Coca-Cola, Apple and Nike are some of the biggest brands in the world. Their brand identities are the ones most commonly referenced by our clients when they come to us for a rebranding job.
One thing those brands all have in common is that they have massive brand equity along with massive advertising budgets. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t build an iconic brand for your small business.
One thing that we tell clients over and over again is that a brand is more than just a logo. It’s the identity and personality of your business that is developed through the experiences you create for customers and clients.
Building your brand will not only shape customer experiences but it will guide the strategic decisions you make for your business.
Start with communicating your unique value proposition.
We all have great ideas about what we want to do with our businesses, but an idea is and always will be just an idea and nothing more until acted upon.
Those who go on to build brands like Apple and Nike are the ones who take a chance and put great ideas into practice.
Where does your business fit into the marketplace? Before you begin building your brand you need to know what sets you apart from other businesses and what core values you represent.
Look for gaps in the market you can exploit such as quality, cost or service level.
Check out your competition online. Find out how they are interacting with their audience on social media. Pay attention to what’s being said and how it’s being said.
Are they even interacting at all? Sometimes just being on social media and using it regularly is enough to establish a competitive advantage.
After spending some time looking at the competition ask yourself these questions:
- What would make your business stand out in the current marketplace?
- What would make customers want to tell their friends and family about you?
- What is it about your brand that would turn prospects into loyal customers?
Know the primary audience that is buying your products and services. Don’t try to sell to everyone if your business primarily serves middle-aged women, for example.
Sure a small percentage of people who aren’t middle-aged women might be converted into customers, but we’re talking a number so insignificant that it’s not worth your time or money.
Understand who exactly is the ideal prospect for your business. Know what they do for a living, what they like and dislike, what they do in their spare time.
The more you know about your customers the more you can target your marketing directly to that demographic.
Don’t be afraid to over-deliver on your brand promise. Merely delivering on your brand promise doesn’t cut it anymore in today’s competitive marketplace. To stand out you have to deliver more than your competition.
You need to surprise and delight your customers by delivering more than what they expect.
If your competitive advantage is your prices are better than the competition, don’t surprise your customers with hidden fees. Not only is that under-delivering and misleading, but it’s completely failing as a brand.
The last thing you want is for someone to go on your Facebook page and complain your low prices aren’t all that they seem.
Building a brand comes down to delivering a simple idea with a unique selling point while offering better solutions than your competition.
Getting this right is key to creating advocates that will buy from you again and tell their friends how awesome you are.
Nico Taus and Frank Chartrand write on behalf of Bureau.ca and DesignTalk.ca.