Brands matter to consumers. They prefer to buy from a brand with high reputation. Let me give you an example. Imagine you are in the market for a new smartphone. Which do you prefer better, specification and pricing aside, an unknown brand or Apple or Samsung? Of course, there’s no way you are going to choose that unknown brand. Consumers are more compelled to buy from well-built brands than others. Due to this reason, brand building is important and is critical. It can make consumers buy your products or buy it elsewhere. However, brand building is a very complex task. Don’t worry, we got your back! Here are ten helpful ways to build a brand for your business.
1. Define what your brand is
“More Than Accountants”
When we hear about social media, we often think about Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Then, when we hear about shoes, we think of Nike, Adidas, or Under Armour. What are all of these? These are brand names! First of all, you need to name your brand. It represents your business. It is the face of your business. When McDonald’s named their fast food, they did not think of naming it “Ronald’s Eatery.” Why? Obviously, because it is a terrible name!
Think of naming your business is as important as naming your child. In this case, this child is your business – your brainchild! You carried your child in 9-months time, and the name you gave him/her is Voldemort or Tennifer? Keep in mind they will bear that name for the rest of their lives, unless they are legal enough to change it because they hate it so much.
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NEVER name your company after your name. It sounds awesome, at first. However, brands named after its owners are always easy to forget.
Therefore, the first step in building your brand is the identifying the brand itself first. Keep it short yet precise, unique yet easy to understand. Naming your brand needs creativity. Here are some characteristics a great name possess:
- Sounds good on the phone
- Not easily misspelled or mispronounced
- Not confusing
- Has a personality
Creating a good logo is as important as naming your business. It will visually represent your business. Don’t just make a logo that’s all text and in Comics Sans. Remember, it is important to make good first impression. Create something that is unique, easy to remember, and sticks to the mind. Your brand logo could be anything: a mascot, typographic design, or even an abstract. Look at Wendy’s, Amazon, and Google Chrome. Respectively, their logos are their mascot, a fancy typographic design, and a logo which seems to be a poke ball with Google’s signature colors. If you can’t design your logo yourself, you can always seek the help of graphics designers.
Related Read: The Power of The Tipping Point
Speaking of colors, your logo’s color or color combination is equally important. Do you know why McDonald’s colors are red and yellow? It is because colors can stimulate one’s emotions and attitude. The color red triggers appetite and hunger, while the color yellow triggers the feelings of happiness and friendliness. (source) Other fast food chains such as KFC, Burger King, Jollibee, and In-N-Out Burgers also follow the same color scheme for the same reason. However, don’t get overboard and put every color in the rainbow because you want to trigger all feelings possible. Research your color combination well because it can affect people’s perception about your brand.
2. Focus on what you want your business to do
What’s your business pitch? What do you want to do exactly? Are you going to sell products? Or are you going to provide services? You are going to ask yourself a lot of questions. In doing so, you are going to pin point what your business will do and provide for your customers. Moreover, it will not confuse future prospects on what your brand offers. This can also differentiate you and your business with the competition.
TIP: Share your business ideas to people you trust. In this way, you will get honest feedback, making your business idea more refined.
With this in mind, you need to write your brand’s vision and mission statements. They should encapsulate what you want to do and what you want to accomplish. Moreover, they will inspire your employees to work harder and ensure you are working towards achieving common goals. They will also provide the sense of direction for the company.
A vision statement is what your business hopes to become in the future. On the other hand, mission statement should clearly state what your business does, how it does, and who it does for. A well-written mission statement outlines what the company will do in order to become what the vision statement says.
3. Research about your target market
Researching is an utmost importance when defining your business’ target market. Define to whom do you want to sell your products for. Study recent trends as it will allow you to make strategies and make critical decisions.
Here are the demographic factors you need to consider:
- Marital status
- Income level
- Educational level
Once you focused on one specific target market, research well on their tendencies; on what they like. In this way, you can make your products or services better, attracting more and more customers until your business explode. Then, you need to survey about their spending habits. You can gauge how much and how often your target market will be willing to spend. You can exploit this information and price your products or services competitively.
However, there is nothing more accurate than surveying your current customers. Their feedback can help you assess their preferences, what they like, and what they don’t like about your services. In doing so, you can continue doing what they like and improve on aspects they don’t like.
4. Study your competition
You know what they say, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” This saying applies to businesses as well. You can use local business directories or even Google to identify your competition. Keep close attention to what your competitions do.
You need to be wary of the following information:
- Products and services
- Age of business
- Number of employees
Routinely check the activities of your competition. You can check their website, social media accounts, or brochures/pamphlets if they have any. Gather what products or services your competition offers. In this way, you can list similar products or services that you can improve on.
Examine how their customers feel about their products or services. You can also discretely avail of their products or services to find out how good or bad the customer service experience they give. Again, you may do what they do best and avoid what they do worst.
5. Create positive relationships with your customers
Although providing better quality product or service can cost more money, it creates strong and positive relationships with your customers. Consequently, it builds the sense of loyalty for your business.
Did you know that acquiring new prospects is 5 times much expensive than retaining loyal customers?
Related Read: Ultimate Customer Loyalty Statistics 2019
Providing a good customer service adds value to the customer experience. Always keep in mind that without you loyal customers, your business is nothing. No customers equals no business.
6. Be unique, stand out, and shine
Be unique to the point that you are the best choice for the customer. Stand out so that your customers will not hesitate and go do business with you. And shine against your competition.
Separate your business with the rest of the competition. Don’t give reasons your customers reasons to pick others instead of your business. Deliver extraordinary service. Address to your target market’s problems. Conduct your business differently from your competition. Lastly, give your customers offers they could not resist.
7. Involve your brand in community development and outreach programs
There is nothing better than good public relations. More and more consumers are expecting business to help and give back to the community. And as your business grows, more pressure is put unto your business to have community involvement. Additionally, your involvement in the community reflects the principles and values your company have.
Reasons why your business needs community involvement:
- Good Public Relations
Involving your company in community development will surely prop up your reputation. This can also boost your legacy as a whole. It is a win-win situation for you. Not only does it help the community, it will boost your business as well.
- Helps with brand awareness
When involving your business with the community, it will put the name of your business out in the open. It will notify the community that such business exists. Think of it, as an advertisement or promotion. It can attract future prospects, lenders, and even investors.
- Strong communities equal strong customer bases
When a community is strong, it means there is also a strong customer bases. Large customer bases can also attract lenders and investors that can help your business. However, it may also attract new competitors. Just keep in mind that competitors keep the market healthy.
- Builds community and employee loyalties
Helping the community shows that your business cares about them. Loyalties and good relationships will be built.
8. Associate your brand with strong brands
Associating your brand with other strong brands opens up more opportunities for your business. It creates leverage for your business. Imagine this you are a major potato supplier for McDonald’s. Other restaurants that are in need of your potatoes, will be more compelled to build partnership with you. Their reasons may vary, though. It may be the experience you already have as a company, but your association with a huge fast food chain makes partnering with you an easy choice.
9. Build your social media presence
Statistics suggest that businesses with social media presence have an average of 32% more sales than those without.
10. Always find ways to improve/develop
There is always room for improvement. When you don’t value the importance of continuous improvement, then why have a vision and mission statements? They are basically useless if you don’t tend to improve. You may ask, “How can we improve, when there is nothing to improve upon?” Then, you need to revisit your vision and mission statements. They could be lacking and shallow.
Take LG as an example. LG has been a smartphone giant. However, in the recent years, LG became irrelevant. They are starting to pull out their smartphone divisions is small countries. Innovation-wise, I can give credits on LG’s effort for improvement. However, their competition improved way better. They are always only second or third behind Samsung and Apple. Due to the improvements, or lack thereof, LG has gone irrelevant and now losing sales.
Many companies, even huge corporations, always have the urge to improve. Even if everything seems doing well, they find other aspects of their business to improve on. This, consequently, leads to a more efficient and more profitable business.