If you’re running a business, or simply in the position to make the key decisions for one, you’re going to be hearing a lot about brand. It’s not always clear why it’s so important, but your brand is one of the biggest assets you have available to you. Today we’re taking a look at brand strength – what is it, why is it important and how can you build it?
What is Your Brand?
You build a brand with advertising, with design and with branding, but the brand you build is more than that. Your brand is made up of every little interaction a customer has with your business, turned in their head into a story about your company – a personality for it.
When it works well, that story tells the largest possible number of customers that yours is the right business for them. It works well when all the elements consumers are using to build that brand in their heads are working together, telling one big, consistent story. If you don’t think carefully about the sort of brand you want to build and then thread it through your whole business then the story you end up telling will be weaker, self-contradictory and less attractive to consumers.
If you’re trying to build a brand to sell tools, for example, you want to appear reliable and competent, so people trust your brand when they’re looking to buy something that works. By choosing your brand they get not just the tools but a share of that calm competence. If your creative advertising is geared around creating that impression, but your customer service staff, in store and on the phone, aren’t well trained and competent themselves, your brand will be undermined. Stories will leak out, which attack that image of reliable competence and people will be less happy to choose you. A single, cost saving decision in turn costs you revenue!
Measuring Brand Strength
You need to be keeping one eye on your brand strength, to make sure your marketing is achieving what you want it to. If you’re putting all your efforts into communicating your brand but it’s not growing stronger it’s a sign that something is wrong and you need to make some changes.
A market research firm can help fit you into a brand index – a ranking of brands in a particular niche or sector, so you can see how you’re doing in comparison to your competitors. If you’re slipping down the index, losing mind share, then you need to take action, and looking at the rising stars could be just the thing to inspire you.