STRENGTHEN YOUR BRAND IN 5 EASY STEPS April 20, 2018 | Marketing | small business , networking , business website , digital marketing , entrepreneur By Sydney Arp Brand identity can be surprisingly difficult to nail down. It’s often easier to pinpoint what you’re not as a business than it is to articulate what you stand for. And what if you leave something important out? You do a lot of great things, after all. These are just a few reasons why we don’t focus on the face of our businesses as much as the actual doing. (And don’t get us wrong, doing is important!) But the truth is that today, your brand matters more than ever, especially to a millennial marketing audience . Millennials are loyal—once they’re captivated. In fact, 60% of millennials are often or always loyal to brands that have gained their trust, and that means they’re more likely to recommend those brands to friends and family. Word of mouth is still the best brand endorsement for nearly half of all millennials, and online reviews count. So how can you communicate a strong brand message without disrupting your day-to-day duties or overthinking it? Your Identity Starts with Your Perfect Customer Don’t start with a mirror. Looking outward is actually the perfect place to begin when strengthening your brand identity. Imagine your perfect customer. You can get pretty specific here. Maybe they’re a couple, ages 28 to 32, purchasing their very first home. Great! Now, what do they value? Why do they need your services and how can you meet their needs and reflect those values? Imagining your perfect customer won’t automatically turn other types of customers away. If they’re looking for a home inspection, there’s a great chance that they’ll have similar needs and values. But really picturing the people whose business matters to you the most can help you start to connect with potential customers on a whole new level. Find Something That Sets You Apart Are you doing something differently from your competitors? Maybe you offer a more generous warranty or you’re trained to perform a specialized service that will add value to your overall package. If you can’t think of anything that sets you apart, it may be time to invest. Learn a new skill or focus on elevating one particular aspect of your business, like customer service. Find a Public Speaking Platform Speaking in front of a crowd is nerve-racking for most of us, but it may just be one of the best things you can do for your brand. From holding a class for real estate agents to giving a presentation at your BNI group to taking the mic at a networking event, public speaking can take many forms. Part of strengthening your brand is finding which type of public speaking gig feels the most comfortable for you and the most befitting of the message you want to project. Be the Top Expert Positioning yourself as a top expert in your field is not only great for business, it’s great for figuring out what kind of expert you are. Do you have special industry interests, like a ton of experience inspecting commercial HVAC systems? A passion for a specific marketing tactic? You can spread your general knowledge of the inspection business as well as any specializations you have to be the expert. The sky’s the limit when it comes to being the expert. You can contribute to news articles as a professional source, write blog content of your own, post videos to social media or participate in a public speaking event. Give Back to Your Community Most would agree that it just plain feels good to support a brand that pays it forward. Why not make giving back to your community a part of what makes your brand so exceptional? Sometimes all it takes is showing up. Take part in community events or make donations on behalf of your business. You could also arrange to make a small donation for each inspection you perform to an organization like Habitat for Humanity. All of these ideas make great social media posts that will set you apart from the rest and help you build brand loyalty. About the Author Sydney Arp, Designer and Marketing Strategist Sydney serves as NPI’s in-house graphic and web designer. With experience in art direction and brand development, she loves being a part of a team that’s giving a fresh, new feel to an established company. Not only is her work aesthetically pleasing – It’s made to get results. Sydney supports our franchisees on a daily basis with all of their print and digital design needs. Have an idea about a new campaign? Sydney will turn it into a reality!