Having a brand can differentiate your business from your competitors and drive customer loyalty. Branding isn’t just for multinationals with huge budgets: small and medium firms can create an effective brand by examining how the business works and what it means to its customers.

Every business has already got a brand, even if it doesn’t treat it as one. Your customers (and potential customers) already have a perception of what your business means to them. Building a brand just means communicating your message to them more effectively.

First Steps

Before taking steps to develop your brand identity, you need to assess your business. Work out your product or service’s core competencies. Establish who the existing and potential customers are and how they and your employees feel about the business.

Once you have collated this information and your current brand positioning, start to define your brand identity, perceived quality and then communicate this to your customers. Build the message into everything they see and hear before they have any direct contact with your business.

Advertisements and sales literature to potential customers must be visually and emotionally consistent with what you provide to existing customers. This can subsequently offer opportunities for a business to grow.

Managing the Brand

Review your systems and make sure every point of customer contact reflects your brand value with regular response monitoring and communication review. Keep all your staff involved as they will be responsible for delivering the brand and need to believe in it.

Creating and running a brand is not a black art. Once it has been created, following some simple rules should ensure its continued effectiveness. Failing to deliver a brand promise just once will damage your brand. Delivering your promise and doing it better than your customer expects – will strengthen your brand!

Budgeting for a Brand

A brand can cost as much or as little as you like. If you keep it simple, it can be confined to the names and taglines. You don’t have to create clever names to have a brand — you can use your own name. But what you call your business, product or service is important. These are the things you could budget for:

  • Your time and the cost of your staff’s time.
  • Reworking your company’s stationery, signage and or packaging.
  • Design and printing of sales-support material.
  • Advertising and PR.
  • A branding agency to create and manage the brand for you.

Remember, brand names, logos and taglines can be legally protected – do not omit doing this!

If you would like more information on: “How to develop a brand for your business” then please contact your local Ology Coach now!