- The rules of engagement
If they care about you, you win. Actively Engage your followers and customers, Acknowledge every comment and reply to them. It is a fact that each communication you have with the outside world is crucial to the survival of your brand. Design a strategy that includes little things such as how you respond to queries, how you answer the phone, what you put on your letterheads and so much more. The reality is that every time your brand is noticed by someone, it creates memory and builds trust. And the more it is noticed, the more significant that memory and trust become. Spend time and get to know your customers. People are more likely to stick with you if they feel like their voices are being heard.
It's your job to make others see from your perspective. If you are have trouble doing that, then it is time to spread your wings and network with other businesses that uphold similar standards and offer similar values. Interact with them and learn how they got to where they are. Become a team player because, really, no one is an island. The fastest means to get your business out there is still by word of mouth. So try to network and interact with as many people as you can and get your referral game going. Join a strong network that helps your brand get referrals and watch your brand soar. It is important to tread carefully when associating with other brands,however. The only network with brands you would be proud to associate with. Remember, image is everything and their image will likely rub off on you. Make sure that the brands you interact with accurately portray your values and standards.
- Be Consistent
Consistency is probably the single most important tip for creating a strong branding strategy. For instance, Place your logo on everything from your website to your packaging, the sign on your store, company letterheads and email signatures. A uniform font and design theme should also be consistent. Steady branding develops a strong sense of value in a customer's mind, allowing you to charge more for your products than the competitor without a branding strategy. Consistent branding builds trust and credibility by adding a perceived level of value that people will pay more for.
- Be self-aware
The key to branding is to know your strengths and weaknesses. Before branding your business, you need to be self-aware of yourself. You cannot follow the crowd and win. You need to determine what you want and stick to the plan. Focus on what your strengths are and develop a strategy around them. That strategy, or approach, should lead you to slogans, images, and themes that are part of your branding. These items become your branding material. You have to be creative and find what you are comfortable doing. Decide what the right thing is for you before going for it. It may not get you the kind of sales or followers or income when you first start out but with consistency (as mentioned above), people will come to see you for who you are and love the image that you have created for yourself.
- Put together a great team
Many business owners shy away from hiring talents because they feel it’s just a waste of money. Money that could count as profit at the end of the quarter. We’re going to give it to you straight. You need to hire a professional. If your business requires you to edit videos and pictures and you’re not a professional at those things, then by all means, hire a person who can! When you have great results, customers will be drawn to you. Nobody wants substandard or badly put together products and this applies to any business. Hire a great team and come up with the best results and you will see your brand grow. Take note, the most competent teams do not necessarily have to be the most expensive ones. Find out who fits in your budget without compromising your standards.
To conclude in the words of Gary V., “Brand is not transactional. Brand is forever”. The impression that you give about your brand will stick with it throughout the existence of that business. Be self-aware of yourself, build a brand that people can relate to and hire a great team to do it for you – because talent is talent. Actively engage your followers or customers and don’t forget, your brand is forever.