As I’ve experienced, some people think that brand communication is equal to image communication, but that’s simply not the case. Brand communication encompasses a holistic approach to building and managing a brand. It’s the art of shaping and expressing your brand’s identity, values, personality, and messages across various channels and touchpoints. The goal of brand communication is not merely to create a visually appealing brand but to establish a lasting impression and emotional connection with your target audience.
On the other hand, image communication is just one part of the broader brand communication strategy. While image communication is vital for immediate brand recognition, it’s only a piece of the puzzle.
The big picture: 4 Phases of Brand Communication
You might already know that effective communication is a key to success. But have you ever wondered what brand communication really covers? Let’s dive into the world of brand communication and unveil its true essence.
1. Brand awareness building
At this stage, the focus is on spreading brand visibility and reaching new people within your target audience who haven’t encountered your brand before.
Imagine you’re introducing yourself to a room full of strangers. You want to make a memorable first impression. That’s precisely what brand awareness communication is all about in different contexts, on different channels and with different tools.
In this phase, visual communication plays a significant role. It involves creating visually appealing representations of your brand that catch potential customers’ attention.
However, brand awareness communication is not just about appearances; it’s about conveying your key messages about your brand’s purpose, mission, vision, background story, and the product(s) or service(s) you offer. Your messaging should be clear, compelling, and consistent to make a lasting impact on your audience.
2. Engagement and lead generation
Once you’ve successfully caught the attention of potential customers, the next step is to build relationships and nurture them. This is where engagement and lead generation communication come into play.
Think of this phase as having the first interactions with your audience, getting to know them better, making them familiar with your brand and giving them the first value.
Providing them with valuable insights, knowledge and content that resonates with their interests and needs is a good way for this purpose. Educational communications can help you establish yourself as a knowledgeable and helpful authority in your industry.
Offering trial opportunities, free samples, or demos of your product is another great way to let your potential customers experience the benefits of your product firsthand, to reduce any hesitations they may have and to nudge them towards making their first purchase.
3. Sales communication
Now that you’ve engaged potential customers and built some rapport, it’s time and it’s easier (!) to take it a step further and close the deal. Sales communication is about convincing potential customers to buy your product or service.
This phase requires persuasive communication.
Special offers, call-to-action messages, and testimonials providing social proof are powerful tools to encourage customers to make a purchase.
You want them to feel excited about your product and confident in their decision.
4. Brand loyalty building
Your brand’s success doesn’t end with a single sale; it thrives on repeat customers and loyal advocates. Loyalty-building communication is the final phase of brand communication, where you aim to make committed customers for the long term.
Special opportunities, follow-up communications, and VIP treatment are only very few examples on how to make your customers feel valued and appreciated. Cross-selling and upselling opportunities can introduce them to other products that complement their initial purchase.
Involving customers in your product development and engaging them to be brand advocates are another way to make them feel valued and a win-win for all of you.
A strong brand community can be built through communications for instance in closed groups or via separate channels dedicated for this purpose, fostering a sense of belonging and creating brand evangelists who spread the word about your brand.
In conclusion, brand communication encompasses a comprehensive strategy that covers reaching new audiences, engaging potential customers, closing sales, and building lasting loyalty.
You might be wondering what to do in each of these specific phases.
You may find yourself asking essential questions for each specific phase:
- What is my purpose in each stage?
- How can I truly understand and connect with my target audience?
- What kind of messages will resonate with them?
- Which communication methods should I leverage to make a lasting impact?
Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered. In my upcoming articles (the one about Awareness phase already published), I will detail each of these aspects, providing you with valuable and actionable insights with practical tips to refine your brand communication strategy and to help you master the art of brand communication and build a thriving brand. Stay tuned. 😉