So many business owners don’t believe that brand is an important element to consider – we don’t agree, and here is why.
As great as you think your product is, there are thousands out there who are selling either the same thing or a different product that can give the same result. And if your product is truly original, then we think your brand is potentially even more important. People will ‘jump on the bandwagon’ of a great idea very quickly, so you need to position your company as the originator and expert in the market to keep your market share.
So why would people buy your product and not your competitors’? Is it because your product is better quality, cheaper in price, made locally, only made for a particular age group and/or friendlier to the environment? Or is it because your business gives better service, delivers on promises, is more convenient, more proactive and/or tries to better the community it exists in? Well, whatever it is, it’s certainly a lot to say when people have such short attention spans. And just because you say it, doesn’t mean they believe you.
Ah ha! So this is where branding comes into play. Not only can it communicate with just a small element (ie. something as simple as a logo, symbol, colour, etc) what your product/ business is all about, but also what makes it extraordinary. More importantly, branding makes this information meaningful to people.
If I said “BMW”, what would you think of? Would quality, European, luxury, sophisticated cars just about cover it? People think “prestige” and that by having a BMW they would have prestige too….it’s an emotional link – promoting an attribute people either can, or want to, identify with. If all they needed was a car, they would have bought something else.
People buy based on their perceptions and these are heavily dictated by the effectiveness of a business’ brand.
Its not just about the product or what you say about the product…its all about what your customers and potential customers think and believe that has the ultimate impact on your sales potential and profits.
Quick and easy brand tips for your business
1. Brand your website
No, this doesn’t just mean put your logo all over it! Technology allows you to bring forward the attributes, benefits, personality and image of your product/business in easier and more interesting ways. Not only that, people usually look to your website first for information about you.
2. Your staff are key
If you want people to believe in your brand and identify with your values, then actions speak louder than words. Your staff’s behaviour and attitudes have to reflect the brand. Reward staff who live, breathe and promote your brand. Think about your internal communications to ensure your message is consistent – both internally and externally!
3. Keep it fresh
You should regularly review what people think of your business/ product and see if it’s in line with what you wanted. Which parts worked, which didn’t? Also, keep a look out for trends as this could lead to branding improvements. For example, Subway is pushing the healthy food angle because that is what people are interested in now.
4. Consistency, consistency, consistency
Make sure everything that reaches a potential customer is consistent to your branding. If you are pushing quality, don’t have a bodgy website or shop front. If you have a bodgy website or shop front, don’t go spending money on fancy adverts or flyers to make up for it. Without consistency, the messages you’re sending are confusing.
5. Complaints are your friend
Customer complaints highlight areas where you can improve. Not only that, a dissatisfied customer can turn into a loyal one if their complaint is resolved quickly and with minimum of fuss. This sends a strong message that you live and die by your convictions (your brand) and that the customer is at the centre of your universe. Like I said before, actions speak louder than words!