The following blog contains keys aspects to establishing a successful brand.
Follow these simple steps and you WILL increase your chances for success.
1. First & Foremost… Differentiate: Some of the world’s most iconic and successful brands make it a point to ‘think different.’ If I recall accurately, ‘Think Different’ may actually be an Apple mantra.
Identify what separates and elevates your business above your competitors and promote that/those key features as value-enhancing attributes to create a positive gap in customer perception from that of your competitors.
2. Network… Share the News: Many successful brands spend moderate amounts of financial resources on advertising versus focusing on creating relationships and networks within their ‘circles of influence’.
Numerous opportunities exist for small, medium and even large companies or organizations to establish valuable online networks such as Twitter, Facebook, your blog and other social networks that can increase visibility and awareness, and enhance brand perception.
I’ll caution you here: You can’t be all things to all people!
Focus your efforts in the areas best suited to your business model and invest your resources wisely.
3. Consistently Deliver: In 2012, market research agency Millward Brown published its annual BrandZ study, ranking the world’s leading brands.
If you factor in that the main people write about brands is to share experiences, you’ll understand why delivering on your promises to your customers is of paramount importance!
4. Create a Strong Name & Visual Identity: A strong brand and brand recognition/recall begins with your company name. It’s in print, online, in discussion rooms and blogs, your advertising, business cards, letterhead, promotional materials, etc, so it had better be meaningful, and resonate with your target audiences.
Now, think ‘ICONIC MEMORY.’ What global brand does the ‘blue swoosh’ and the tag line ‘Just Do It’ bring to mind? Customers associate brands with the brand’s name, logo and taglines as much as with products and services.
In developing these assets, consider your target audience in relation to your products, and understand what emotional connections you want to bring forward when people discuss your brand and/or view your logo, etc?.
5. Message Composition & Delivery: What you say is important, however your delivery method is perhaps equally, if not even more critical.
Successful brands communicate in a manner that creates an emotional connection with their customer base in part because of what they say, AND because of how and when the targeted messages are delivered. Relevance and consistency are key!
6. Empower Stakeholders. You manage your brand; however your customers and potential customers will dictate your brand perception and equity.
Customers who have been dealt with fairly and receive value will ultimately become your brand ambassadors to potential new customers… they will share relevant information regarding your brand to people within their networks.
Learn who your customers are and determine what their expectations are of your brand. Ask questions; thank them for accolades but ACT on their criticisms.
Successful brand managers recognize they need their customers to succeed and if they pay attention, ask questions and respond accordingly; their customers will assist them in creating a successful brand.
7. Be Value-Driven. This doesn’t mean lowest price.
Benefits including great warranties and customer service, diverse product and service selection, detailed product and/or industry knowledge and other items that also create customer value.
Focus on a combination of these aspects; particularly in relation to your competitor’s offering. Aim to meet and exceed customer expectations and it will pay dividends for your brand.