In my past posts have highlighted the 2 Rules in Branding; which are
- Never Go For The Average, Only Seek For Excellence
- Be Different
Here are the remaining
3. Get Visible:
Opportunities for progress and success will arise through your connections with your potential customers and visibility can be created through the repetition and strategic placement of brand messaging and identities. Brand visibility and awareness are the first steps toward its acceptance by customers. Becoming aware of a brand is the first step in a customer’s purchasing process. Customers make their decision based on their encounter with your brand. If people don’t know about you, your brand will go unnoticed, thus you do not exist. In addition, learn how to communicate, not just to communicate but to do it well and to the right audience. Always strive to communicate in a way that delivers the payload of your information up front, that makes it all direct and to the point, and that can be taken as a value.
4. Don’t Joke With Customer Experience
The encounter with your brand creates an impression about you. It’s so awful if you do not meet customer’s expectation. Again, his satisfaction is very central in molding any form of perception about you and your business. As an entrepreneur, you get clients through referral and no customer who had a bad experience of you would link you with a friend or colleague. You just don’t need to mess things up. Think like a customer, know what they want, how they want it delivered, what appeals to them, and the kind of product message their want to hear, and work on your relationship management skills. This helps. Take every opportunity you stand before a potential customer serious, utilize it to make an outstanding impression about yourself, take his contact with you memorable and special. If it is not, then you are dispensable.
5. Offer Value
Brands stand for something. I don’t buy Apple products because the cool kids buy it. I buy it because it has various applications that enable me do my job with ease. I don’t drink Coca-Cola because it is every where; every chill drink of Coke I sip on a hot afternoon comes with this wonderful refreshment more than any other soft drink that I know. Always consider WHAT you offer, and consider it hard. If you’re not providing a great “product and that can be a service that you do for me, why should I care about your brand in the first place? Every customer wants to see an extra thing you offer that that gives him 100% satisfaction which others aren’t offering. Offer what is needed in the market. Do your assessment well so you can come up with a product or services that your target market will go all out to have. Look out for opportunities, think on how you can offer a solution and assess its acceptability in the market place. Not doing this means starting from the middle.
6. Always Upgrade
Just like the software, brands (businesses) too need to upgrade. The worst thing that can happen to a brand is if it cannot provide a current need of the market. Always upgrade your product to the recent trends. Improve on what you have to forever remain current. Imagine contacting a graphic designer and he doesn’t understand Photoshop. He is still stuck in the old paint program.
7. Stir Up Emotions
Branding is also selling a psychological product. It goes beyond selling a wonderful product but having a hold on the customers’ emotion. Connect emotionally with your niche market; have them desire to come back no matter the compelling marketing stunts of your competitors. Do you and what you present have a positive feel on your audience or market? Brands are targeted mostly on the emotions of the market; your personality has to connect with people’s emotions, this helps in rousing passion about your brand.
8. Be Credible
Be professional and deliver on your promises. How believable do you seem? Trust is always a major factor in establishing your personal brand. If your market trusts you then you are in for a smooth cruise, but if they doubt your authenticity then you have a huge challenge in breaking through. No one wants to work with some one with vague personality. So don’t put your personality in situation of doubt. Be genuine and see how your integrity will do the magic.
9. Claim A Niche
You can’t be known for everything. It is pays less to be everything to every body than to be one thing to everyone. Pick what’s most important to what you do, break it down to its simplest core, and be it. Concentrate on a particular area, master it and make you it your own rather than traverse from one category to another leaving the market wondering what you really are. It’s easier to juggle and grow a brand in a particular Niche than that which boosts of several positions. If you can’t be the Number one in your market space; just create a whole new category and become No.1. Limit your brand to a particular function or market position if it is where it offers its greatest value. Trying to be everything in the market would undermine what your brand sincerely is all about and the audience it ought to attract. Stick to your own exclusivity, identify your target audience and communicate to them.
10. Be Consistent
Branding is not a one week project, it is progressive – a continuous exercise. You have to keep your strategies up and alive, especially the awareness. Keep being at strategic places, position well, and consistently build on your success, never be carried away by how big your market share or turnover is, it takes complacency to lose all that. Remember you have competitors who thrive to steal your own market share to add to theirs. Keep upgrading your strategies to fit in to current realities, continue being in the awareness on your niche market. After all, for many decades of success Coca-Cola still promotes its brand.
This is just my own summarized rules, I would say it is not the best or the only one. I just collapsed so many of them to make it 10. The Rules are always there, the problem is in its application. I hope you will follow these rules so to build yourself a strong brand. Which Rule do you find most important?