You already have a brand. Did you define it or have you let others define it for you?
Whether you're a business or an individual, you have a brand. Your
is your promise to the customer. Your brand tells others what to expect when they buy your product or use your service. Your brand also differentiates you from your competitors. If a brand is not developed with thoughtful planning and communicated consistently, there may be a huge disconnect between what you believe to be your brand attributes, and what your customers perceive as your brand.
Building a Brand
Involve employees and clients if possible to make sure that you're conveying the messages you
you're conveying. Here are some basic questions that help to define a brand. Write the answers down and make sure that all of your employees are living your brand.
- Mission: Why do we exist?
- Vision: What will we become?
- Values: What are the qualities associated with our company?
- Promise: What is our promise to the customer?
- Deliver: How will we deliver on that promise? What does it look like?
- Positioning: How are we different from our competitors? How do we want to be perceived?
My brand is clearly defined - now what?
Consistency is key. Make sure your brand is communicated in every single touch-point with your customer from the initial encounter through your logo and marketing materials, trade show or event elements to the the way in which your employees dress, your sales process and follow up.
- If your brand is all about personal service, will your client expect to be greeted by an automated phone system with multiple prompts?
- Are you hiring employees (or choosing clients) based on the qualities and values that your brand represents?
- If you ship products, is your packaging and your shipping process consistent with your promise to the customer? Those are important customer touch points that are often overlooked.
Some find it helpful to map out every interaction with a customer and outline what can be adjusted to ensure that your brand is conveyed consistently.
If you have not intentionally developed your brand, be prepared for this process to be a little uncomfortable. Once you invite input from clients and employees, you may find that you're communicating a very different message than you intended. The good news is that a clear brand communicated consistently will not just attract more business - it will attract the right kind of clients.