To understand how to brand your business, you need to know what is branding and how is it going to impact your business in the long run. When you Google what is branding you will find numerous definitions because it’s hard to define what branding exactly is. The easiest way to understand what branding is, is to know what it’s not.
Branding is not about having a logo, trademark, design, doing good business or keeping your customers happy. Yes, all of these are important to run a successful business but the essence of branding is that it exists in your customer’s mind. In other words, creating a brand is building yourself, your company as an ideal for them to make you a part of their lifestyle and gain their loyalty.
Branding doesn’t mean you have to portray yourself as a supreme but make the customer feel like one. It is a combination of impressions you make on them. Such as the way they connect with your mission, style, motive, product quality and everything on the list.
As an entrepreneur, it is your duty to connect all the dots and take them in the right direction. It’s necessary to make a strategy and act according to the plan to improve your brand image.
For example, Walt Disney the billion-dollar company started off in a tiny office with one person drawing in a small room. Their business bloomed when they invested in the theme park, they started promoting it with the idea of wanting to be a magical place for families to have fun. That eventually became their motto ‘magical family fun’ as Disney was famous for stories and cartoons they made their crew dress up as different cartoon characters, called them cast members. Started selling the theme park as a happy and safe place for families to have magical adventures.
Good branding updates your company for more than the sum of its parts. People pick up products not only to use but also to show off. That ‘feeling’ of having a certain brand is all it takes to boost your sales. Good branding is marketing yourself well for your customer to perceive you. But how is it possible to create ‘good feelings’ toward a brand?
Walmart, the chain of hypermarkets which solves household problems in the ’90s with their motto ‘save money, live better’ marketed their company by selling the products 40% less than the MRP which almost led them to bankruptcy. But today they stand as the most profited business in the U.S, they branched out from groceries to electronics to clothing and expanded around the world with different names and collaborations.
Now that you know how and why branding is important. Here are a few tips that can help you improve your branding.
Promotional Products: Setup referral programs, create infographics, partner with local business, Give away free promotional products for your business such as travel bags, pens, watches, backpacks, t-shirts with your company logo on it. So that, your employees can wear them, which can be an excellent marketing strategy. For example, Starbucks! they have special menus during Christmas or have different menus during different seasons around the globe, they give away free shirts and coffee mugs with their logo on them.
Uniqueness: Being unique is the best way to gain more attention and create that ‘feeling’ for your customer. The best example of this is the famous brand ‘Superdry’. This brand gained attention because of the hip hop street artists. They decided to challenge the fashion industry by making comfortable clothes and look chic. Later, Superdry became more of a challenge to fashion standards than just comfy clothes.
Be out there: As there is no perfect way of branding, it’s not important for you to be perfect, but always be there, ready to serve and solve problems.
Logo: Having a fancy name, a well-illustrated design as a logo will be very beneficial for customers to remember you. Once you get a logo to remember get a trademark of that logo because it’s going to define your company in the long run.
Quality: Any customer will keep coming back to you if you deliver goods/products with great quality. Any brand will establish itself by offering excellent products to its customers. If your products are not of high quality, your reputation will also suffer.
Customer service: Customers will keep going back to a company when they feel welcomed, served faster and valued. You don’t need to have a huge helpline set up for 24/7 to help. But have people that are approachable in the store or online to provide them with help regarding any queries.
Storefront: If you own a physical store it’s important that everyone can see it from the outside. Probably the oldest way of advertising – signage, is still important today. Of course, like everything they evolved with time, so today you have a huge variety to choose from. From the old-school Las Vegas neon signs to the new-age more durable acrylic sign holders, found here.
Risky: Handling business involves a lot of risks, taking creative directions, innovative ideas to excite your customers and make them believe that they need to have only your product.
Consistency: Patience is the key to perseverance, it’s important to be patient and consistent while delivering a service. Have a standard time gap while giving out offers or launching new products as such.
Collaborations: Associate yourself with great brands, cut deals with them. Collaborate in working out ways for you to gain their brand image and capture the attention of people.
Marketing: Everyone thinks marketing and branding are the same. But they are not. Marketing is basically what you do and branding is what you are!
Digital media is going to play a very important role in this area because everyone is on social media trying to create a brand image. How would a customer believe in your brand and not in your competitors?
Maintaining your online presence is vital today, companies obviously use social media to advertise but how can you use it to build your brand? Ask customers to review your products and interact with you on social media platforms. It is going to help you get a better reputation and gain goodwill.
Let’s end this article by the words of Warren Buffet. That explained how you can invest 20 years on building your reputation, but one wrong step and it takes only five minutes to ruin it. Once you consider this advice you’ll start doing things differently.