BUILD A SUCCESSFUL BRAND
A brand is the sum total of your customer's experiences and potential customers have with your company. A strong brand communicates what your company does, how it does it, and at the same time, establishes trust and credibility. Your brand lives in everyday interactions with your customers, the images you share, the messages you post on your website, the content of your marketing materials, and in your posts on social networks.
How can a small business develop a strong brand on a tiny budget?
Be unique. An innovative campaign that gets people to “Think Different” is the what we strive for. What makes your business unique? What do you do that others in your industry do not do? Grow your community. Many of the world’s best brands, including Google, Amazon, Virgin,
Facebook, and Skype, spend modest sums on advertising and instead, focus on building and improving their communities. Small businesses have many opportunities to build online and offline communities. For example, you can build online communities on Twitter, Facebook, your small business blog, on Instagram, or on other social networks. And remember that you can’t be in all places at once. Pick one or two places where you can focus building your community, and invest your time and resources there.
Build great products and services. When you consider that
the number one reason people select a brands its because
they have an all-around GREAT BRAND! Some companies
stop focusing on building great products and services when
they become successful. This is a MISTAKE! Even a strong
brand will suffer when it creates average or below average
products or services.
Have a good name and logo. A strong brand is easily
recognizable. Recognition starts with the name of your
business. The name will appear on your business cards,
letterhead, website, social networks, promotional materials, products, and pretty much everywhere in print and online to identify your company or your company’s products and/or services.
It’s not enough to have a recognizable name. People commonly associate brands with the brand’s logo. As you think about your logo, keep your audience and products/services in mind because you want your logo to reflect your company. A good logo builds trust and a strong logo will help to pull your brand together.
Find your voice. What you say is important, but don’t overlook how you say it. Your company’s “voice” is the language and personality you and your employees will use to deliver your branding message and reach your customers. Successful brands speak with a unique voice.
Be consistent. Many small businesses mistakenly change their messaging depending on their audience. For example, a company might take a more serious tone on their website but a very lighthearted tone on their Facebook fan page. This can confuse your customers and potential customers. To build and maintain a strong brand, every aspect of your brand should be as good as your product or service and you must be consistent in presenting your brand. This includes not only your company’s name, logo, overall aesthetic design, products and services, but also includes your marketing materials, website, appearances at trade shows and conferences, content posted to social networks, etc.
Why should you care about brand consistency? You should care because brand consistency leads to familiarity, and familiarity leads to trust.
Empower your customers. You are not in control of your brand. You can set your brand’s direction, but how your brand is perceived is determined by your customers and potential customers. People can become your brand’s ambassadors – spreading your ideas and brand to their own networks. Spend time nurturing relationships with such people. Who are they? What can they give and get in order to help your brand? Ultimately, successful brands recognize that if they help their customers succeed, the customers will in turn help the brand succeed.
Branding vs. Marketing
and the differences simply stated
Branding is why. Marketing is how.
Branding is long-term. Marketing is short-term
Branding drives reputation. Marketing drives sales.