A brand is much more than just the visuals such as logo, website, tagline etc. It is how people including your employees and potential customers perceive you. A brand is your customer service, your strategy, your means of communication and sharing your story.
A Brand is a blend of both tangible and intangible components.
Tangible components refer to the logo, tagline, website and promotions while intangible components mean the emotions associated with your brand. You need to work on both.
Intangible components are manifested through the brand personality and story. Both create impressions in the consumers’ mind – the value of this impression is what customers pay when they buy your product. Your brand is the perception that lives in the mind of the people.
Begin by creating a clear identity of what your brand stands for, that you should be applying to all your products, even if the products are vastly different. First impressions are essential. You wouldn’t wear an old torn t-shirt to a business meeting would you? So don’t allow your brand to give the same impression, even if you are the best in your industry that doesn’t mean your potential customers will see/notice that by simply looking at you.
I have devised a 4-Pronged Approach to put across your core brand message like an ACE = Accurate, Compelling and Exclusive. By incorporating all of them into your marketing efforts you will increase the bottom-line results by 4 times.
1. Associations: Build relationships with your customers. It is like what badge your brand wears. Affirm your brand position by connecting with community to become conspicuous.
2. Testimonials: Get a loyal customer or celebrity to speak about their experience with the brand. It is like word of mouth marketing. This is emerging as a powerful social media marketing tool to build trust with the customers.
3. Achievements: Brand your triumphs – be it winning a local business award, appreciation by a bigwig or an employee’s contribution. Don’t be shy to blow your own trumpet.
4. Wow Experience: Your brand will get ingrained in the minds of the customers if they have a positive personal experience. Move beyond customer satisfaction to customer delight. Being a small business, you have the flexibility and are not bound by too many rules. So take advantage of that to add a personal touch to every interaction with the customers.
“Authentic brands don’t emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from everything the company does...” – Howard Schultz
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