In a world where we don’t currently have much control, branding is one component of an overall localized marketing strategy where you can still have true impact. Effective branding can boost the visibility of your multi-location business, resulting in more sales. Does your current localized marketing strategy have enough of a focus on branding? Throughout this blog, we’ll share different tactics your multi-location business should be used to increase the effectiveness of your branding and help you win your localized marketing efforts. 

Set Brand Guidelines 

One of the first things all multi-location businesses should do when developing a branding strategy is to set brand guidelines. With multi-location businesses, you have different business locations nationwide, which makes brand guidelines critical. Your business must have the same tone of voice, the same values, and a similar marketing strategy across business locations. If one location is posting on social media every day and utilizing a playful or conversational tone of voice, while another location in the next city over is using a very informational tone, there is a big disconnect between the two, which ultimately negatively impacts the corporate brand. 

Consumers should be able to recognize that your business location is part of the overall corporate brand, despite where they find you, which is why brand guidelines are essential. In addition to the aspects mentioned above, your multi-location business should also be on the same page when it comes to communicating with consumers and responding to ratings and reviews. For instance, how quickly should your business be responding to local reviews? And which reviews should you be responding to, and how quickly? This is a conversation that corporate needs to have with each business location to ensure that everyone is aligned when it comes to brand guidelines.

If your multi-location business is looking for a way to manage social media at both the corporate and local levels, SOCi is here to help! Through SOCi Content Manager, corporate, regional, and local teams can access shared content libraries, which gives each side the ability to create, schedule, and approve social posts. With SOCi, it’s easy to synchronize localized marketing efforts across all levels of multi-location businesses. If your company can synchronize your social media efforts at the local level, you will improve brand recognition, thereby strengthening your brand. 

Improve Brand Recognition 

Consistency is crucial when it comes to brand recognition. First, all of the logos for each of your business’s locations should be the same. A logo is one of the top ways a consumer can recognize your brand. If your logos are not consistent across locations, it may confuse your consumers. It’s also essential to keep your logo visible on any search and social platforms your business uses- include them on your website and in email communications as well. The more often consumers see your logo, the more likely they will be to recognize your brand. 

While logos are one of the most important ways to ensure brand recognition, we can’t forget about other tactics like your brand style. Is there a specific set of colors that your brand utilizes, and are there particular fonts that you should use in brand communications? These are some things to consider when discussing brand guidelines with corporate. Again, if your multi-location business is using the same types of font and colors across all business locations, it will be easier for consumers to place your business within your brand. 

Focus on Helping Your Target Audience, Not Selling to Them

Another smart tip for branding during a pandemic is to become more empathetic as a company and to focus on having a conversation with consumers, instead of trying to sell to them right away. Many people are currently struggling financially due to COVID-19, so your brand message must match the current climate. Rather than telling your consumer to come and buy your product, you can highlight ways you are helping others during this difficult time. For instance, if your company is providing free meals to healthcare workers, that would be an excellent opportunity to highlight. 

You also want to make sure that you are coming across as genuine. While your multi-location business likely wants to find ways to stay relevant amid the current pandemic, it’s important to do it genuinely, rather than saying something along the lines of, “We’re all in this together, so come and buy our product.” This messaging should be decided at the corporate level and shared with the local businesses as long as your business can highlight how you are helping your consumers, rather than directly trying to sell them something. 

Create a Trusted Brand

An effective branding strategy can positively impact your business’s results both in and out of a crisis. However, if your multi-location business can showcase now that you are here to help your consumers, rather than sell to them, you are on the right path to creating a trusted brand. Your consumers want to know that you are there for them, and are more than just a corporation. If consumers feel that they can trust your brand and rely on you during difficult times, they will be more likely to remember your brand and ultimately make a purchase when the time comes. 

Your multi-location business can also create trust with its consumers by creating an open line of communication. If consumers know that they can ask your business questions and get them answered efficiently, that is huge. In addition to communicating with your consumers, it’s also essential to provide them with the right information. Updating your local listings and business information consistently is a must. 

If your business needs help to keep all of its business information up to date across locations, SOCi can also help in this aspect! Consumers are actively searching for your business online — ensure that reliable data for every location is found with SOCi Listings. With the majority of today’s buyers relying on online searches to discover the information they need, maintaining accurate and consistent listings for all your locations is necessary to optimize search rankings and improve brand visibility effectively. If your business has its listings managed but needs additional help strengthening your brand and localized marketing strategy as a whole, SOCi is the answer SOCi is the only platform built for multi-location businesses to consolidate all marketing needs into one centralized solution. For more information on how SOCi can help your multi-location business strengthen its localized marketing strategy, and create a winning branding approach across all your locations, request a demo today!

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