Building a brand
A brand identity represents a mental or emotional association in the mind of a customer. It is initiated by the images used in your advertising, and by the words used to describe your products. After sufficient impressions, the customer remembers these associations and a brand is born. Large corporations spend hundreds of millions of dollars building their brands for good reason.
Brands: help customers remember your products or services build customer loyalty and lead to repeated purchases make it easier for current clients or customers to refer you to others send a message as to what your customers can expect convey an emotion add value Most importantly, the thing to remember is that a brand is a promise. Essentially, branding is then a process in which a business creates and delivers on customer expectations. When someone buys your product or service, they count on those expectations to be fulfilled.
The components of your brand promise are based on:
1. Consistent look-and-feel
At the most basic level, to build a brand you must develop a strong brand image. Consistent look-and-feel extends to your logo, colours, typefaces, décor, employee uniforms, and more. Professional service providers, such as solicitors, should make sure their brochures, business cards, website, stationery, etc. all have a consistent look-and-feel.
2. Consistency of experience
This is the building block of a brand. How can you do this in a small company? Take building a brand for your hair salon. Every client’s visit should feel the same as the last. This includes the same type of music, the same greeting, and the same type of treatment every time.
3. Consistent quality
It is not sufficient to deliver a consistent experience to your customer only. The experience must also be of a certain level of quality. McDonald’s French fries don’t have to be the best French fries in the world, but they have to be good French fries. And they have to be good every time.
4. Distinct competitive position
A brand must stand for something and distinguish you from the competition. The easiest way for a small company to develop this distinct brand position is to focus on a niche or specialised market.
5. Repeated exposure
To remember your brand, customers must hear it or see it over and over again. Building brand awareness takes money, and that can be a challenge for small businesses. The
objective should be to clearly and narrowly define your target market. The next step is to make sure you expose those potential customers by repeated advertising messages in the same publications, exhibiting at the same trade shows and attending the same networking events.
A brand is a complex entity and a somewhat abstract concept in the mind of a customer. Brand identity is the description of a brand and how it is positioned in the marketplace. Brand image, on the other hand, is the internal emotional reaction by the customer to the brand identity itself. The brand image is made up of your products’ appeal, functionality, popularity, and perceived value. These attributes should be used when designing and executing your brand marketing strategy. If this is done effectively, the new customers you obtain and the existing customers who buy from you again will feel that you have delivered on your promise, which is the basis for a positive brand image.