Having a unique brand makes anyone stand out from competitors in turn encourages customer loyalty. It’s therefore essential that you build and maintain a strong brand for your business. A brand builds a distinguishing identity for any business and it symbolizes the reputation a business has in minds of the public. So a successful brand often correlates three main factors, such as expectation, emotion and reliability.
Firstly, expectation is where the customer expects a certain kind/quality of product/service from the business. Building up high expectation will take time and hard work but is essential if you want your product to survive. Secondly, emotion. The customer has an emotional connection with the business – they have a particular emotional response to the product/service. Finally, reliability. A combination of the two previous factors, the customers’ expectation of and emotional response to the business is consistent across their repeated experiences of dealing with it. If anyone meet these three criteria, they can then create customers for life, meet their expectations and stand out to competitors.
How significant is building a brand?
It’s essential you establish the core competencies of your business very early on. In other words, building a brand is out of your direct control and it will be dictated by the response customers have to your business. It is also important because customers are creatures of habit. More often than not, customers will return to brands they feel they know, trust and love. A strong brand will stand out and mark anyone out from the competition in a crowded marketplace. If competitors provide a very similar product or service to you, your brand can be the aspect of your business that makes customers chose you over others. The business world moves fast. In a rapidly shifting business environment, brands give a consistent face to a product or service.
Finally, in business, quality is everything, as if it is high, then you might have the opportunity to move into new areas and/or even pursue new goals. In fact, once you’ve established your core competencies and values, you must communicate these to customers and this in turn contributes towards building a viable customer value. In business, you need to ensure that your message is reflected in everything you do, plus you need to add systems in place to make sure your message is embodied in all parts of your business. And there comes the success.
How to manage a brand?
Brands are built and developed gradually and they do also change. Building a viable brand depends on getting feedback from customers and establish if what you deliver matches what is expected of you from people. Finally, investigate any negative feedback and see what is damaging your brand. The message out to internal team, as well wider audience should be always clear about organization values and encourage suggestions for how to improve it all the time.
How to develop a brand?
A strong brand will help bring your business success and a successful business has the opportunity to grow and to offer new products/services. Any growth in your business must be consistent with your brand, if you violate your core competencies and values you will damage your brand and leave customers unsure as to what you offer. So its nowadays all about customer experience. Finally, create separate brands for vastly different offerings. There’s no point trying to offer something irrelevant to the brand’s core competencies and one can only confuse customers and damage your brand.
As marketing expert Steven Van Belleghem rightly explains, “How small businesses can adapt their marketing brand is to utilize changes in its structure, platforms and audience.”
This guide was originally written by Prof. Steven Van Belleghem, author of When Digital Becomes Human, which was out in April 2015.
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