In this post, we look at what you need to know about creating a brand that will make your business a success in the marketplace.
As we touched on in the last post, “Influence Your Market with Branding”, setting yourself apart from your customers and finding your own niche in your industry is the key to success. So how do you go about developing a brand that will leave a lasting impact on clients and prospects?
“Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image.”
– David Ogilvy
You can start by taking a good look at the following aspects of a brand:
- Positioning: are you a premium company that delivers with premium prices? Or are you open to working with the mass market by being at the middle to lower end of the pricing spectrum? By appearing to be a premium business, you could be isolating your products from people who feel that you’ll be out of their price range, so they don’t even ask about prices.
- Pricing: Pricing ties into positioning. You don’t want to go too high but neither should you go too much the other way. If you go too low, people won’t trust that what you deliver is of high enough quality for them to be able to use. You’ll be known for being ‘cheap’ in every way.
- Categorisation: your products and services may not fit neatly into one category. This is a little like going into a newspaper seller’s shop to buy tyres. The biggest impact that categorisation has on a business is whether people remember what you sell, and how you will market very different products to the same market.
- Core values: is your business known for quality, price, customer services, speed, flexibility or…? Core values should be identified when you put together your unique selling proposition (USP). I’ve added a list of possible values at the end of this post.
- Company name: Selecting the company name is another area that can tie you into a range of products or services. If you go with ‘Smith’s Cleaning Products’ but you want to go into another product line that is not related with cleaning products, then you could come unstuck.
Considerations for creating a brand
Keep these points in mind when developing your brand:
Determine your brand’s value. Don’t tie up something to your brand that is not what your company is about. It will be the first way to destroy customer trust in you and you will damage your reputation. If your brand is about a fast service, you really do have to supply a fast service. If you can’t supply high at speed then tie in what you can supply for example good customer service.
Stay consistent. Don’t change your brand for different marketing mediums, you will confuse your audience and weaken your power. If you are advertising in the local paper and online, use the same style graphics and the same style message content about what you offer as a company.
Treat branding seriously. Branding is what will bring your customers to you and what will make you memorable to your prospects and leads. Spend time creating your brand to retain your customers and convert new ones. It really is a worthwhile and important exercise for your business to succeed.
Put your brand into your products. If one of your main company values is speed then use that in your products. For example, if you’re a plumber then add speed to your marketing communications with . ‘We will be repairing or replacing your plumbing within 2 hours of you calling us’.
Understand your marketplace. Understanding who your customers or leads are and what their key wants and needs are is essential for strong branding. For example, for the plumbing industry the mass market is domestic. The key want of the domestic plumbing market are plumbers who turn up when they say they will, won’t dirty the house and will give a flat price with no hidden costs.
When to use your brand
Consideration of your brand should be used at every customer touchpoint. For example all customer communication materials should be branded not just with your logo, but the type of paper and images used need to be conscious decision as to whether they fit your brand image. The following are examples:
- Facebook page
- business cards
- letters and envelopes
- business cards
Other ways that your brand would be visible are:
- customer experience
- business premises
- proposals (best to prepare a template)
- customer service
List of possible values to tie into your branding strategy:
handmade, durability, speed, flexibility, commitment, value for money, quality, customer service, support, fresh, bargain / deals, unique mechanism, home cooking.
In summary, creating a brand can influence how people see your product and / or business. It can be used to increase the price and to gain more sales. It’s worth thinking about carefully.