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Remember, your brand lives with your business every single day and with every single customer interaction, we all know how important a part a brand plays in the big consumer markets (think the fashion industry!) but actually if you can get it right within your world the impact it will have on your bottom line is huge. You brand is your company personality and the reason companies will buy from you – can you hand on heart say yours reflects what you want your customers think of you.

I have come up with what I believe to be the top 6 most important factors needed within a Brand

  1. Whats your one thing? You need to ask yourself a few questions….What is your organization all about? Are you simply selling a product, or do you stand for something consumers can relate to? Consumers like to know that your company has a passion, and is not just trying to make a quick buck off them. This is your USP (unique Selling point) and something that most business’ struggle to convey.
  2. Think about other industries and compare yourself to them. This is quite a good thing to do, if your business was a supermarket which one would it be? Tescos? Sainsburys? Waitrose? – Once you have aligned yourself with one, get yourself a list of words that describe that supermarket… you’re bound to find a few that relate to your business. What does the supermarket stand for? how do they market themselves? what colour and fonts do they use? Do this a few times with other industries (cars / clothes etc) and you’ll soon get a picture of how you want your business to be conveyed.
  3. Continuity is everything. Regardless of how you ‘touch’ you clients or prospects you need to maintain your client experience as people like to know what to expect. Whether its how you answer the telephone, write pages on a website, or how you handle a customer support issue, its the experience that will keep customers coming back for more. If the experience is in-congruent it initiates a feeling of mistrust, so be consistent – always.
  4. Your brand logo reflects your values. This is really the face of your brand and should only be created once you know what your brand value is. Your logo will become the one symbol that your clients will recognise you by, so make it a good one. Choose your colours and fonts carefully, they do make a difference. Clients will make judgement (even if they don’t realise it) on your logo. If it looks homemade then perception will be that everything else about your business is also cobbled together.
  5. Position your company and brand as a leader. Once you have identified what it is that your company stands for, actually the rest of it will roll. Once you know how you can differentiate yourself from your clients then to form a tag line, to enhance all your literature with the correct wording and images will become easy and clients will start to get an emotional attachment with your lead for your USP. Seriously, take time to understand your competitors and work out what it is that makes you different.
  6. Stick to the guidelines. This again comes back to consistency, once you have spent the time and energy creating your visual brand (colours, fonts and images) for goodness sake don’t start introducing more, leave your logo alone, stick to your font and colour palette and make sure every employee in the company knows what they are so that the whole company is consistent. Be compliant with your own brand!

Remember branding includes everything a company does, get it right and your brand awareness will rocket for all the right reasons, get it wrong and your reputation could be tarnished forever!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jo Stickings

Jo has worked in the media industry for over 20 years. She has worked with businesses of all sizes - from corporate companies and the public sector, to owner managed SMEs and micro businesses. She loves helping clients with their customer attraction and retention strategies particularly when this involves a multi-media approach. She has a down to earth, no nonsense approach and a 'let's get on with it' attitude which keeps clients coming back for more.

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