Developing the brand of your business can be an overwhelming challenge. But it's the critical component that creates your business identity. And it can be fun! It’s really an opportunity for you to decide how to convey what your business is all about. Developing an effective brand will help you express your unique value, motivate people to become customers or clients, validate your credibility and potentially generate loyalty.
So, what is your brand? Is it your logo, your name, a color scheme, a slogan? While these are elements of your brand, your brand is your overall identity. Not to get too crunchy, but it’s the experience your customers or clients have with your business. Essentially, your brand represents your personality, your message, your competencies and your promise to your customers or clients.
Your brand resides in the daily interaction you have with your customers and prospects by way of your messaging on your marketing materials, your physical space, your personal interaction with customers, your packaging and your online presence. Once you determine how you want to convey your business, or what your brand is, you should develop a brand strategy for how you’ll implement your brand frequently and consistently. A good start in developing your brand strategy is to take these few steps:
Define your brand. Ask yourself, What does my business represent? How do I differentiate from my competition? What is my promise to my customers and how do I deliver on my promise?
Build your brand. Create the look and feel of your brand and implement that in all of the interaction you have with your prospects. Your website, your marketing materials, your logo and corporate identity should all convey your brand. If you have a storefront or physical space, it should also express your brand. Even your pricing structure and your business name should reflect your brand identity. So, take time to review all of the opportunities for your prospects to create a perception of your business and think of how you can implement your brand in these.
Deliver on the promise of your brand. Remember that your brand is a source of a promise or commitment to your customers and clients. If your brand conveys personal service, you have to be there to provide that service. If your brand conveys luxury, don’t offer an inferior product. Failing to deliver what your brand conveys will leave your customers with a negative experience and no reason to be loyal to you. In fact, they’ll have reason to bash your brand!
Remember that your brand is a fundamental element of your marketing communication, so take the time to research and invest in developing and implementing a sound brand strategy.