Building your business brand goes way beyond marketing and sales tactics. A brand must be an authentic representation of who you are and what you stand for. In order to achieve this, you must identify the characteristics of yourself and your business that embody this, and embrace them to create a long-lasting brand that people remember. Here are some steps help you do just that.
- Define your strengths. When doing so, don’t just consider the various skills you have, but also think about the different facets of your personality. Are you witty and able to think on your feet? Do you have a knack for showing others they can trust and confide in you? Do you have a strong creative side? Any of these strengths can be used to build a business brand, so it is important that you take the time to define your strengths realistically.
- Identify what makes you unique. What is something that people always remember about you or the experience you provide to others while doing business with you? This is a very significant question because it can separate you from the competition. If you don’t know where to start, go back to your list of strengths and figure out how you demonstrate those in way that no one else does or can. You are your business, so evaluating yourself in this way is a necessary part of building your brand.
- Ask yourself how you can make your industry better. What is missing or lacking in your industry? In what ways can you improve it? Even the smallest things can make a big difference. For example, the photo processing industry has certainly changed since the availability of digital cameras and online services such as printing and scrapbooking. However, one photo lab owner noticed the growing trend of customers taking their memory cards and flash drives or even uploading their pictures to large chain pharmacies for printing. This is convenient, but the results are often pictures that come out underexposed or grainy since there is no longer a trained printer at the helm adjusting the prints. His solution? Offer a service where customers can bring in their pictures printed from anywhere else and he will make the necessary improvements. His small part in improving an industry weakness helped build his unique brand.
- Focus on one thing at a time. Building a brand can be an overwhelming project to undertake, so be sure to focus on only one aspect at a time. For instance, you may begin with increasing your level of engagement with your customers by increasing and engaging more with your social media presence. Once you feel you have built some great momentum, go ahead and tackle something new. This also prevents you from stretching yourself too thin and burning out. If you want to build a brand, you need to commit to it for the long haul.
- Build on each success. Use each success to bring you to the next level. Using the example above, when you have effectively learned to engage with your customers, you will consequently have increased your following. So now give them a reason to continue talking about you. For example, you might provide an incentive like a special discount for your online community, or create a fun contest where your online customers can win free products. You should also celebrate your accomplishments to reward yourself and keep moving forward.
Taking a good, hard look at who you are and what you want your business to be is a necessary part of building your brand.
How do you build your brand? Please share your ideas below!