Having a strong brand is no doubt critical to the growth of any small/medium business but what makes a strong brand? Clearly defining your values, your voice, your look and what makes you different from your competitors you will have a much better understanding of what makes your business unique.
Basics of Brand
- Your Brand strategy is essentially how you are perceived in the public eye. Your brand should guide every major decision that your company, product or service makes so having a strong brand strategy is integral to the success and growth of your business, product or organisation
- A great starting point if you are struggling to work out your brand is to ask yourself these two simple questions:
- What makes your business different?
- Who are your ideal customers?
- Most people assume only big businesses spend money developing and nurturing their brand but in reality all businesses should take this into consideration
- Your brand is essentially how you are perceived so it is very important to make this clear
- Most people believe that your brand is just what you put into your marketing material but in reality its everything from how you treat your customers to the customer experience and even how your receptionist answers the phone
- The reason this is important is because you want to make a strong first impression on anyone who contacts your business. A great example of this is if you were in the market for a new property and if one you visited was run down, the house was falling apart and needed to be repainted and another was freshly renovated you would instantly lean towards the renovated property as it made a much stronger first impression
- Having a strong brand can also increase the value of your business when it comes time to selling or moving on from your business. In a recent interview for the Marketing Strategy Show Craig West from Succession plus (a business specialising in business valuation and Succession) said ” When a business is being sold, the brand is one of the things that increases the value of the business”.
- Three essential elements of a strong brand are;
- Creating credibility
- Increasing recognition
- Motivating Employees
- There is a difference between being cocky and being confident, far too often Australian businesses suffer because they don’t want to come across as cocky or up themselves
Sharing the same Vision
- It is also vital to ensure that everyone at your business has the same idea of the purpose or mission of the company
- This is an area where a lot of businesses suffer as if you have three or four different managers or two or three salesman they might each be going out to meetings and events with entirely different ideas of what the company wants to achieve, so it is critical to have a strong brand that unifies that view
- In a majority of small businesses the drive of the company is usually fuelled by the owners passion for what they are doing so is also important to find staff or people to work with who share that same or a similar passion
Building a Brand
- If you are a small business it is likely that you don’t have the marketing funds for the traditional avenues of TV radio so how do you make your brand stand out in a sea of sameness? By clearly defining what it is that you do differently or what you can offer someone that your competitors can’t
- Many businesses will get complacent with their brand strategy and will have the mindset of we are still getting business so there are no worries and this is fine if you don’t have any plans for expansion or growth as if you are trying to push into a new market who doesn’t know about your organisation, you need to have something to help you stand out and this is where brand is very powerful.
- A majority of companies when thinking about their brand will start with something like “here is my passion” or “here is what i’m exceptional at” but you always need to be thinking about the customer and questions like:
- What is their problem?
- Does my product or service solve it?
- Are they easily able to find or access my product?
- What keywords would they be typing to find my website?
- If you are somewhat stuck on articulating what makes your business good, find some of your repeat customers and ask them why do they keep coming back? and how would they recommend you to a friend
- Grab as many testimonials as you can as you promoting yourself and telling prospects what you do can only take you so far, having a backlog of satisfied customers really hammers home the point that you do good work and solidifies your brand and business as one that can be trusted
- Building your brand strategy doesn’t necessarily mean tearing down the old and building the new, it could be just tweaking certain elements of the brand, take a look at Telstra, their logo hasn’t changed in at least a decade but they often tweak the colour of the large “T” or the satellite dish around it just to make the brand feel fresh and avoid feeling stale
If you ever need any help with brand strategy or defining what you do differently don’t hesitate to call us on (02) 9125 0520 or visit themarketingstrategy.co and book in an obligation free consultation.
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