Branding Your Business

Business Branding

Branding Your Business

Business Branding

Chances are, you’ve already heard about the importance of building a trusted and unique brand.

Words like “brand awareness” and “brand recognition” are often tossed around, and are synonymous with achieving success and gaining a strong foothold in your market, especially when there are thousands of other businesses competing for your customer’s attention.

You already know you need to establish a brand that is all your own, yet few people tell you exactly how to get started.

That’s what this little post is all about.

Defining Your Brand Message

Business Branding

When it comes to maximizing your income, and establishing a strong foothold within your market, you absolutely need to build a unique and recognized brand that aligns with a clear and direct brand message.

Your brand message explains to potential customers what you have to offer, and how committed you are to providing quality and value.

But here’s the thing:  you aren’t the one who defines your brand message – your customers do!

It’s your job to lay the groundwork as to what you want people to know about your business and then work towards supporting that identity through demonstrating knowledge, skills and capabilities to deliver what was promised.

However, your customers will be the ones who decide what your overall brand image is based on their interactions with your business.

A well-defined, strategic brand message can build instant credibility in your niche, while helping you gain authority in your market and shape how customers perceive your business.  It’s quite often the key difference between a well-structured online presence, and a faltering business that is struggling to connect with its audience.

So, how can you build a recognized brand that provides a clear message that resonates with your market?

Start by thinking about your target audience and what is most important to them.  Once you’ve evaluated your niche, you will be able to position yourself so that you are directly addressing their most burning questions, concerns and needs.

To do this, you need to gather as much intelligence on your market as possible, which you can do easily just by looking at the competition.

What are other business owners and product developers offering your audience? What kind of products and services are they successfully selling? 

Take things to social media and begin by evaluating social signals – which are clear indicators as to what is currently in demand, popular and selling well.  The higher level of interaction, the more advertising dollars spent, and the more engagement; the better.

Knowing how to develop a strategic brand message begins by recognizing what is already successful and improving on it within your own business.

You want to become the go-to person in your niche market, the obvious choice when customers are considering who to turn to when making their purchasing decisions.

When you work towards building an unwavering presence in your market, starting with a strong foundation of trust, you’ll immediately eliminate the barriers standing in the way of you connecting with your target audience.

To do that, you need to learn as much about them as possible so that you can build a brand around what is most likely to capture their attention.

You’ll also be able to lower the barrier of resistance, and leave a lasting impression in their minds. When you do that, they’ll come back to you time and time again.

And how do you do begin?  It starts with what is called a U.S.P.

What U.S.P Really Means

Branding Your Business

Let me get right down to it. USP stands for unique selling proposition (or unique selling point), and it is critical that you establish what yours will be right from the start.

Contrary to popular belief, a USP has nothing to do with logos, slogans or graphic design. 

Sure, those are components of your overall brand that help people identify your products and recognize you, however, a USP is far more important than that when it comes to building your customer base, and breaking through the barriers of resistance that most businesses experience when they first appear in their market.

A USP is what truly tells potential customers how you are different from the competition.  It helps to align your goals with your customer’s. Your USP tells them that you can be trusted, that you have their best interests at heart, and that you fulfill all promises.  And most importantly, a USP ensures you aren’t a faceless brand.

This would include key factors that differentiate a product or service from its competition, such as the lowest price, an extended, no-risk guarantee, a unique or exclusive product or offer not found anywhere else, or the first-ever product of its kind.

Your USP should also demonstrate your dedication to satisfying customers, and provide reassurance that you stand by your products, and that there is no risk to your customer when doing business with you.

To start, think about what your product or service has that the competition doesn’t.

Consider ways you can highlight those differences and emphasize the benefits. Paint a clear picture as to why a prospect is making a wiser, sound decision to purchase your product instead of someone else’s.

Your USP is the driving force behind clearly illustrating value and giving potential customers a reason to purchase from you rather than the competition. That’s its one and only job.

OK, that’s it for now but if you want an expanded version of this post covering other points such as creating a powerful brand, the 4 essential elements of a killer brand, plus a handy check list, then click here and you can download a handy pdf to read whenever is convenient.

And if you want to learn more about how businesses use branding then check out this great course called B.R.A.N.D. here.

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Benefits Of Branding Your Business

Benefits Of Branding Your Business

Almost every business has a trading name, from the solopreneur to the largest multi-national corporation but it would be fair to say that only a small minority of those businesses would have what could be classed as a brand.

Branding is the process of creating distinctive and long-lasting perceptions in the minds of consumers. A brand is a persistent, unique business identity including aspects of personality, quality, origin, liking and more.

Although most people will associate brands with big companies, even a small business can use branding techniques to great effect.

So what is branding?

Well, the basic concept of branding and identity is quite simple; it is to create a look and feel immediately identifiable and recognizable in their niche. Good branding can increase the value of the product/service that the company provides and also the company itself. A company’s identity in their marketplace can have a huge impact on their profitability.

Many people think of branding as just a company logo and/or colour scheme, but it goes much deeper than that. Your brand should be built around a core mission statement that reflects your values as an individual or company.

BONDING

Having a strong brand helps you to bond with your customers and prospects providing that your brand resonates with your target audience. If your core beliefs and values as a brand are in line with your target market, this can build an incredibly powerful bond with them which shouldn’t be underestimated.

It is human nature to flock to those who reflect our own core beliefs and values, so your brand should be built around these to attract the right consumer and repel those who won’t resonate with you.

RECOGNITION

This is one of the main benefits of branding; customers and prospects are much more likely to remember your business. A strong brand name and logo/image helps to keep your company image in the mind of your potential customers.

If your business sells products that are often bought on impulse, a customer recognising your brand could mean the difference between no-sale and a sale. Even if the customer was not aware that you sell a particular product, if they trust your brand, they are likely to trust you with unfamiliar products. If a customer is happy with your products or services, a brand helps to build customer loyalty across your business.

ACCEPTANCE

If a business develops a strong brand this can have a knock-on effect in that they become accepted as a “player” in their niche and this in turn can build preference for their products. Think about it; when consumers are faced with choices in a store, they will typically favour a brand they have purchased before and trust. This is plain common sense as they can know exactly what to expect from their purchase. This is an important advantage if you sell products that customers purchase frequently, such as food or other household products. In that sense, a strong brand makes an important contribution to customer loyalty and, just as importantly, your profits!

NECESSARY

If you can develop a strong brand strategy, you can become a necessity in your customers eyes. This means that you have been able to build true brand awareness and loyalty. This should be a long-term goal for any branding strategy as it will virtually guarantee your success when people start evangelising about your brand and its products or services.

DESIRE

At first glance this may appear to be identical to “NECESSARY” above but when it comes to desire, we are talking about positioning yourself as a desirable, even luxury, brand. A classic example here is Apple. In all honesty, Apple products are NOT truly innovative (although the iPod was when it was first launched) and yet they have raving fans (discussed in “NECESSARY” above). The differentiator here is that these raving fans are willing to pay a premium for these Apple products and this is mainly due to the fact that when the original iPod was launched it was truly innovative. This one product launch has basically enabled Apple to position itself as a desirable, luxury brand and are able to charge premium prices. This may be the ultimate goal for any business, but many will not succeed, but don’t lose hope because just be being “NECESSARY” you will have an extremely stable and profitable business.

Did you notice that the above points spelt out B.R.A.N.D?

Are there any disadvantages to branding?

Having a strong brand will almost always be a positive attribute BUT there are a couple of instances where this may work against you.

Negative Attributes

If somebody using your product or service experiences a negative event, that will inevitably become attached to the brand. For example, a massive recall or unintentionally offensive ad campaign can tarnish a company’s brand and image, and this may result in the company to needing to completely rebrand itself to recapture its place in the market. And in todays totally connected world of social media, if somebody starts bad mouthing you or your product or service, it can be devastating.

Can Become Too Common

Many brands strive to be No. 1 in the minds of consumers. Take Coca-Cola as an example; many people may request a Coke when they go to a restaurant, but this may not necessarily mean a Coca-Cola product, but any soda i.e. it has become part of the vernacular. While it is the goal of branding to become the standard, it is not the goal to become the generic term of a line of products.

Ok there you have it, branding in a nutshell.

If you want to learn more about branding, I have a free report giving you a lot more information than I have covered here. Click here to get access to the report:

warr.us/brandreport

If you are serious about branding your business then I urge you to watch this special video training all about branding and how it should fit into your overall business strategy. You can access the video training here:

warr.us/brand

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