Don't Build a Product, Build a Brand
It takes more than offering a great product or service for a business to be successful these days. In the digital realm of internet searches, social media, and sharing, your business must build a brand reputation that conveys a unique message, along with excellence and reliability, in order to stand out from your competition. Not only does effective branding draw in customers, it creates loyalty so that they return to your business and recommend it to others.
Consider these tips to building an effective brand strategy:
Develop a company mission statement
Ask yourself what makes your business unique and why customers choose your company over others. Brainstorm short, simple answers from a customer’s perspective. Think beyond your products or services. What kind of experience would or should your clients have? What company values do you want to operate under and convey to consumers?
Create a meaningful business name
What’s in a name? The popular search engine, Google, was originally named BackRub. While googling and googled have become everyday speech like, “I googled my date before the prom,” imagine “I backrubbed my date before the prom” instead. Obviously, the Google name was well chosen. Think of a hair salon called “A Cut Above,” which conveys a distinct mission and style in a competitive, local beauty salon market. Even product names should express or help to build a brand message as well.
Create an eye-catching, memorable logo
From the science of color choices, to your imagery, to the font for your business name, your logo is the face of your company. Just like the golden arches for McDonald’s or mouse ears for Disney, your logo needs to be unique, memorable, and convey your distinctive brand message or persona at a glance. Great logo designers sometimes use subliminal visuals in the logo’s negative space, like the white arrow between the “E” and the “x” in the FedEx logo.
Monitor social media and review websites
Even large corporations with effective brand messages, like “Built Ford Tough,” won’t be successful enough to stay out of bankruptcy if customers have to call for a tow truck very often. Successful businesses back up their messaging by monitoring brand in social media for any positive or negative customer comments on review sites and social channels and then responding in a timely and appropriate manner.
Great products and services usually won’t sell themselves. Successful companies use effective marketing strategies that build a brand identity to consistently connect with customers and rise above the competition.