The Psychology of Branding: How Your Small Business Can Increase Brand Loyalty

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Most decisions people make are neither arbitrary nor random.

Smart businesses take advantage of this by leveraging marketing psychology to influence people’s purchasing decisions. If you can create marketing campaigns that persuade people to buy your products or services, you can grow your business faster and create a more loyal base of customers.

Large companies have teams of experienced marketers and agencies that help them create effective branding and powerful marketing campaigns. As a small business, you might not have the same advantages, but you can use the same principles of psychology to influence your customers and prospects.

And the best place to start applying these powerful psychological principles is your company’s branding.

By leveraging psychology in your branding, you can increase brand awareness, drive sales, build brand equity, and grow your business faster.

Branding psychology involves colors, symbols, voice, and many other elements influencing people’s purchasing decisions.

Let’s look at how you can use these branding techniques to help your small business succeed.

1. Use effective colors that complement your brand

Color plays a significant role in shaping your brand. The right color can help people form impressions about your brand. The wrong color can prompt people to ignore your products and services.

For example, suppose you’re selling clothing to an audience of male athletes between 18 and 25. In that case, you generally don’t want to use the color pink because pink doesn’t typically resonate with that demographic. On the other hand, if you sell clothing to women between 18 and 25, pink might be a great color.

So, using the right colors is essential to influence your target audience effectively. Ask questions such as:

  • What colors best suit my brand’s image? Does it suit the designs I want to use?
  • What mood or vibe do I want to communicate to my target audience through my brand colors?
  • What colors does my target audience like?
  • How many colors should I use? Do they complement each other?

The right color is important because colors convey different meanings. For example, blue signifies trustworthiness, calmness, and stability. It’s also a popular color for famous companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Meanwhile, red represents excitement and demands attention. Coca-Cola, Target, and many other famous brands use red in their branding.

Take the time to research colors, and make sure you use appropriate, on-brand colors in your branding. Otherwise, you’ll create friction with your target audience.  

And if you have several products, services, or sub-brands, be sure that the identity across your brands is consistent and complementary.

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2. Leverage status symbols

It doesn’t matter how much budget you have as a business; people won’t trust you if you have a weak brand identity.

Your brand’s most significant symbols, such as logo, website design, and product packaging, play a vital role in shaping your brand’s identity. Use these to your advantage to manifest the identity you’re going for. Take note of the following:

  • Your branding design must be appropriate for the brand image you want to achieve. Avoid using cheap or generic designs. Ensure that all your designs are professional-looking.
  • Don’t use too many words when promoting your products or services; go straight to the point. Long narratives typically confuse and bore people.
  • Consistently deliver quality service and products. The goal is to associate your brand with quality and excellence to establish authority and credibility.

For example, if you’re a jewelry brand, it’s best to use minimalistic designs on your website and your logo. This helps you maintain an image of luxury and sophistication. Think of your brand identity as your business’s fashion statement. It’s simple logic: you don’t want to appear overdressed or underdressed to the market you want to impress.

3. Make your brand voice distinct and consistent

You must have a unique, appropriate, and consistent brand voice. You want to appear as the same person to your audience to create better connections and foster familiarity.

Avoid confusing people by changing your communication styles now and then. People who don’t know your brand and are researching you could find it confusing. This could backfire on you and doesn’t help you gain brand awareness.

For example, if you’re a chocolate business, it’s best to use a cheerful and entertaining voice to speak to your customers on all communication channels. Don’t just use it on Twitter or Instagram because they have a younger audience.

To ensure that you’re using a unique and appropriate brand voice, ask questions:

  • What kind of personalities does my target audience have?
  • Do they prefer a casual or formal form of communication?
  • How do they communicate with each other? What slang or particular words can I use to be relatable?

Make sure to research your target audience to appeal to them quickly. And don’t forget to ensure that your brand messaging is uniform along with your voice.

4. Anticipate what your audience will need

Meeting the basic needs of your customers, such as providing quality service and products, isn’t enough anymore. Businesses today need to anticipate what their customers might want in the future.

The competition continues to grow as social media and the internet constantly evolve to make people’s lives easier. People can now find what they need instantly and are overwhelmed by choices.

You need to be ahead of your game and do the following:

By studying your customers and target audience and their current behavior, you can enhance future offerings accordingly and fine-tune them to their future needs.

For example, Gucci launched its Gucci Garden on Roblox to help build brand awareness for its younger audience. It’s a virtual recreation of their real-life store in Florence, Italy, allowing people to visit, browse, try on clothes, and purchase through the platform. 

5. Tell stories when promoting your brand

Storytelling allows you to connect with people effectively. Leverage this and incorporate storytelling tactics when promoting your products or services.

You must foster an emotional connection with your audience to strengthen relationships and gain credibility. This is how you can increase customer loyalty and earn the trust of your target audience.

For example, Goodlife Fitness has two outstanding campaigns beginning with the #SexySmartStrong on social media, which used ordinary people of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds to promote the brand. The brand’s “Live Your Good Life” campaign promoted 15-30-second videos featuring regular people as our everyday heroes.

Goodlife’s example of compelling storytelling allows people to relate with the brand more by using everyday, regular people to promote their campaigns rather than fit brand ambassadors. This sends a powerful message to their audience that being healthy is not limited to a specific size or shape.

6. Use high-quality imagery

You must set, follow, and maintain a standard for everything in your business – especially the images you use.

A great picture catches people’s eyes and helps encourage them to make a purchase. So, any photo won’t do. Invest time and energy in producing high-quality images, as these represent your brand.

For example, when producing blogs or content online, ensure your photos are of the highest quality and can be seen clearly across all devices. Your brand logo should be crisp and evident on your business website and placed in a position where it can be easily seen – after all, it’s your brand’s face, so make it count.

Remember that your images can significantly impact people’s perceptions of your brand. If you produce low-quality photos, people will assume that your products or services are also low-quality.

7. Focus on creating an experience

The best way to impress people is to create an unforgettable customer experience. Ensure that when a customer visits your brand, they can get something valuable – regardless of whether they make a purchase.

Creating a brand experience starts from the pre-purchase stage when people merely browse your social media or website. Make sure that you have all these elements during the pre-purchase stage:

  • A general theme that people can observe from your posts
  • Consistent use of brand voice and brand colors
  • Easy-to-use website tools
  • Contact information that is easily accessible
  • High-quality images with appropriate captions and descriptions

These are all essential elements that people can see just from a single visit and can determine whether they will stay or not. So, make sure people can get what they want from the get-go.

Then, hook them in with actionable calls to action to help you gather the necessary information to forge and nurture connections.

Psychology doesn’t have to guide all of your decisions. But when it’s appropriate, you should leverage these powerful psychological principles that influence how and why people make purchasing decisions. After all, you want every advantage you can get when growing a business.

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