What exactly is a “brand” anyway?

McDonald’s Golden Arches, “You’re among friends at Boston Pizza”, Nike’s “Swoosh” logo. These are all examples of brands, right? Well, sort of.

The term “brand” is often misunderstood. An effective brand is much more than a logo or a clever catch phrase.

A brand expresses and reinforces a business’s underlying vision and values. A brand helps define a customer experience. Any customer interaction with a business is a “brand experience”. Brand is how your customer service agents interact with your customers. It’s how your employees dress. It’s whether your receptionist answers the phone with a smile.

A brand defines a company – where it’s going and where it’s been. A strong brand adds depth, uniqueness and value to a business.

A brand is your business’s promise. Under-promise and over-deliver, and your customers will tell a friend. Over-promise and under-deliver and they’ll tell ten friends.

In other words, a brand is everything.

What’s in it for me?

A relevant, engaging brand that clearly defines your business’s core values will benefit your business in many ways:

  • Build desire and understanding
  • Create an emotional attachment to your product
  • Differentiate your product from the competition
  • Project credibility and trust
  • Build customer loyalty

How can I begin building a brand?

Building a brand begins by answering some basic questions:

  1. What type of business am I really in?
  2. Who is my competition?
  3. What is my product or service?
  4. How does my product or service benefit customers?
  5. What’s unique about my product or service?

At the end of the day, developing and maintaining a strong brand requires teamwork and focus. A successful brand can take years to build, and one poor customer experience to destroy. A brand can be your business’s best friend or its worst enemy.

Take the time to identify and build your brand, encourage your team to nurture your brand, and your business will reap the rewards!

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