You build your business every day. You hire new employees, launch new products and services, and extend your reach into new markets. Competition is fierce; companies that rest on their laurels find themselves displaced, disrupted, and left in the dust.
That same drive to expand and develop your capabilities needs to affect every aspect of your business, including one of its most valuable assets: your brand.
Crafting an Image
Brand building is the process of creating and enhancing the value of a brand. The value of a brand is determined by many things, but, at its core, the real worth of a brand is related to whether or not it influences buying decisions.
Considered that way, brand building is a process of creating a positive and influential image in the mind of consumers. When the brand language or imagery is experienced, a valuable brand immediately evokes strong associations.
Well known and highly regarded brands generate more revenue than similar offerings that lack that credential. Therefore, the name of the game in brand building is communicating your bonafides to the right audience in a way that will stick.
Brand Building Bedrock
There are countless ways to add value to a brand, and smart brand managers investigate as many of them as they can, but certain core elements have to underlie those efforts.
You want a brand that has a clearly defined identity that is different from others, in a meaningful way. Then you promote that identity to an optimal market in a consistent manner:
- Find Your Identity – A clearly defined identity is created by examining the essential character and capabilities in play. Every brand should have a mission and a promise, an idea about what its purpose and principles are and an assurance that it will uphold them.
- Be Different – No matter what essential features define your offering there is always something that sets you apart from the competition. With so many comparison shopping tools available today, it’s never been more important to highlight those distinctions and separate yourself from the pack.
- Set Your Sights – Even the best offering will fail if it’s marketed to the wrong audience. Thankfully, we live in an age where the information collection tools that only giants like Nielsens and Gartner once wielded have become accessible to everyone. Today, companies of just about any size can get access to rich consumer insights that drive smart targeting and help grow brands.
- Stay Consistent – If you have a well developed identity that is properly differentiated and directed at the right audience, the worst thing you can do to undercut your effectiveness is present conflicting messaging. Recognition, familiarity, and positive associations stem from coordinated and harmonious communications across all channels.
Brand building best practices are always changing. Particularly now, as new media continues to overtake traditional channels, the old ways of doing things are being constantly reevaluated.
Those who fall behind are doomed to watch their competitors overtake them. You have to make brand building a core competency. Otherwise, you risk losing your competitive advantage, and ultimately, revenue and market share.
If you want to take a closer look at how to build a competitive brand foundation, download our Blueprint for Successful Branding today.