You’ve worked hard to build your company from scratch, fully manifested your business idea, and now have a successful business. Still your business is not getting the recognition it deserves –despite the fact, you have some of the best products in the industry and run a tight outfit, from hiring top talent to delivering excellent customer service. Ironically, other competitors in your space are doing twice as well. Here’s the thing: it’s not your business that you need to refine anymore. Instead, you have to work on your business image.
What do people think about your business? If you’re not getting much traction in the market, it’s likely that people are not thinking about it at all. They don’t know you exist. They are unaware of your business and how your product is more cost-effective and provides a better solution than what they are presently buying.
You need to get out there. You also need to think about your branding. Customize whenever and wherever possible. Instead of slapping on some generic labels, get an Inkjet Label Printer and create some custom labels. Instead of hoping your satisfied customers would recommend your business more, spend money on advertising. Instead of hoping people will discover you, go to trade shows and give away some promotional pens with your name on it.
What we’re talking about here is branding. You may have heard about it now and then but didn’t pay attention when people talked about it. Think of branding as an essential feature for a successful business.
What has probably stopped you from branding is that you have taken care of it.
Yes, you picked a great name for your business. Yes, you have a nice logo. Yes, you have a catchy slogan. However, these things alone are a good start, but only a start. There is much more to branding.
A recognized brand makes it easier to promote your business. It makes it easier to connect with your customers. And it differentiates you from others in your market.
7 Questions to Ask
When it comes to branding, here are 7 questions you need to know to do it successfully:
- How do you define your brand?
Here are some things to consider when defining your brand:
- ? Your products and services
- ? Your industry
- ? Your specialty
- ? The needs your products fulfill for your customer
- What if your brand were a person?
What makes Mickey Mouse a brand symbol for Walt Disney? Anthropomorphism. If a mouse were a person, he would be Mickey Mouse. We can’t relate to scurrying mice, but we can relate to Mickey because he is like us. Similarly, think of your brand as if it were a person and imbue it with personality.
- What is your brand position?
What is the purpose of your brand? What does it do to contribute to your customer’s lives? What emotions does it evoke? In other words, keep thinking about your brand as if you were thinking about a person’s personality, beliefs, and values.
- Is your brand honest?
An honest person doesn’t exaggerate their virtues, does not raise false expectations and does not break promises. An honest person creates trust. They do what they say and say what they do. Does your company’s image reflect these qualities of an honest person?
- What is your brand’s voice?
Do you communicate what your products do for people? When people buy your products do they know what to expect. To develop your voice, you have to be creative and try out different marketing messages to find out what resonates with your audience.
- Is your brand boring?
A brand can be boring if you repeat the same promise in all your marketing messages. Think of more than one promise you can offer and think of using a variety of marketing messages to stay interesting. Geico made car insurance interesting by using a Gecko lizard as its spokesperson.
- Is your brand a knock-off?
It’s tempting to imitate what top brands are doing. After all, they appear to have worked out a wide variety of things—from the best colors to use to a consistently, appealing branding message. However, you have to talk about why you are different, rather than just like everyone else. What makes you distinct? Why would people go to you rather than someone else?
Two Reasons to Build Your Brand
Branding serves two purposes: it helps you clarify your business to yourself and it helps people get to know you better.
By thinking of your brand as a person, you get a handle on how to develop it. In this sense, a brand gives you a business identity. Now that you have an identity, you can make decisions about what is within character and out of character.
When other people hear about your business, do they fall in love with your values and beliefs? When other people hear about your business, do they become loyal customers? When other people hear about your business, do they become advocates to your business?