It is easy to look in any textbook to find the right answer, particularly when it relates to a major brand. But what about smaller firms or businesses, who clearly don’t have the finance, or large brand teams specifically aimed at achieving this?
There are a number of simple, key principals that anyone can adopt – from a one-person business to a much larger firm.
Lets go through them one-by-one:
Building trust with your customers is absolutely crucial. You can have a brand strategy, or slogan which promises lots of things, but if you don’t deliver on this brand promise then customers will see through you straightaway.
And this trust needs to run right through the heart of your business from the products you offer, to the service you provide and the people who deliver this service. Indeed, from back-office admin to customer-facing staff, these are your window to the world, living and breathing your brand promise and what you stand for as a business.
Just as important as trust, indeed an enabler to building this trust, is to do all of the above time and time again. Consistency to building a brand is key. There is no tangible benefit to your customer if they receive exceptional service once, but poor service the next time around.
As the old adage suggests, customers receiving poor service are four times more likely to tell someone than if they received good service – and they don’t forget easily. Interestingly, those brands that have emerged well out of the pandemic are those that have continued to deliver consistent service even in the most difficult of circumstances.
Keep it simple
This might sound obvious, but even the biggest brands keep their proposition simple.
What I mean by this is they deliver the service or product that their customers expect. They don’t over-promise or make wild claims of excellence meaning that customers have a very clear view of what it is they do or sell, and how well they actually do this.
Tell people about it…
…or better still, get your customers to tell more people about it. If you have a strong brand which customers trust, or deliver a consistent product or service on a consistent basis, then you should tell people about it. This may be as simple as adding customer testimonials to your website, or if you are fortunate to have a marketing budget, use it to push your brand story.
However, the most effective marketing tool, particularly for small businesses is word of mouth – a simple recommendation from a customer to one of their friends is likely to bring additional business to your front door again and again.
In short, whenever the word brand is mentioned, people straightaway think of big businesses, big brand budgets, but this isn’t the case.
Using the principals above it is easy for you to build your own micro-brand – even if that is in your own local community, or wider afield.