Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, regardless of the size. Developing a cohesive brand strategy will help to distinguish your business from the rest of the competition. While writing down your company’s vision, brainstorming your product’s benefits and features, and creating a logo may seem relatively simple from the outside, defining your brand actually requires a little more tact. And for starters, you must be mindful of a brand gap.
What is a brand gap?
Consider this scenario. You’ve just recently made a purchase from a company and had a mediocre experience—nothing to write home about. Flash forward a few days and you notice the same product offered from a different brand at a much lower price. Much to the company’s dismay, your thoughts regarding the brand have quickly gone from “the purchase was satisfactory,” to “I will not buy from them again because they were overpriced.”
This disconnect between what a customer thinks about a brand and what the brand wants them to think is referred to as a brand gap. And unfortunately, it’s more common than you would assume. Since customer’s beliefs influence their actions, a brand gap can be detrimental to your business.
What are the best ways to close the gap?
We all know that changing someone’s thoughts takes time and effort. But, if you find your company in the midst of a brand gap, it doesn’t have to mean that you’re out of the game. Closing the gap is possible and below are a few different ways to consider.
Understand what matters to your customers.
Knowing your customers is a no-brainer. But, knowing what matters the most to them can make a world of difference. If you can identify what matters to your targeted customers—price, ease of us, consistency, durability, etc.—you can tailor your products and messaging to effectively meet their needs
Keep the lines of communication open.
Sure, answering customers inquires is great, but what about reaching out on your own? In order to fully understand your customer’s needs, you must be willing to ask the hard questions that no one wants to ask. By staying engaged, you’ll be able to not only get to know your customers, but also understand your brand’s place within the market.
Map out your customer journey.
Ever sat down to think about the interactions that your customers go through with your brand before they make a purchase? If you’re answering no, don’t worry. Not too many businesses have mapped out their customer journey. But, doing so and understanding what your customers go through can help to decrease a brand gap.
At the end of the day, developing an effective branding strategy will help you to avoid the possibility of succumbing to a brand gap while also allowing you to grow the connection between your customers’ beliefs and your business success.