Building a brand that matters, or one which customers swear by, goes beyond merely offering a great service or selling stuff.
But what exactly makes a brand?
Ask 5 experts and you may get 5 answers; however one thing they will all agree on is that the businesses that truly matter often sport strong brands.
If you truly want to stand out in today’s competitive market place, and also ensure you are among the minority of businesses that go on to succeed, then you want to build a brand not just a business.
Here are a few ways you can go about building a brand that matters:
Define Your Company Values
Your company values define who you are as a business and what you represent. Knowing your company values is important because today customers view the businesses they patronize as an extension of themselves.
Some companies like Nike know only too well how a brand can suffer when it becomes associated with something unsavory. In the case of Nike, it was child labor used in the creation of their shoes. Luckily, the company has made great progress in redressing the issue.
However, you can avoid this tortuous path of the trial and error: define your company values and use them to inform your brand. When your company values intersect with those of the target audience, strong business ties are formed and your brand is strengthened.
Know Who Your Audience Is
Imagine you could create a business that touches customers at an emotional level, one that not only caters to their needs but also impacts the way they feel.
Well, it’s completely possible if you know your audience well enough. Rather than adopting a business model and hoping it resonates with the people you hope to do business with, create a business that resonates with the needs, hopes, and desires of the people you hope to do business with.
Creating a business model that resonates with the customer is crucial in brand building; after all, people may forget what you business offers but they will never forget how your business makes them feel.
Steer Clear of What the Competition Is Doing
When branding yourself you want to be as unique as possible so you can stand out.
In many instances, imitation may be the best form of flattery, but in branding it will make you so forgettable people won’t remember your brand long enough to laugh at it.
So, yes, pay attention to what your competitors are doing and the language they use. But, do this not because you want to imitate but because you want to steer clear.
Know that Mindshare is Just as Important as Marketshare
Businesses tend to overlook just how important it is to dominate a customer’s thoughts.
The best brands don’t make that mistake.
The best brands garner unbridled loyalty among their customer base by catering to their needs and building authentic relationships in a way that is not being done by anybody else in the market.
Connect with Your Customers On Social Media
Gone are those days when companies, businesses, and corporations dictated the tune from on high to the docile masses.
Today, more than ever before, business is a constant two way conversation between a business and its target market.
In today’s social media age, you have to make sure your social media channels and communications are optimized to support the brand image you are trying to create. It’s important that your online presence is aligned with your company values and your offline communications.
Building a brand takes time, and one can hardly take a one-size-fits-all approach since every business is different. However, whatever effort you put in towards building your brand is bound to pay off more than any effort you expend in trying to deny to need to build one. Whether you like it or not, people care about brands more than businesses and they are willing to stake their wallets to prove it.