Your product, service or company doesn’t necessarily have to be unique, but your brand
should be. It is your brand that separates your business from the crowd and allows it to stand out on its own. Seeing that it is an ongoing process, branding also happens to be one of the toughest challenges a business will ever be presented with. It isn’t necessarily easy to establish an identity and personality that is not only instantly recognizable to customers and staff, but shareholders, media and the general public as well.
On a positive note, giving your business the visibility it needs to be successful is a relatively straightforward process when you approach branding with a plan. The following tips can prove useful whether you are undergoing a rebranding phase, or building a new one from the ground up.
Make It a Team Effort
Branding should never be left in the hands of one individual. That’s just asking for frustration and lackluster results. More than likely, you will find that goals are much easier to meet when the entire team is behind the company’s efforts. Instead of shutting them out, let team members get involved and provide input for your strategy. Sit down at the round table so everyone knows what needs to be done, and what role they will play in the process. By introducing a team element, you stand to make your branding efforts stronger than ever.
Be Conscious of Spending
Getting a brand off the ground can cost you a pretty penny. Things tend to get even more costly when you have to go back to the drawing board and rethink your strategy. Like they say: It takes money to make money, but that doesn’t mean you should go throwing dollars at trendy marketing and technology solutions just to give your business an edge. The one thing you can’t buy is success (many have tried). When the moment calls, don’t hesitate to turn to partners, staff and even knowledgeable family members for ideas that could help fine-tune your strategy.
Design with the Customer in Mind
It doesn’t matter if you design software or sell good times at the local pub, your products or services must be useful to the audience they aim to serve. Sure, value is often subjective from one individual to the next, but if a large number of your customers are complaining, you obviously have a problem. Sometimes, in order to create experiences that will suit the customer, you have to actually put yourself in their shoes. For example, calling your support line to see how agents treat you as a customer is a simple way to get firsthand insight that can be used to create branding that your audience responds to.
Look and Learn
Feeling like you just can’t get this branding thing right? If so, don’t hesitate to study some of the businesses in your field that are making noise. Where are they trying to establish a presence? What methods are they using to build awareness? What type of results are they seeing? You don’t have to limit this analysis to the organizations you are in direct competition with, either. There is much to be learned from businesses who are not in your field as well. The broader your perspective, the more fuel you will have to drive your branding initiatives.
Remember, building a strong brand is an ongoing effort, so you must continue to reevaluate your position, activities and strategies on a consistent basis. The moment you relax is when competitors can get closer in your rearview and even pass you by.