Build Your Brand, Build Your Future!
While it’s important to offer a quality product and service, effective branding is at the heart of successful companies. Much more than just a logo, your brand is a key asset to your business. It is the representation of what your company stands for; its values, strengths, passion, and promise. It helps differentiate your business from competitors, it influences buying decision and it helps drive loyalty and advocacy.
Here are eight ways to build a successful brand in your chosen market.
#1 Understand your market
Do your research. Leading brands have a thorough knowledge of their target market i.e. what their interests are, how they communicate and how they perceive its products or services. An in-depth competitor analysis is also useful to understand how to compete and how to differentiate.
#2 Cut through the noise
Establishing your brand requires ‘something’ distinctive, a clear Unique Selling Proposition (USP). This will ensure you differentiate from your competitors. It will also ensure you communicate your offer clearly to your customers. Ideally, you will have done your research and be clear on what your customers value.
#3 Focus on your target audience
As a brand, you cannot be everything to everybody so why waste precious budget and time marketing to people who are unlikely to buy from you? Finding the right target market to focus on is at the heart of good marketing. So, be selective and target a cluster of people based on want they want or how they behave.
#4 Make your brand top of mind
A leading brand is the one that customers will recall first when thinking of a particular product or service. So, another big part of becoming a distinctive, successful brand is the ability to reach consumers through multiple channels. This is likely to require some sort of expenditure in the form of advertising, direct mail, social media, exhibition or other promotional activity.
#5 Deliver against your promise
And better still, aim to exceed your customers’ expectations!
Keeping an eye on customer satisfaction, listening to feedback and following up on complaints is a key element of building a brand. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a simple but useful system to quantify how well you are managing customer relationships.
#6 Provide an experience
Can you go beyond your basic service (or product) promise and provide a great customer experience? For this, you will need to consider, understand and carefully design every customer interaction – from your telephone hold music, your office décor, how your product is packaged to how you respond to emails. The way you look, the way you write, the way you speak and the way you behave all contribute to the customer experience.
#7 Embrace change
A strong brand should be built to last. So check regularly that you are delivering on your promises and that you are adapting to the changing needs and behaviors of your customers. Technology, for example, is influencing buying patterns and habits. Make sure you keep up and invest where necessary to remain competitive and relevant to your customers.
#8 Embed the brand values
To deliver great service and experience means that everybody in your business must live and breathe the brand values – employees, contractors, and suppliers too. For example, if reliability is core to your offering, it would do little for your sales reps to be late to a client meeting. The best way to get buy in and align everybody behind a common goal and a common set of values is for them to experience it themselves.
How does your brand measure up?