Brand Building Basics

by | Jul 21, 2010 | blog

When people hear your name, they either know you or they don’t.  If they do know you, a set of impressions that influence how they think and buy come to mind.  Those thoughts define your brand. Your brand lives in your customer’s mind as a result of all the impressions made by encounters with your name, your logo, your marketing messages, and everything else that people see and hear about your organization, good or bad.
Something as basic as your business address contributes to how your brand is perceived.  For that matter, every time someone walks into your business and looks around, visits your website, meets an employee, or skims your ad, that person forms an impression that leads to a mind-set about your business.

You can build the most powerful brand in your target market by understanding a few key considerations:

  • Know the brand image that you want to project
  • Be committed and disciplined to project your brand well
  • Spend what is necessary to get your message to your target market
  • Manage your marketing & communications so that it makes a consistent & positive impression that etches your desired brand image into the mind of your target prospect

    Seven Steps to Brand Building & Brand Management

    1. Why are you in Business?  What does your business do?  How do you do it better than anyone else?

    • Write out the reason that your business exists and the positive change you aim to achieve.

    2. What do you want people to think when they hear your name?  What do you want current, potential employees, prospects, customers, suppliers, associates, competitors, and friends to think about your business?  The brand image held by each of these groups needs to sync with one another into a single identity — one brand — that people will trust and believe.  Consistency builds your brand.  Create a single impression for your business: consistent look, tone in your communications, level of quality, products and/or services.  Before you say “let’s try something new,” consider these key consistency factors.  What are the words you want people to use when defining your business?  Ask your employees, associates, and customers this question:  When people hear our name, what images do you think come into their minds?  If everyone is saying the same thing — and if those words are the words you want associated with your name — you have a well-managed brand.  If gaps occur, you have your brand-management work cut out for you.

    • List words that you want people to link to your business and be certain that you live up to that desired image.
      Then lead people to the right conclusions by presenting those characteristics — that brand image — consistently and repeatedly in your marketing communications.

    3. What are the advantages you want people to associate with your business?  Figuring out these benefits helps you land on the advantages you want to communicate in your marketing communications.  It also leads to your definition of the position you want to own in the consumer’s mind.

    • List your advantages.

    4. What’s the definition of your brand?  Look at your business through a customer’s or prospect’s eyes as you define your brand.  What do people say — and think — about your business?  Why do they choose your business and prefer to buy from you again and again?  How would they define your brand?  Branding makes selling easier.  Without a well-defined and well-managed brand you could spend over half of every consumer contact trying to introduce your business or make your case, but if your brand is well known you won’t need to spend as much time selling.

    • Narrow your findings down to one concept — one brand definition — that you honestly believe you can own in the minds of those who deal with your business.

    5. Build your brand through every impression that you make.  Clarity and consistency are keys to getting it right — each and every time! A well-managed brand creates a strong emotional connection, and a strong emotional connection fosters loyal customer behavior.  Protect and project your brand through every representation of your business in the marketplace.

    6. With a well-managed brand, your company hardly needs to introduce itself.  Within your target market, people will already know your business, its personality, and the promise you make to customers — all based on what they’ve seen and heard through your marketing communications.  Without a brand, you have to build the case for your business before every sale.  Doing that is tough work in person and even tougher work online.  You can’t be there to make introductions, inspire confidence, counter resistance, or break down barriers. Your website is the first place people may look to learn more about you.  Make it a good first impression by having a well organized, easy to navigate, interactive site.  For example: have a brief web video to describe your services, testimonial or “edu-tainment ” elements and incorporate social media into your website.

    7. Utilize experienced professionals, such as Peppershock for guidance and assistance with your customized brand building brand management.  Peppershock helps craft messaging and creates consistent & positive impressions that etches your desired brand image into the mind of your target prospect produces results!

    About the Author

    Rhea Allen, President/CEO and Co-Founder of Peppershock Media (est. 2003), is known for her story-telling passion and extreme diligence in obtaining effective media campaign results by planning and crafting relevant and compelling messaging.
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