Building Your Brand
Every business wants to be the first choice in the eyes of a customer. You want them to think of and choose your company over your competitors'. Making this happen requires time and effort to build the reputation of your brand.
You want your customers to form an emotional attachment to the products or services your business provides. Brands have become more than just products with a recognisable logo and have come to express peoples attitudes and personalities. Failing, even just once to meet your brand promise, could damage your brand's reputation.
Survey your customers to get their views and opinions of your products or services and ask them what improvements could be made. You can then implement some of these ideas and therefore bring your brand closer in line with customer's needs and wants. Offer them special discounts or coupons as an incentive for them to provide their views and ideas.
Be consistent with every point of contact that customers have with your brand; phone calls, emails, letters, face-to-face, etc. Your brand values should be reinforced with every possible point of contact both with existing customers and with potential customers.
If, for example, one of your staff are rude or unhelpful, then a customer won't think about how good your product is - they will think about their last experience with your brand, ie the rudeness of your staff - and you are very likely to loose their custom to one of your competitors.
Take the time to educate your employees to make sure they understand what your brand stands for and that they believe in it. Give them a document outlining your core company values, how you want to operate and how you want to be perceived by people outside of your company, ie customers, suppliers, etc. Explain to your staff that what they do is important and that they have a direct influence on how a customer views the brand.
Be consistent with all of your printed and web based communications, from advertisements, brochures, stationery, invoices, website or email newsletters. The quality of the design and use of your logo should be paramount. Once you have established brand awareness then your logo can act to reassure customers of a product's quality when they are considering making a new purchase.
Communicate your brand with well-designed marketing activities that deliver a clear, consistent message to your target audience.
Use A Slogan
Use a simple and short brand slogan or tagline in your marketing campaigns - this helps to reinforce the brands memorability in customers' minds.
Building your brand will take time and money and should be budgeted for. A budget will force you to prioritise your spending. Just remember that what you spend needs to help deliver your brand promises and build brand awareness.