In today’s business climate, it is pretty much essential to build a brand that will stand for everything that your business stands. When you have a strong brand that is recognizable by the customers/clients, you get tons of natural, organic promotion that no money can buy.
The important thing is to start building your brand the right way from the very start. If you do not, you may need to rebrand later and this is a process that can take up far too much of your time, as well as money. When rebranding, you are losing customers and you are also showing weakness, which is something that is never good.
There have been some successful rebrands in the past, but for a more ordinary business owner, rebranding causes more problems than good. Which, once again, shows us the importance of the right brand strategy from the start.
Be honest about who you are
The absolute must of any successful brand building is to be truthful to yourself and your customers about who you are. In all likeliness, you will not be the best pizza restaurant in the world; you will not be the best retailer of medical equipment; you will not be the most innovative web design agency in the world.
On the other hand, you will always have your strengths and weaknesses that you need to be smart about. For instance, you may be the only pizza place in the neighborhood with home-grown ingredients; you may be the only retailer of medical equipment that does business with a certain high-quality German company; you may have a few designs in your bag that just wait to be unleashed.
Always go strong with your strengths, but always stay honest and realistic.
Be a ‘nice person’
Customer service truly is the make it or break it factor for every business and it can become one of the strongest parts of your brand. Just take a look what kind of revolution Apple made with their Geniuses. People value being valued; there is no doubt about that. And it does not even have to be anything revolutionary. Just make sure that all of your employees are nice to customers and that you do everything you can to make their experience with your business as positive as possible.
In addition to this, it is always a good idea to be involved with the local community and charities. Of course, this is not the only reason why you would be a philanthropist, but if nothing else, then do it for the brand.
Another huge part of every truly great brand is the consistency. If you start off by providing an amazing service, you cannot let the quality of it drop as time goes by. If you have built a visual identity for your brand, do not wreck it down and try to replace it with something that you think will look better. Even if it does, it does not matter. Changing your visual identity too much changes how people see your brand and you do not want that.
That being said, this does not mean that you should stick with every practice and every decision that you make. If you see that something is not working well, change it. If you notice that you can improve your brand without changing it completely, do this. Improvement should never be subdued.
Besides building a brand on your own, there is always an opportunity to approach branding professionals who have been doing that for years and who know exactly how to position and improve upon any brand that they are handed. You would be surprised as to how affordable some of these options and services are.
In the end, one thing that will always have to be a part of your brand if you want it to be successful is the quality of the services/products that you provide your customers/clients with. Every great brand is based on good business and honest practices. Hard work can only contribute to your brand.