Brands are not exclusive to large FMCG companies, and building a brand doesn’t have to mean big bucks. Smaller businesses can build a market-winning brand for themselves with only modest investment – and a little professional help
Ten steps to building a brand, which S&® can help you take …
1. CONSIDER YOUR BUSINESS OFFERING and your market positioning. If you’re a SME then your business is probably your brand. Why do customers buy from you, and why don’t non-customers? What are your strengths and weaknesses, what opportunities are available to you, and what threats should you be wary of?
2. DEFINE YOUR BRAND by establishing your core values, digging deep to discover what lies at the heart of your organisation, what drives it? Personify your brand and consider its qualities – are you likeable? daring? trustworthy? relevant? innovative?
3. IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET MARKET – who should you focus your communications on – existing customers? new prospects? lapsed customers? Don’t overlook your internal audience.
4. ESTABLISH GOALS – what are your primary aims? to raise awareness? increase sales? build customer loyalty? attract more customers? motivate your own team?
5. FORGET USP, DEVELOP AN ESP – no product or service offering remains unique for long in today’s markets – develop an emotional selling proposition, a brand proposition which resonates with your audience on an emotional level.
6. COMMUNICATE that single-minded proposition with supportive statements and, however tactical your immediate objectives may be, always ensure that all marketing communications remain true to brand values.
7. DIFFERENTIATE from your competitors by developing a distinctive tone of voice that’s more engaging than that of your rivals, giving yourself a unique positioning created through brave, imaginative, brand communications.
8. STICK WITH IT – building a brand takes time and demands consistency of communications. Be patient, don’t chop and change messaging too readily.
9. MONITOR progress by tracking and measuring communications effectiveness.
10. RENEW – brandbuilding is a continual process and your overall approach should be reviewed and modified as necessary to ensure ongoing success.
Andy Sellers is founder and Creative Director of S&® the brandvertising agency, and a ‘Seriously Creative’ Consultant.