Building a brand is a powerful way to gain an edge over your competition. Your brand helps to establish why people should do business with or pay attention to you over someone else in your industry. And creating a successful brand doesn’t happen overnight. Extensive advertising and expansive marketing budgets are the norms among major corporations, insurers and otherwise. Even with limited resources, establishing a brand is possible.
By definition, branding is a marketing strategy that entails creating a name, design, or symbol that makes your industry easily identifiable. Branding establishes your agency’s personality and voice, mission, vision, promise to customers, and values. From website design to marketing materials you distribute to interactions with clients, the brand should be consistently communicated to others
Strategies for Branding
- Logo: Take Nike for example. All Nike products — shoes, apparel, and otherwise — are adorned with a signature swoosh. People can immediately identify a Nike product for this reason. Just as Nike employs the swoosh, a logo can help make a lasting impression on both prospects and existing customers. If possible, work with someone with graphic design skills to create a strong branding statement. When it comes to branding, your company’s logo is a high priority investment.
- Website: Website branding boils down to several components: layout, colors, style (fonts, imagery, etc), and content. The key is not to create the most complex, intricate website, rather it is to maintain a cohesive brand throughout. Use your logo, complementary colors, a clear layout, and congruous pages. Have a clear idea of how you want your website to function and bear that in mind during the development process.
- Social Media: Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn remain consistent with messaging and styling throughout each platform. Remember to use your normal voice and be real, this creates a more authentic relationship with viewers.
- Emails, Signage, Letterheads, Oh My: The opportunities for branding are endless. Whether it is a pen in the office or a letter to clients, take advantage of any opportunity to create visual rapport with customers.
Benefits of Branding
- Builds Recognition: Branding your agency builds recognition, which in turn creates familiarity and comfort with conducting business. You want to include your logo on your letterhead, quotes, promotional material, and your website. Likewise, carry over the same fonts, colors, and imagery throughout.
- Enhances Credibility: When you combine consistent visuals with outstanding service, your agency’s credibility increases among both customers and industry members. As a consumer, you gravitate towards businesses with strong brands as it implicitly expresses professionalism.
- Boosts Sales: The more brand awareness, the more trust consumers have in your agency. The more trust, the more likely they are to turn to you for their insurance needs. After reeling in customers, provide them with the excellent insurance and customer service that they expect to retain them. Your long term customers may even share their experiences with your agency, prompting new customers to buy policies from you instead of somewhere else.
In an industry overrun with commoditization and competition, an authentic brand is a refreshing way to stand out. Branding allows you to show people who you are, what you offer, and why people should choose you. Tell your story; be real; and watch the change unfold before you.