The logistics and transportation industry in the U.S. is extremely competitive.

In order for a shipping company to remain relevant in a rapidly-developing industry, it is of great importance to develop a strong brand. However, when doing this it is vital to think past the logo, tag line, and color scheme. While these factors do form part of the initial stages of the branding process, there are a number of equally important elements to consider. Apart from defining your service offering, it is also paramount to diversify the brand and ensure it’s inclusive, and to make use of creative techniques to boost brand awareness.

1. Define your service offering

One of the most important steps of brand development revolves around defining the service offering. The shipping industry is a lot more complex than it appears, and there are many products and services that can be offered or excluded by a brand. In order to develop a powerful brand, it is vital to define the service offering. Start by ascertaining what services will form the foundation of the brand. This will decrease the risk of over-promising and under-delivering. Determine whether the brand will concentrate on the transportation, warehousing or packaging, and whether it will handling of a broad range of items or service a more focussed niche market. By constantly redefining the service offering, a shipping company will be able to adjust its goals and adapt its marketing strategies to enjoy a greater ROI.

2. Ensure your brand is inclusive

When developing a brand, it will never be possible to please everyone. It is, however, possible to do everything in your power to ensure that your shipping brand is diverse and inclusive. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in August, more than 52% of American adults were of the belief that brands should more actively address racism in society. A brand that is seen making an effort to be increasingly inclusive and avoid unconscious racism in all aspects of its operations may naturally appeal to a larger, more diverse market. The sooner a brand can become representative of the changing demographics in the country, the better.

3. Employ creative techniques to spread brand awareness

According to a spokesperson for Brand Finance, many shipping concerns don’t make it past the initial phase of brand development. For this reason, it is pivotal that, once the brand-basics have been implemented, awareness around the shipping brand is created as a matter of urgency. There are a number of innovative ways to create brand awareness for a shipping company. This includes leveraging the power of digital marketing to not only reach the target market, but to enhance brand loyalty as well. Using influencers is a great way to build brand awareness and drive client engagement, while embracing the power of SEO and establishing a strong social media presence can mean the difference between your brand failing and becoming a powerhouse to rival the likes of FedEx and UPS.

The shipping industry is one of the most competitive in the U.S. Developing a strong brand, however, gives a company the best possible chance at long-term survival and a favorable ROI.