So you have a product or service. What’s the next step? How do you build your brand? Simply put, branding is your character in the marketplace and you need it in order to effectively promote your business, services/products, or yourself in your arena.
Your brand is present in everything that you do and how you present it to the world. Branding encompasses much more than that. Branding permeates every facet of your business beginning with creating an identity. Remember your brand is who, what, and why you are. That is the basis of your identity. Your identity speaks to the core of you and your business. When people think of you, they will identify with how your product or service makes them feel.
I love ice cream. Like really love ice cream. My first job was at a local soft serve store. I believe that the love of ice cream is pretty universal. Most people love it, and if you don’t, then we need to talk about our future together. There is a certain ice cream brand that is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. They promote themselves as using all-natural sourced colors and flavors, using all American dairy and high-quality ingredients. This brand’s identity is natural and fresh. When you hear their name, you know you are getting a quality ice cream. When building your brand, consider other noteworthy brands and how they position themselves in the marketplace. They have strong brands for a reason.
Through your identity, you build trust—whether it is personal one-on-one trust or trust in the public’s eye with your services or products. The true success of your business lies within the trust you build with the public who will purchase or use your services or products. Betray that trust by offering a half-baked service or product and you will see an immediate correlation to the loss of sales.
Consider a certain ice cream company that has had some issues with listeria in their ice cream over the last couple of years. After this ‘scare,’ it’s hard to find this type of ice cream on store shelves. The trust that they had built up in the market has been shaken because no one is sure that they are getting a safe product to consume. Would you be willing to risk your health for some ice cream? Me neither. Trust is important if you desire to grow your product or service. Absent of trust, only your friends and family will be buying from you.
Finally, you have to provide value to your consumers for your product or service. A product or service with no value will not last. You build value by providing quality or quantity of your product or service. If you aren’t able to provide quantity but exceed expectations in the quality of the product or service, then you are on the right track. If your quality is average but provides more than what is expected, then you will win.
Consider a certain ice cream brand that has my favorite flavor of Swiss Vanilla Almond. I don’t mind paying the ‘extra’ price because I know the quality of the ice cream is always top-notch. A consumer must feel that spending their hard-earned money on your product or service is worth it. Exceed the consumer’s expectations and you will triumph every time.
Building your brand begins with forming an identity, developing trust, and creating value in your product or service. A strong foundation is the beginning of success for your business. Make sure you have the right building blocks in place.
Dawn Jordan Jones is CEO of 29Eleven Media L.L.C., a marketing company assisting mom & pop to Fortune 100 companies to establish, enhance & elevate their brand in the marketplace. Learn more about Dawn via her website http://29ElevenMedia.net and follow her on Twitter @29ElevenMedia.