What is Branding all about?

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What do you need to achieve with your Branding?

Much is said about branding but when you ask someone for a definition their response is often vague.
Branding is sometimes defined as “a unique design, sign, symbol, words or a combination of these, creating an image that differentiates your business from its competitors.”

It is the perception someone has when they hear your company name or see your logo, products or services. Brand perception is how customers actually view your brand. How does it make your consumers feel? How do your products or services look when they see them or hold them? What impression do you create when they call you?

You have to understand that every interaction a customer has with your business will either enhance or diminish their perception of your brand and therefore your business. From the Business Owner to the most junior member of staff your brand must flow seamlessly throughout your business. Every employee is a brand ambassador.

Remember Gerald Ratner’s speech at the Institute of Directors in 1991. At the time Ratner had 1,000 jewellery shops in the UK and 1,000 in the USA. He tried to be funny in his speech.
He commented, “We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say, ‘How can you sell this for such a low price?’ I say, because it’s total crap.” He made it worse by going on to remark that one pair of their gold earrings was “cheaper than a prawn sandwich but probably wouldn’t last as long.” Following his speech, the value of Ratners dropped by around £500 million and never recovered.

Your business website must be all singing and all dancing – when did you last update it? Technology is moving quickly and a website not updated regularly can easily look out of date. What about your promotional materials? Brochures, leaflets, flyers – do they represent your brand in the way you want them to or do they need updating? Do you seek customer feedback?

Think about the objectives you want to achieve with your branding. You should ensure they include:
• Clearly, delivers the message
• Confirms your credibility
• Emotionally connects your target prospects with your product and or service.
• Motivates your buyer to buy
• Creates user loyalty

Remember the key to loyal customers is not just about the product or service they are buying but the whole customer experience.
A good brand not only brings you loyal customers but it builds loyal employees. A brand gives your people something to trust in. It helps them understand the purpose of the business.

Make your business a brand not bland!