BY KATIE STELMASZEK
I have been the Creative Director at Bottom Line Marketing for the last 9 years. I enjoy helping our customers build their brands and design their ads. I have bachelor’s degree in Media Production and Communication from Northern Michigan University.
At Bottom Line Marketing, we believe that you should be more than the brands you carry in your store. You should be your own brand. Building your brand in the age of multi-channel marketing makes it even more important to stand out from the crowd!
Find Your Voice
The first step for any brand is figuring out what you should talk about. Your customers have choices, you need to let them know why they should choose YOU. What makes you special and unique? What do you do better than any one of your competitors? Don’t be afraid to brag about your brand.
Don’t Play It Safe
Don’t let your fear of a negative comment keep you from being bold, funny or different. The fact that no one is saying bad things about those safe ads, might be because no one is saying anything about them at all. Looking and sounding like everyone else may feel safe, but this is the fastest way for your brand to get lost in the crowd. You need to make people’s eyes or ears stop and take notice, to start the sale!
Your ads should feel like YOU, and consistency is key! Use the same voice, colors, fonts, logos and key elements across all of your advertising. You don’t have to use red, just because it’s Valentine’s Day. Think about how you can make an event or holiday look or feel like you. Resist the impulse to change things up because “you just feel like doing something new.” It’s not boring. It’s brand recognition.
Once Is Never Enough
Putting up one post or sending one email doesn’t get you very far. It takes the same individual hearing a message at least 3 times in 7 nights, before a message truly starts to sink in. To build your brand message, be prepared to say it again and again and again across all of your marketing channels.
Don’t spread your message too thin! If you don’t have a big budget, focus on reaching a portion of your audience with enough frequency to make the advertising that you do be effective.
Keep It Simple
Your customers aren’t stupid, but they are definitely distracted. With thousands of messages bombarding them every day, your customers don’t have time to learn, read or process all of the things you want them to know about you in one ad. Aim for more white space and less clutter by focusing on a single message. Make sure each element of your ad has a purpose or adds to the design.
Have more to say? Use a campaign to build your brand and tell your story over time! It will help your customers get to know all of the great things about you, without overwhelming them with one ad.
Give Yourself Time
Becoming a brand doesn’t happen overnight. Make a plan and dedicate yourself to an annual plan! Give your advertising time to work before you decide to move onto something else.