All businesses large and small need to develop a brand. To think that branding is only important to large corporates that have deep marketing budgets can be a mistake. Branding is often the differentiating factor between customers choosing you over your competitors.
Your brand provides a face to your business. It is the combination of your business name, your logo and how and when you interact with your prospects and customers. A brand is your company’s reputation and how you are perceived by your customers. Basically, it provides a promise to what your customers can expect from you.
Having a well-defined brand helps customers to remember you. It can build customer loyalty and lead to repeat as well as referral business. Brands are all about getting an emotional response and adding intrinsic value to your product or service.
So take a moment and reflect on your brand and your story. If you think you don’t have a well-defined brand, here are some steps to get you started.
First up it is important to spend time in researching, defining, and building your brand. You need to consider what is your company’s mission, what are the benefits of your products and services and what do your customers think of you. Do your research. Learn the needs and habits of your current and prospective clients.
From here you can develop some key brand values and attributes and turn them into brand messaging to communicate what your company is about. Develop a “voice” for your company that reflects your brand. This sets the tone for all your communications and interactions with your customer – whether you are formal or conversational this should be followed through in every communication with your customer – written and face to face.
Make sure all your marketing material supports your brand and your company voice. Make sure you create templates for your marketing materials. Try and use the same colour scheme, logo placement and look and feel throughout all your materials.
You need to integrate your brand in everything you do – how you answer the phone, what your sales people wear, and your customer service policy. Every person in your business should be aware of your brand values and brand messages.
And finally, be consistent. Your brand should become part of your organisation culture with your staff living and breathing it in everything they do.
So, what’s your brand story?