Having a good brand is crucial in modern business. It’s importance isn’t about getting your target customers to choose you over your competitors; branding is about getting your prospects to see your company as the only one that provides a solution to their problem or need. Branding is an immensely powerful business tool and if done well, will differentiate you from your competition and identify you as the clear and identifiable market leader.
Whether you are in the process of building a brand or you are managing an existing one, there are several fundamental rules you should always keep in mind to develop your brand and make it work for you.
1. Communicate Your Brand in Everything You Do
Your brand isn’t just a logo, a clever strap-line or wonderful new website design. Your brand is EVERYTHING. How you interact with your customers is your brand. How your employees dress at business functions is your brand. The state of the building your business is housed in is your brand. Branding is all encompassing and your company shouldn’t just have a brand, your company is a brand and it should live and breathe it. As well as being clever, clear and compelling, your brand should be consistent and applied to everything you and your company does.
2. Be Social and Engage
Branding is at its most effective when the brand actively engages with potential customers, and a good brand should have a strong and distinctive personality. This can be portrayed through active use of social media channels. Increase friends and followers by engaging with them and providing targeted, useful and interesting content.
Excellent offline engagement strategies include the clever use of promotional items. Instead of the usual pens or mugs, there are a variety of innovative and exciting items that can be used as part of your brand engagement strategy. Focus on items that sit with your brand’s message and have a unique and interesting quality. This can be a powerful way of communicating your brand to potential customers.
3. Dare to be Different
Branding isn’t about being better than your competitors. Successful branding is about being different from them. Dare to be different! It’s amazing how in nearly every business sector, you will find scores of companies all citing the exact same reasons as to why they are different. In reality, all this is doing is reinforcing the customer’s image of them as all being the same, and making the choice of who to use even more difficult. Dare to be different and get yourself noticed!
Never Forget How Powerful Your Brand Can Be
The power of branding and differentiation can be seen with the Stella Artois lager brand. Launched in the UK in 1976, it was a moderately successful brand with reasonable sales figures. Their 1982 rebrand however revolutionised their fortunes. More expensive than competitor’s drinks, Stella Artois embraced this with the slogan ‘Reassuringly Expensive’.
Differentiating their product at a stroke, they turned this negative into a positive. Customers bought the lager in their droves, as they now saw Stella Artois as a premium, quality product that was worth paying that little bit extra for. Three simple words saw Stella Artois become the UK’s most popular lager, a distinction it still holds to this day.
All the best,