Creating a brand
What does creating a brand mean to you? Maybe it’s logo design? The application of your logo to media? It could be thinking of the right company name? Is it the creation of a physical product? Creating a brand is all of these and more. Your brand is defined as your business’s identity as interpreted in the mind of your audience. So whilst you may design an amazing logo and feature it on everything from your website, t-shirts and your vehicles, it will only ever be as good as the product that you trade with your customers.
Your brand online
In the article ‘The rise of social media’ I emphasised the need for developing a digital strategy. In an age where power has shifted from the marketer to the customer, it is equally important to for businesses to ensure they present a trustworthy and reliable brand promise. We can all think of countless examples of firms that have failed to meet the expectations of their customers, often resulting in the business collapsing, and those that have met the needs of the customer. A recent survey by Gallup suggested that less than half of customers indicated that they didn’t feel those businesses that they used regularly delivered value for money. This shortcoming exposes those firms to reputation damage over time. On the flip side, it means those that do deliver, build trust and loyalty in the minds of their customers.
What does brand value mean?
The key to creating trust and loyalty is through delivering on a brand promise - not just creating a slick logo. Similar to a corporate vision statement, a brand promise should clearly set out how your business is going to fulfil the needs of the customer by delivering value. But let’s consider the term ‘value’ for a moment, what does it mean to you? And what does it mean to your customers? Are they the same? This is where firms often get confused about their operation and exactly why customers come to them in the first place. A decade or so ago, firms would seek feedback from the market about their product in order to refine that product further in the hope that they maintain brand loyalty with their customers. Now, smart businesses are seeking feedback ‘about’ their customers, habit and why they might need a product in the first place. This change in approach is driven by advances in communication and technology, social media for example. Connection to your audience has never been so good! Identifying what it is about your brand that a customer values is likely to be based on their perception of your business, from a product, service and behavioural perspective.
Harvard Business Review suggest that leading organisations, aka, excellent brands, all share the following qualities:
- They offer and communicate a clear, relevant customer promise
- They build trust by delivering on that promise
- They drive the market by continually improving the promise
- They seek further advantage by innovating beyond the familiar
So what do customers want from a brand?
Customers want honesty and transparency from a brand. They want to know that they are dealing with a business that operates legitimately observing best practice corporate and social responsibility (CSR), and trading with others ethically and responsibly. But above all, customers want to know that the products and services they buy from a brand represent value for money. If you can combine all of these characteristics and summarise them within a brand promise, and then back it up with a valuable product, you know you have the potential to create a leading brand.
Find out how we can help you establish your brand:Get in touch