“If your Customers believe they share values with a company, they will become & stay loyal to your brand”
Branding Topics: Why, What is, Benefits, Define, Faith, Build Relationships, Same Message + 5 more
Branding is just as important for Startups & small Businesses – as it is for the big Corps. Indeed, many corporate brands try to look more like small firms in order to appeal to consumers that prefer to support independent brands.
Why? Many small business owners already understand that Branding is essential to their business, but a surprisingly high number of them don’t really know why. They recognise the link between successful businesses and strong Branding, and aspire to build a brand that emulates similar success for themselves. And they understand that Branding is not just a logo or how their business is perceived externally. Too few Founders realize that successful brands have this Branding at the heart of the business. So much so. that in many ways you could almost substitute the word brand for business.
What is Branding? It’s a way of defining your business to yourself, your team & your external audiences. It could be called the business “identity”, but only on the understanding that it embodies the core of what the business is and its values, not just what it looks & sounds like. Customers of all sorts of businesses are so savvy today that they can see through most attempts by companies to gloss, spin or charm their way to sales.
The Benefits of Branding. A good strategically-defined brand can bring about an effect similar when people become friends. When customers connect emotionally – because they share the same values & beliefs of a brand – it leads to higher sales and better brand differentiation from competition. It also leads to loyalty and can even protect your price in times when competitors rely on promotional discounts to drive sales. It can also give you the ideal platform from which to extend your offering or range.
Here are 10 tips on how to successfully implement Branding for your business.
1. Start by “defining” your Brand.
Review the product or service your business offers, pinpoint the niche in the market it occupies, then research the emotional & rational needs & concerns of your customers. Your brand character should promote your business, connect with your customer base & differentiate you in the market from your competition.
2. Be innovative, bold & daring.
Stand for something you believe in !!! Big brands are encumbered by large layers of bureaucracy, preventing them from being flexible and reacting to the ever-changing needs of their customers. Those layers of decision-makers can make it hard for them to be daring with their branding, but you have clear sailing. Go for it !!!
3. Aim to build “long-term” Relationships with your Customers.
Don’t dress up your offering and raise expectations that result in broken promises. Create trust with honest Branding – being clear who your company is & be true to the values that drive it.
4. When building your Brand, think of it as a Person.
Every one of us is an individual whose character is made up of beliefs, values & purposes that define who we are and who we connect with. Our personality determines how we behave in different situations (ie, how we dress & what we say). Of course for people it’s intuitive and it’s rare that you even consider what your own character is, but when you’re building a brand it’s vital to have that understanding.
5. Don’t try to mimic the look of Chain Stores or other big Brands.
Carve out your own distinctive identity. There is a big consumer trend towards independent establishments, and several chains are – in fact – trying to mimic an “independent feel” to capture some of that market. Truly independent Founders/ Owners can leverage their status to attract customers who are looking for something more original & authentic, that aligns with how feel about themselves.
6. Don’t “repeat” the same message, the same way over & over again.
Alternatively, aim to make your key messages work together to build a coherent identity.
7. Consider what is “driving” your Business.
What does it believe in, what is its purpose & who are its brand heroes? These things can help establish your brand positioning and define your identity & character for brand communications.
8. Always consider your Branding when communicating with Customers.
Don’t lose your pride or dilute your brand positioning with indiscriminate discounting. Try offering more value, rather than slashing prices. Promotions are an opportunity to reinforce your brand mission.
9. Speak to your Customers with a consistent Tone of voice.
It will help reinforce the business’ character and clarify its offering, so customers are aware exactly what to expect from your product or service
10. The old way of Stamping your Logo on everything – won’t cut it.
The future of Branding is fluid & engaging. Communicate confidence in your product & company, by not giving everything away up front or to grow. Generate interest and allow Customers to discover some of the benefit about your brand for themselves. This is the way to create Ambassadors who revel in telling other people what they have discovered. Get their impressions and use them in a Newsletter or in Press Releases
Comments: Do you know any other important factors in Branding?
from Marketing Do nots whoops, Donuts 4/18 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
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