– Richard Voisey, Nwes Business Consultant
Ultimately, your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
Just before we crack on with some of the key ingredients that you should review in order to give your business the best chance of creating and developing a quality brand, it’s worth looking the definition of a brand.
The term ‘brand’ can be traced back to an identifying mark burned on livestock or imprinted on property. In marketing terms, initially we will refer to a brand being a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name. However it is far more than a name, symbol or design that differentiates a business from its competition. It also in involves emotions, the feelings and thoughts, whether they are positive, neutral or negative, or indeed a mix, which relates to what your business means to them.
It’s worth kicking off with some self-realisation and market research. Ask yourself the following questions and then test your assumptions in the marketplace…
- What is your organisation’s strategy?
- What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
- What do your customers and prospects currently think of your business?
- What do your customers and prospects believe your business stands for?
- What qualities do you want them to associate with your business?
Now, some tips on developing your brand…
- Ensure your brand has clarity, consistency, and constancy – you cannot afford to send mixed messages.
- Determine your vision and purpose – specifically, what do you want your business to look like in the next 12 months?
- Ensure people around you understand and can support your vision – suppliers and staff.
- As a minimum, ask 20 prospects and 20 customers in one word what your brand means to you – does this comply with your strategy?
- Based on your market analysis, produce a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis – this will help you to set aims and objectives.
- Decide on your target customers – your brand needs to fit with their desired emotions.
- Understand your competitors’ brand – this can help to mould your brand.
- Work on how your can provide added value – how can you differ from your competition.
- Make sure you are approachable – a challenge when more business is now conducted online.
- Continually monitor the success of your brand through evaluation – customer reviews will help to support this.
The strength of brand loyalty will ultimately depend on how your product and/or service makes your customers feel – I hope that for your business, they feel delighted.
Take a look at this short video for some more insight – click here (courtesy Ashley Riley).