Evolutionary Branding: How To Improve Your Branding And Online Presence With The BOCA Curve

There has been an explosion of entrepreneurship during the pandemic. Since my company caters to small businesses, startups and nonprofits, this boom has been very good for our business too.

I write a lot about evolutionary branding — the process of improving your brand a little bit at a time rather than all at once. This is especially important when starting a new business and you are strapped for resources. And even more so if your idea is timely and disruptive where getting to market quickly is imperative.

To make this process simple when we onboard a new client, there’s a series of questions we use to help identify what part of a client’s brand needs the most help. We also use this as a tool to create a roadmap to guide our branding and marketing journey with the goal of fixing the places that need it most and then doing the rest as budget and resources allow.

We call this the BOCA Curve (Branding, Online Presence, Content and Advertising).

This helps takes the mystery out of marketing so you can quickly improve your brand and exponentially increase revenue. The way it works is you read the questions that follow and answer each one with a green dot for what you do well, a yellow dot for what you are unsure about and a red dot for what you do poorly.

In this article, we will address the first two parts — branding and online presence. Then, in a follow-up article, we will talk about content and advertising.

1. Do you really know your competition?

Understanding your competition is the foundation of every business. It’s not who you think your competition is that’s important; it’s who your customers think your competition is that matters. So ask your customers who they looked at before choosing your product or service.

2. Can you tell people why they should work with you?

Once you understand your competition, this is the foundation of everything. Articulate what you do differently and better — your value proposition. By the time people get to your place of business or website, they should know what you do and why they need it. Tell them why they should choose you.

3. Is your company name compelling?

From your business cards and your website to your ads and everything in-between, you won’t use anything as often in your business touchpoints as your company name. To stand out, choose a name that supports your value proposition. This will make marketing easier.

4. Does your slogan sell?

Once you have a memorable name, craft a slogan that distills your value proposition to a sentence or two. If your slogan can do the selling, you won’t have to.

5. Will people remember your logo?

It’s important to craft a logo that is “sticky.” The goal is for every element of your brand to work for you. So use unique fonts and imagery that people will remember.

6. What is your ‘shameless’ goal?

People have a hard time talking about what they really want. Usually, it’s to make money or get recognition. Make sure that it is clear what you want people to do. This is the power of the “Buy Now” button.

7. How clear is your brand voice and messaging?

Clearly defining your brand’s voice, thoughts and concepts creates a more focused approach to your messaging. You must look at the end game, then create messaging to get there.

8. Is your website well-organized?

Information architecture is all about finding ways to help the user navigate the website in order to reach their goal. Keep it simple — one page per subject with clear calls to action that directs people to your “shameless” goal.

9. Is your website bringing you business or getting people to reach out?

Contrary to the old adage, people do judge a book by its cover. This is important to remember because before a customer or client comes to your store or office, they’ll visit your website. What we’ve found is most effective is to treat your homepage like an infomercial. Have the banner display what you do differently and better than your competitors in as few words as you can with a clear call to action like “Buy Now,” “Get Started,” or “Contact Us.”

Then, in each subsequent section, talk about something else that you do and explain how that supports your value proposition: what you do differently and better than your competitors. This is like the “Still not convinced?” section in infomercial jargon.

10. Do you know how long people stay on your website?

Google Analytics is your best friend. It’s the absolute easiest way to judge if your brand is compelling. If people are interested in what you do or have to say, they will stay on your website for a longer time. If you want to take it up a notch, install heatmap software like Crazy Egg or HotJar and watch which parts of your website engage people the most and do more of that.

Now it’s time to experience the power of the BOCA curve.

Go from top to bottom and improve all the items on the list with red dots next to them. Then, start over and improve the remaining items with yellow dots. When they are all green, you will have a spectacular brand (or at least your branding and website). It’s literally that simple!

Read More at: www.forbes.com

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