Most customers won’t go in-depth while analyzing a product or service they’re paying for. Sure, they may weigh in features and factors, but they don’t have enough specific knowledge to make a data-based decision.

So, what makes them decide?

The majority of the product they choose comes from a brand they like the most.

It gets even betters since, if the service is exemplary, they might stay loyal customers for years and years to come.

With all of this in mind, here are the top five practical branding ideas to help keep your business image ahead of the competition.


1. Identify your target audience

Some businesses are hesitant to outline their target audience clearly. Instead, they cast a wide net, unwilling to dismiss anyone as a potential lead. This is a serious problem because trying to appeal to everyone usually ends up appealing to no one

You need to reconcile with the fact that some people will never become your target audience in significant numbers. You might start losing your core audience by going too much out of your way to appease these unlikely leads. 

One more thing to remember is that only 20% of your regulars make up about 80% of your total revenue. In other words, if you want a cost-efficient campaign, you would identify your core and focus all your efforts on them. 

The first thing you want to do is create a customer persona. Imagine if your audience had to be embodied by a single buyer. Take all the averages and try to make a single person. Now, try to answer some questions:

  • How old are they? 
  • Are they more likely to be male or female?
  • What level of education do they have? 
  • What is their purchasing power? 
  • Are there regions that they’re more likely to come from?

By answering these questions, you’ll get an idea of how to approach them. You see, every demographic has its own preferred social media platform. Women are more frequent on Pinterest, while people with a higher education degree are more likely to have a LinkedIn account. 

In other words, you must first establish the recipient of your message. Only then can you craft a compelling message and choose the best medium to send it through.

Use the power of data

Fortunately, in 2023, you will have an endless source of customer data available. It may sound paradoxical, but it’s easier to predict the behavior of a huge group (your entire target audience) than a single customer. While you cannot predict the behavior of a single human, statistics can be pretty powerful when the sample is large enough. 

You can use this data to plan a strategy and adjust it each time you evaluate your campaign. 

When you analyze it properly, you may use data to predict future trends. Adjusting your brand to these trends can be the competitive edge you have been looking for all along. 

2. Protect your IP

Your brand is an idea, and as such, it falls under the intellectual property or at least some of its elements. Your logo, motto, imagery, etc., all of this counts. Imagine working hard to build your brand recognition only for this to be stolen and used by someone else.

This is not just about others stealing your work; it’s about misrepresenting what you stand off. An off-brand of your product is likely to be of lower quality. The team behind it is also more likely to work less ethically. After all, if they had no problem stealing someone else’s image, what kind of consideration can you expect from them? To make the long story short, you’re doing this to protect your brand from external harm.


Contact an IP lawyer.

There are many reasons why you would need an intellectual property lawyer. While the procedure of filing for a copyright or trademark may seem simple, the devil is in the details. You want someone who will ensure that nothing is missing.

Second, the IP law is relatively complex. You need someone with expertise in different facets of IP law to help you out. 

Lastly, IP professionals will help you with document drafting. This is a huge point that you can facilitate in other ways. This brings us to our next point…

Brand agreements and contract templates

Whatever you do needs to be protected. Whenever someone wants to use your brand, you need to ask them to sign a brand licensing agreement. This is a form of a contract that will allow others to use your imagery while still allowing you to keep full ownership of your brand. 

If you expect to encounter many such instances, you might want to create contract templates to facilitate the process. This way, you stay safe while making some leeway for your brand. Templates just help you save time.

3. Brand awareness and brand recognition

When building a brand, you must take a step-by-step approach. First, you need to establish brand recognition. This is a stage where people recognize your logo/name and have an idea of what you do.

Once they recognize you, you need to start building brand awareness. In this stage, your audience members know a thing or two about your business. Brand awareness always comes after brand recognition (which is logical), and it’s much harder to build. One of the ways to facilitate this process is to use marketing psychology to your advantage

Strategies for building brand awareness

The first thing you could try is to offer some free products. People may be interested in your product but want to wait for some reviews and testimonials first. This is the quickest way to get them.

Second, you want to write a compelling brand story. Use storytelling techniques to make it more captivating. Instead of painting your brand as a protagonist, portray the customer as the main character. Your business is merely an agent to help solve their problem.

Working with the local community may help humanize your business and earn you some favors. The local market is the most important for most small and medium enterprises. This is one of the quickest ways to get established there. Sponsoring a local sports team or a charity event can go a long way. These events are also great networking opportunities.

4. Improve your CRM

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a strategy to help you nurture your leads into customers and beyond. Previously, we’ve mentioned that 20% of regular customers buy 80% of your products. Well, this usually doesn’t happen on its own. 

According to the principle of the customer lifecycle, the majority of people don’t become paying customers right away. It might be a while from the moment they express interest in your business until they make their first purchase.

If they’re happy with their first purchase, they might come back from more, but even this will require a slight push on your part. With enough customer data in your CRM tool, you’ll know how to re-engage your previous customers. This way, you’ll turn them into return customers.

Even this is not the end of their journey. The next stage, after return customer, is the brand ambassador. These regular customers spread the word about your brand out of conviction. With enough brand ambassadors, your brand promotion campaign will be, more or less, self-sustaining.


Platforms like ActiveCampaign or its alternatives

With the help of a specialized platform, you can achieve many amazing results:

  • Improve customer service
  • Increase sales
  • Improve customer retention
  • Handle communication with leads
  • Segment customers

While many people use cloud software platforms like ActiveCampaign; however, this is not your only choice. There are many great ActiveCampaign alternatives out there for you to discover. 

5. Track your competitors

Competitive monitoring can help your branding campaign in many ways. First, seeing what they’re doing better enables you to discover a weakness in your campaign.

Second, you can gain the upper hand by creating a hard-to-resist USP (unique selling proposition) by seeing what they’re doing wrong

Third, you must understand that industry standards exist for a reason. When you see a boxing glove on a logo, there’s a reason why you assume it’s a boxing club or a federation. A cross signifies a healthcare organization, while a book marks an educational institution. While being unique is generally good, you don’t want to be too unique. Thinking outside of the box is good but don’t forget that the box is there for a reason.

Even in the brand awareness stage, you need to identify who your competitors are. You cannot rely on your audience’s skill of perception. Instead, you need to make it easy for them to tell you apart.

Use brand tracking tools on your competitors

With the help of brand tracking tools, you’ll automate the competitive monitoring process. Still, just because these tools are sophisticated and highly advanced, it doesn’t mean they’ll do their job for you. In other words, you still need to:

  • Pick the tool
  • Set the metrics
  • Consistently use them
  • Evaluate your brand against the results of your search 

In the end, even the best tool is just a tool. It’s how you use it that matters the most. So, pick something that’s not too hard to master. At the very least, you’re looking for a beginner-friendly learning curve so that you can start using basic features as soon as possible. 

With the right branding campaign, your competitors won’t stand a chance

Making a brand is difficult, but maintaining it is even more challenging. For most, branding comes down to picking a logo, name, and corporate colors. However, adjusting to stay ahead of the competition is what matters. Just remember that your job is never done.

By Srdjan Gombar

Srdjan GombarVeteran content writer, published author, and amateur boxer. Srdjan is a Bachelor of Arts in English Language & Literature and is passionate about technology, pop culture, and self-improvement. His free time he spends reading, watching movies, and playing Super Mario Bros. with his son.