Whether you’ve owned your own business for years or you’re in the beginning phases of launching your startup, you’ve likely heard a lot about “building your brand.” But for many people, the whole idea of branding is a bit confusing. In fact, “brand” may seem like nothing more than a modern day business buzzword that people throw around to sound like they know what they’re talking about.
However, branding isn’t just another piece of silly business jargon. In fact, your company’s brand is essential to building long-term success. That said, I’ve lined out the following steps to help you understand what branding is and how you should go about defining your business’ brand.
Step 1: Define What Matters to You.
Before you can build your brand, you need to sit and decide exactly what values matter most to you and your company. These could include anything from fast customer response time to higher quality products to guaranteed services. Whatever these values are, you must define them from the start and purpose to never do anything that goes against them. By stating your values and sticking to them, you have completed the initial step to figuring out exactly what your brand is—you’ve also helped your customers begin developing that initial connection. However, something worth considering: should you ever compromise those stated values, your customers are sure to notice.
Step 2: Identify your niche and start carving.
It’s been said, “Go niche or go home.” Now I’m not sure who exactly said it, but whoever they were hit the nail right on the proverbial head. Your brand relies heavily on what niche you have chosen to operate in. in other words, you have to define the niche in order to know what customers to target for brand building. And incidentally, the smaller the niche, the easier it is to target your marketing efforts and the simpler time you have becoming an expert (big fish, small pond trumps small fish, big pond).
Step 3: Differentiate yourself in both word and action.
No matter what niche you end up settling in, it’s highly probable that you aren’t the only business living there. Everyone has competitors. So the next step in brand building would be differentiating yourself from them. In other words, what makes you different from the others in the eyes of your customers? You can achieve this through both words and actions. First, try to use different language in your marketing materials than your competitors. Otherwise you’ll end up sounding just like them and no one will be able to tell you apart. Secondly, differentiate through action by offering something different—be it a guarantee, a new twist to the product, or something else. Whatever you choose, just make sure it adds value to your product; value that goes beyond that of your competitors.
Step 4: Rinse and repeat.
Now it’s time to perform over and over again. Once your customers start to connect you with consistency, you’ve accomplished the final phase of building your brand.
Have you experienced success in building your brand? Please share!
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here: http://www.ereleases.com/7cheaptactics.html