Developing a brand isn’t a one-time adventure – it is a journey that lasts as long as your company is in existence. A brand needs to be constantly monitored, measured, maintained, nurtured, improved and leveraged to provide customer value with the intention of earning lifetime loyalty and advocacy.
Here are some of the most important do's and don't's of brand development; following these basic rules will help you improve your brand development and your ability to successfully market your brands.
One of the leading reasons for brand failure is building a brand based on what the competition is doing. You are not your competitors – you started your company because you had something better, different and/or unique to offer, and uncovering that unique brand offering is where brand development begins.
Do build your brand from the inside out. Who are you? How are you unique? Why do you exist? What are you capable of becoming? Nobody can answer these questions except for you.
It will make your brand blend in with every other brand you are competing with. Sure, there are things you’ll need to tout, but when defining your USPs, define them in unique ways that communicate relevant and meaningful brand differentiation.
Do create USPs you can prove. Whatever it is that you claim – whether it is focused on product quality, service excellence, timelines, or other expectations, make sure you have the proof and the data to back it up. Also make sure you can create the culture and the internal systems to support your brand promise.
You’ve seen them all. They may be memorable, but that doesn’t mean they inspire people to change their buying habits or shift brands into consideration.
Do create a tagline that really defines your business. This can only be done when you have truly defined your brand. If the tagline happens to be clever and catchy, that’s great, but first and foremost, strive for creating one that has the strength and conviction you need to grow your brand and customer acquisition.
You can spend a substantial amount of money on an inspiring and motivating brand launch, but those emotions you stir up in your staff will die down the following day.
Do get everyone involved in living the brand through the course of your brand launch and after. Launching a new brand should be an exciting time for everyone. It’s a new beginning, and you’ll need everyone on your side as well as their help to succeed. You cannot be the brand you wish to be without the help of your people. Don’t be the leader that is all talk and no action.
Over-promising and under-delivering, will invariably lead to low morale and lack of respect for leadership throughout the company. The only rule is to have a plan and to get moving.
Do follow through. Enough said.
Living a brand takes practice, and lots of it, to get to the point where it becomes intuitive and second nature. It requires everyone to think and behave in certain ways. When everyone understands the brand and the vision is clear, decisions are easier to make, there is less conflict and everyone understands what it means to win and how their contributions impact the organization.
Do keep the brand alive. This is best done through building the culture to support your brand. It also includes appointing or hiring someone to be the company’s brand manager.
Just as you want to keep your customers engaged and interested in your brand to earn and maintain their loyalty, you’ll want to do the same to keep your employees engaged and interested in you. Internal brand promotion keeps enthusiasm levels at their peak, which has a direct impact on performance and productivity.
Do post your brand statement with pride in highly visible areas. Your brand should be visible everywhere, in different forms to serve as a constant reminder of why everyone should be excited about getting up in the morning to give you their best.
Remember that your brand is your most important asset, and it’s the reason you are in business.
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