups for whom your service or product is a fit) to gain a clear picture of qualified prospects.

Step 2: Build a brand identity

Your brand’s personality is the biggest outward mark of its presence – of what makes you you. This includes visual branding (logo, colors, fonts), brand voice (how you communicate), and messaging (what you say in that voice). Consistency is key! Make sure all branding elements work together seamlessly across all platforms.

Step 3: Communicate consistently

Your website, social media platforms, marketing materials, and even customer service interactions and chatbot responses should all feel like they’re coming from one source. Is your website copy playful? If so, playfulness should be a mark of every other brand touch point, too.

Step 4: Leverage content marketing

Content is a powerful tool for building brand presence. Create informative and original blog posts, engaging social media content, and helpful guides that educate and entertain your target audience. By establishing yourself as a thought leader, you build trust and credibility and stay at the forefront of prospects’ and customers’ minds.

Step 5: Engage via social media

Don’t just broadcast messages – have conversations! Respond to comments, answer questions, and participate in relevant discussions. Show your human side and build relationships with your audience. Again, consistency is key. You don’t have to post every hour or even every day, but however often you post, do so steadily. 

Building a strong brand presence takes time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it. If it sounds daunting, hand it to Hammer. Our team of experts turns businesses across industries into brand powerhouses every day.  Contact us today to get started.

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