The term Brand Building has been used a lot lately. What does it really mean? A brand is the image or idea our company delivers to the public. Obviously a brand can be good, bad or neutral. New businesses often have a neutral brand. No one knows what to think of the new business so their brand is neutral and neither helps nor hurts them. A negative or bad brand may damage a business permanently or temporarily. A positive or good brand can help a company grow as long as the brand is maintained.
A brand is built by first determining what image you want your business to deliver. This is often influenced by your market and or the products and services you offer.
Next, create a logo and tag line that reflects the brand image you want to create. While a logo and tag line alone are not enough to build a brand it is crucial that these fall in line with your overall image.
Be consistent, it is very important that you maintain the same tone when communicating with customers. Your logo, tag line, products, services, advertising and promotions should all send the same or similar message without simply repeating yourself. It is vital that the corporate attitude from top to bottom stays true to your brand image. The attitude of each employee can be critical to maintaining the image you have worked so hard to create.
Building a brand takes time and it is impacted by the advertising and promotions we use to develop our business. Each promotion should be carefully considered to determine if it is in line with the brand presence you have built or want to build for your business. If you want your brand to be as professional as possible you certainly wouldn’t run a “Crazy Dave” type of commercial to sell your products. This would not only send a confusing message to potential customers it may make existing customers question why they purchase from you.
Don’t forget your website; it is a principal part of your brand image. A quality, up to date website that is consistent with other brand identifiers can be a powerful tool to help define the public perception of your business,
Customer service is an important part of building a brand. The process a business utilizes to deliver products and services and address issues after a sale may have more to do with building a brand than any other single item. The way a business and its employees interact with customers can make or break a brand image.
If you use social media to communicate with customers be sure to maintain the same “voice” as you have used through out the brand building process. A professional service company should not use terminology on social media that will detract from the professional image they have created.
Although this is a simplified view of what it takes to build a brand the steps outlined here hold true for every business. Building a public perception for a business takes time and is much easier if it is built on the actual values of the business. We have all seen businesses fall from grace when their image is destroyed by an event that shows the world how far they are from reflecting the image they portrayed.
Brand building could also be called trust building. After all, each business builds their brand with the idea that the perception they are creating is one that customers can trust.