It is easy to say “A brand is more than just colours and a logo”. But in reality what else makes up a good brand? In truth, it is all about the customer experience. Customers must be happy with what they get out of any dealings with you and be happy in what you stand for. Building this relationship requires a sustained process, it is not achieved overnight.
Brands are often more than just products and services. They are promises to consumers. What might a consumer gain from dealing with your you? Remember that first impressions count and will stay with a consumer. Make sure they are good. Trust is a key element in building a brand – Your marketing makes promises to customers – for a successful brand, your operations need to deliver on these promises.
Interaction – It’s not all about you
Businesses do not build their own brand alone. How they interact with their consumers plays a big part too. The way a consumer views a brand will define how successful it is. What your opinion on your brand is, is less important. The only thing that matters how your consumers perceive it. Much of the work in building a brand is about developing a relationship of trust with your customers Without this, it is highly likely the brand fail.
Key stages in Building a Brand
Pre sale – Strangers – Customer (Trust & Understanding) Sale – Creating the customer (From trust to commercial relationship) Post sale Customer – Fan (Delivering on promises, converting trust into action)
Strangers to Customers
From the beginning, a company has to transform individuals from strangers to their brand, into customers of it. This can be done by developing a trust and understanding between both parties. If an individual likes what they see after being exposed to the brand, the will begin to explore more and develop that trust. The brands best aspects should be conveyed to the customer, such as the quality of the products, how happy they’ll be or how good the after service is.
Creating the customer
After building a customers trust that a brand is worthwhile and sound, the next step is for a commercial relationship to be developed. This is the point where a customer has first realisation and experiences a company’s product or service and ultimately, where their expectations are met (or not!) If a customer is still happy at this point, their view of the brand is likely to remain good. They will progress into the next stage and hopefully become a repeat customer.
Assessing your brand
It is always important to take stock of anything in your business, especially your brand. You should be reviewing the messages you are putting out accurately reflect your brand, and are resonating effectively with customers Check what others say and think of your brands and business. More importantly – take notice. If the same issues keep cropping up, address them. Simply, never stray from communicating your message and reviewing its impact.
A brand is not just a sum of its physical parts (logo, tag line, mascot etc). To get an accurate picture, you need to take a step away and look at the bigger picture. Your position in the market, the tone and way you speak to your customers and your history, as well as your actions. Get these things right and your brand will stand out. And there is no doubt that a successful brand will add significant value to your business.