Five Factors for Building Your Brand
Seems everyone today wants to have a top of mind Brand. Whether it a brand for a product or service, the company or a professional person actively working their market.
So, if everyone is trying to build their brand and brand image, why are so few actually succeeding?
Well, it takes more than a wish or hope, it takes hard or focus work and commitment to make it happen. Therefore, you can outsource this project – for big bucks – or you can begin to focus upon building your brand within your organization.
The way I see it, you have have five factors to think about and develop a strategic branding initiative. Here are the five factors you need to address starting today…
Okay, positioning is a Marketing 101 concept. How well do you dominate both the action and mind of customers within a specific market niche? Frankly, your goal is to become a dominant player in the niche – which translates into having a minimum of a 41.7% market share for either a regional, product or industry. This target market share percentage allows you to grow exponentially relative to your competition. It also reflects heavily upon both your strategic intent and the perception or mindset of your customers.
- Story to Tell
Think of this a storytelling for the company or marketplace. Everyone needs to follow the same story line and offer the story as a method or process of creating the image about what you are branding. A story engages the mind and the emotions of the listeners or readers – thus creating a strong perception about what you stand for in the market. Emotional decisions rule and logic only justifies our emotional choices.
- Design Factors
This one gets a little tricky depending upon what you branding. Design is about a consistency of image including packaging, logos, style type, photos or images, as well as simple things like dress codes or company car and delivery truck design. The more your design connects to the emotional drive you want the better the connection by the customer. IBM was a master of controlling the image of its brand. They used the color blue which implies trust. All their employees – yes all – dressed in power navy blue suits with a white shirt and red tie – even the repair men who carried large leather briefcases with all their tools of the trade. The employees were consistent and the brand was built to the point people referred to “Big Blue” and everyone knew IBM was the company brand. Their brand awareness opened every door to corporate decision makers who would choose the “safe choice” IBM.
- Pricing Decisions
Here you must decide if you are going to be the high price choice or the low cost provider or a middle of the road – fair – price company. Which ever choice you make it will then set into a motion a chain reaction of how you pick everything else for your image to relate to your choice. If you take the high price route, then every thing has to be high quality and top of the line. The office location, furnishings and decorate must reflect this choice for the limited number of customers who will be willing to pay the higher prices. There should be high value added factors for each transaction will customers.
- Customer Relationships
Now the hard and smart work takes place within your organization or company. How well do you build top of mind relationships with your customers. Do your actions match the image for alignment of your branding process. Too often this arena is the cause of total disconnects to a brand. When the employees do not deliver with their actions with customers, then they set a different perception in the mind of the customer and the brand takes a hit. Make certain your employees are engaged and in alignment with the theme of the brand so they can deliver a consistent message and action to validate the brand image and perception. When customers buy in to the brand image, you get the “buzz” effect whereby the community or network of customers begin to relate to your brand image.
There you have the five factors for building your brand. All five factors must be in alignment and lead from the top of the organization or practiced by the professional individual to get it right in the mind of the market. Consistency is the one of the important keys to building a true brand.
By the way, one truly negative is to do nothing to create your brand. Doing nothing to manage your brand will allow for three possible outcome:
- You have No Brand image
- You have multiple perceptions regarding the same brand
- You have a brand perception, your employees have another and the market another – equals Confusion
Take the time to develop a strategic branding process and follow it every day. Then you will have a better opportunity to succeed with a brand you created.