Branding is a long term strategy for businesses. Building a brand for a new business is not easy and takes a lot of effort and time. What you offer, how often you add categories, and the way you position your business can make a difference in the incubation, operation, and survival of your business.
Just creating a website or logo is not enough for your business. They are the bare minimum. A sustaining business requires much effort on the part of reaching the target audience effectively. Online branding is different from offline branding. You have to position your brand in such a way that it creates an excellent customer experience.
What is branding?
Branding is a process of creating a strong and positive perception of your product or services. Your brand creates a unique image in your customer’s mind that stays forever. The branding of your product or services may include logo, design, tagline, mission, etc.
In other words, your brand is who you are, what you stand for, the values you hold, and the way you express those values. Your brand should projects strength, build a reputation, establish trust. Effective branding can make a difference to stand out from the competition and build a loyal customer base.
In present times, effective branding across offline and online mediums is imperative to sustain the business.
Why branding is essential?
Creating a compelling brand provides you a competitive advantage and helps your business stand out from the crowd. A great brand can help you acquire and retain customers. Branding is critical to long term business growth.
Better Customer Experience
Your customer remembers you from the experience they had from your products or services. Your brand builds better connections with the customers and establishes a trust factor to build a loyal customer base.
Establishing a brand is a long term strategy to bring new customers and building revenues. Once your brand is established, it will serve the greater purpose of attracting new customers and helps in building new revenue streams.
How can you create an ever-lasting branding for your product or services?
Steps to create a strong and unique brand:
1) Learn about branding
With rapidly changing technologies and ever-growing social media platforms, building a unique brand is central to maintaining a competitive edge.
Your brand is what you develop and what others perceive of you. It reveals the process and style with which you get things done. Your brand is your reputation: what you are known for and what you want to be.
2) People don’t do business with companies.
People do business with people they like. Human relationships are based on trust and mutual connections. Every big company has personalities that serve the advancement of their brand.
Apple had Steve Jobs, Microsoft had Bill Gates, Tesla has Elon Musk.
3) Figure out your uniqueness
The first thing about building a brand is being unique. Being authentic is the only way to build a sustainable brand. Ask yourself: what motivates you? what attributes do others compliment you on? what roles drain your energy? what work gives you excitement? What would you like to do for free?
4) What you would like to be known for
Your brand is not only about your present self, but what you would like to be known for 5-10 years down the line? It’s a roadmap you have to leverage towards your ultimate goal.
Predicting where you want to see yourself after certain years will help you determine what steps you need to take to reach there.
5) Define your audience
Defining your audience is a large part of creating your brand. You must know who are you trying to reach? You can’t create a generic product or services that will satisfy everyone across generations, interests, profession, etc. You have to define your audience according to your niche, then serve them with the highest quality standards.
6) What can you offer
People don’t care about you. People are obsessed with themselves. If people get benefited from what you offer, people will be attracted to your brand. People don’t bother about what you are passionate about. If you can add value to their life, entertain & educate them, make their life easy, or bring about any positive change, they will follow and engage with your brand.
7) Build your network
Building your network is critical to cultivating your ideal brand. You have to connect with peers in your niche to learn ideas for building a brand.
8) Get yourself a mentor
Reach out to people in your niche who are in the industry longer than you. Learn from them, connect with them. Getting a mentor will save you a huge amount of time and money. Mentors will guide you to take the right path and help you with your long term strategy.
9) Recognize factors that influence your brand
You must identify the factors that can influence your brand. Learn about your strengths, competitor, market, resources, technology, etc.
You can’t keep shooting in the dark. You have set your strategy to counter every challenge that negatively influences your brand and still be adaptable enough to revisit your strategy if that doesn’t bring desired results.
10) Identify actions to elevate your brand
You can’t keep playing in the same boat. You have to reach new market segments and create a new audience pool.
Identify what actions do you need to elevate your brand regularly. Leverage social media, networking, connections to elevate your branding experience.
11) Engage your audience
Branding is not a one time job. You are the game for the long term. People want novelty and new product lines or service categories regularly. You have to keep adding values to engage your audience and serve them regularly. You need originality and ingenuity in your products or services.
Branding is a complex process. You have to invest constant time and effort to create a compelling brand. A strong brand is easy to relate to that attracts a large audience. With sustained effort, persistence, and patience, you can build a compelling brand that will be an invaluable asset to your business !!