Who, exactly, are you?

Marketing

Who, exactly, are you?

Your brand should answer this important customer question about your business.

“I know someone who can help you with that.” When we need a product or service, these words from friends or family are music to our ears. It’s because we like doing business with someone we know. It’s an introduction that fosters the first step of a relationship. And, in a sense, that’s what a brand does. It establishes a relatable point of connection, and, if done well, a brand can create a lasting bond that helps protect hard-won clients from competitors. To learn how a brand is built, let’s begin with some basics.

Keep it real

To build a credible brand, start by identifying your business’:

  • Qualities – characteristics that make your business desirable
  • Values – the principles that guide behavior and action
  • Client experience – the way clients interact with you

Don’t ignore client perceptions even if they are negative. If you do, you risk building a desirable, but untruthful, image. If your brand claims don’t align with client experiences, clients will go someplace else. If your business delivers on your brand promise, trust is built and clients are kept.

It’s important to remember that a brand is more than a logo; it’s a promise to clients.

Keep it clear

Next, determine what sets you apart:

  • What value do you offer your clients?
  • How is that value reflected in your service?
  • How does what you provide affect clients’ lives in a positive way?
  • What do you do differently than your competition that makes you stand out?

Remember, write everything down so you’ll be able to create a unique value proposition (UVP) – a clear, unmuddied positioning statement that explains what benefit you provide, for whom and the unique way in which you provide it. Your UVP is the wellspring from which your brand will flow.

Keep it focused

Create a distinct visual representation of your brand that will reflect your identity throughout the marketplace. Your clients will use it to identify your products. Be careful to make sure it aligns with your brand’s personality in order to bring your brand to life. For instance, if your brand feels natural and down-to-earth, printed materials probably should not feature metallic inks and slick, glossy design. This should carry through to your online presence, stationery, etc.

Keep it rolling

Like cheerleaders keep the crowd rooting for a team, you and your team can help keep your clients cheering for your brand, too. That’s why it’s important to educate your team about your brand and hire those who reflect that brand. When onboarding, explain why and how you arrived at the brand identity and inspire them to carry that message in their daily work. Their support will help infuse your business with your brand and make your branding even more effective. An established brand needs to be taken care of, lest it become tarnished or watered down. 



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