Focus on what your business does for customers. Create a tagline – Nikes “Just do it” you know. Which tagline would suit your business that would make customers know what you are really about?
Gain control of your brand. Of course, you should concentrate on customer needs, but you also need to create what you want your brand to mean to them.
Make sure to shape your brand into something you believe in yourself. Unless you believe in your brand, no one else will either.
Keep the brand clean and simple by focusing on a few easily understandable values. Don’t be blurry. It is better to bribe best on blinds than best on everything that has to do with windows because people (ie you and I) like to put companies in the pockets and choose a couple of things to associate with them.
Be consistent in your communication. Everything that has to do with your brand should make customers feel the same way about you. This is the basis of a good brand strategy.
Be thorough by reviewing all your routines to support your brand in all situations.
Make sure that all employees understand what the brand stands for – and that they believe in it. You would be surprised if you knew how many employees there are that cannot even mention the company’s business concept in a single sentence.
Communicate your brand correctly by ensuring that everything customers see – ads, brochures, staff – sends the same message.
Meet and exceed customer expectations of what you promised them. Failure to do so will damage your brand. No chain is stronger than the weakest link and this is very much the case for your brand strategy.
See your brand as unfinished and always in need of refurbishment. With that attitude, you work for improvement all the time and are not as scared to make changes that improve which shows the outside world that you are stuck with. Brand strategy can be seen as going up an escalator going down. You have to go faster to get anywhere. See your brand as something that is always about to get worse. Then you work to lift it better.
Write press releases. Make it a routine to think “What can we come up with that may interest the media this month?” It is tough requirements but very useful when building a brand.
Show on your site that you have things going on by having a special sub-page with news. The environment likes you to think ahead. It is good for your brand strategy.
Feel free to write articles about your subject area and turn to industry media with them. It is fantastic for your brand strategy because you get to see it and the journalists in the industry learn that it is you they should address with questions about your area.
Feel free to do research about your industry and tell the media the results. Building a brand is about creating awareness as much as quality.
Stop promoting yourself to those who already know you. Many companies advertise in their own industry magazines more than in the magazines their customers read.
Work to become a spokesman in your industry by lecturing for free at trade fairs and more. It is part of many companies’ brand strategy.
Take care of your site so it becomes even more informative so that the search engines find it and potential customers see how much you can.
Blog if you have time and can come up with smart things every day – ignore it otherwise. A good blog is great for your brand strategy and lifts the brand. A bad blog that doesn’t have great content that is constantly up to date is bad for the brand.
Stand for something. Trying to be loved by everyone does not create brands for smaller companies. It is better to bribe a small part of the world that becomes yours instead of conquering the whole and not being seen at all. Become an expert on your little part of the world as part of your brand strategy.
Realize that you do not have complete control over your brand. The only thing you can do is point out a direction. Ultimately, the value of your brand is determined by the environment, the customers. Your branding strategy is not something you work with for a week and then release. It is a process that is ongoing throughout the life of the company. Trademarks that do not meet what they promised are fragile, and three negative comments are enough on a forum found by Google and ranked number one when searching for your business, to lower your brand. In other words – promise a lot but hold even more.
Finally – the best way to build your brand is very simple: Make sure your customers get what you promised them. That the promises you sold to them are really in the delivery box and that they are surprised that they even got a little more than you said.
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