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How to Build a Brand You Can Be Proud Of

        posted by , May 09, 2013

Your brand is your business reputation.

It's more than a logo. It's more than a product. It's more than your customer experience. Your brand is the total sum of everything your business does.

What's a Brand?

A brand is a complex symbol of a business, product line or product.

Your brand includes your name, visual symbols, slogans, people, customer experience, products, corporate culture and reputation.

Your relationships with customers, employees, shareholders, communities, creditors, partners and regulators end up being reflected in your brand image.

Why Are Brands So Important?

Brands can become more valuable than the companies that own them (brand value vs. total capital).

There are several reasons that brands can be extremely valuable:

  1. Recognition. Customers feel safer purchasing a brand they recognize. In many cases, customers purchase a brand they know nothing about simply because they're familiar with the name.

  2. Loyalty. Customers may become loyal to your brand. A single loyal customer can be worth a great deal (lifetime customer value).

  3. Social Proof. Customers influence people within their social circles to purchase their favorite brands. Social proof can be a strong purchasing motivation.

  4. Publicity. Brands are eligible for either good or bad publicity (based primarily on your relationships and behavior).

  5. Advertising. Your brand can be used to improve your advertising effectiveness.

  6. Product Differentiation. Brands can be designed to stand out in the eyes of customers.

How to Build a Brand You Can Be Proud Of

It's too simplistic to view your brand as a logo, slogan or social media campaign. Your brand is a reflection of everything your business does.

The following brand strategies are timeless classics that have build today's strongest brands.

  • Simple & Eye Catching Visuals
    Create a catchy visual theme and apply it to everything you do.

  • Define Yourself
    Define what it is that you do better than anyone else and stick to it. Keep it simple. Maybe you're the coffee shop with the relaxing atmosphere. Maybe you're the human friendly brand of electronics.

  • Be Different
    It's okay to be a little strange within reason, it's memorable.

  • Be Consistent
    Make your products and customer experience unbelievably consistent. Great brands remain consistent decade after decade. They change to improve but retain their key characteristics. If you're the top quality camera maker, never produce a low quality model.

  • Improve Your Visibility
    At the end of the day, brand value is primarily about visibility. You achieve this by establishing direct relationships or with promotion techniques such as advertising and social media marketing.

  • Use True Slogans
    Make your slogans, marketing copy and sales pitches true. Your customers aren't dumb. Authentic works better than BS.

  • Extend Your Brand To Everything You Do
    Extend your brand to your corporate culture. If you say that you're committed to sustainability — really do it.

  • Have Confidence
    How can your customers have confidence in your brand when you don't? Avoid jumping on every passing bandwagon.

  • Invest in the Long Run
    Avoid cheapening your brand for a quick win.

  • Enjoy It
    If you don't enjoy building your brand, it's unlikely your customers will enjoy buying it. Think of the companies that have built significant brands within the past 10 years. They make it look easy. They almost make it look fun.

Next: How To Choose A Brand Name (30+ Techniques)

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