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Business branding is admittedly tough stuff. But we’ve outlined outlined five approaches that could help you make a name for yourself with consumers. (Credit: PXFuel)
Business branding is admittedly tough stuff. But we’ve outlined five approaches that could help you make a name for yourself with consumers. (Credit: PXFuel)

Breaking through the din of marketing ploys to effectively reach customers is a daunting task in and of itself. How can businesses go beyond that to make a lasting impression?

Establishing a brand — that is, crafting an identity as a business that distinguishes you from the competition — is admittedly tough stuff. But we’ve outlined five approaches that could help you make a name for yourself with consumers.

[Related: A New Way to Tell the World Your Business is Woman-Owned]

As you strategize how to reach customers old and new in 2020, consider doing so…

1. By Being Real

Okay, admittedly this one is less a suggestion, and more a must — whatever direction you go in, it has to be authentic. It’s like experts from Amber Williams of marketing firm Punkyflair to ad expert Jenn Grace and social media strategist Nichelle Stephens have told us in the past: you can’t force it.

2. By Being Funny

If yours is an irreverent brand — or if your social media manager is a natural cut-up — sharing a laugh with fans and followers could be a great way to make a name for your business. Twitter accounts for cookie maker Oreo and fast food chain Wendy’s, as well as bizarre television ads from deodorant seller Old Spice, provide fun examples of how to stick the landing.

3. By Being Current

Pop culture nods and memes give brands other fun ways to connect with customers. Run a coffee shop? Let followers see what your signature cups look like in Baby Yoda’s hands. Scheduling tweets about a sale on your e-commerce site? Tack on GIFs to get people even more engaged. Plus, these give you a chance to get in on online discussions as they happen.

[Related: Trial, Error and ‘Black Panther’ Helped Her Business Make Millions]

4. By Being Tech-Savvy

There are several ways to integrate tech into your branding (yes, beyond effectively leveraging your social media accounts). Offering features like a chat-bot assistant on your website will help you stand out as the helpful, easy-to-use option in the marketplace. Also, quite a few women entrepreneurs we know — like Michelle Kennedy of mom-centric social app Peanut or healthcare entrepreneur Kate Ryder of Maven Clinic — have found success in developing apps that serve as a main focus of their business.

5. By Being Socially Aware

Whether the work you do is tied to a cause or movement — like these eco-conscious entrepreneurs — or not, adopting moral and ethical stances can become a branding decision in and of itself. It can even score you some publicity, as it did for razor brand Gillette when it released an ad pushing back at toxic masculinity. But if you’re contemplating this route, beware: Not all consumers are fans.  And if you go down this road, be sure to do so with the first point on this list in mind.

[Related: How This Branding Firm Owner Chipped Away At Her Bucket List]

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