Brand building is simply a new label for a collection of functions that have always been necessary to make a business successful, requiring ongoing effort in several areas to increase the public’s awareness of your business name and logo as well as to build a strong company “essence” that inspires loyalty and trust in your current customers and provides a level of familiarity and comfort to draw in potential customers.
A carefully built brand is worth more in actual dollars than all the tangible assets put together and is what will reap monetary rewards when you’re ready to sell your company. The first thing you have to do is decide how you want people to perceive your business, and then figure out what you have to do to get there.
- Consistency in advertising. Decide what you can do for your customers that your competitors can’t and hammer away at those points in every ad.
- Customer service. Only employ people who can get on board with your brand, and make sure that each person understands his or her part in building it. Once a customer is ignored at the counter or treated poorly on the phone, you’ve lost not only that person but everyone else that hears about the unfortunate experience. Word-of-mouth can help, but it can also hurt.
- Public relations. Keep promises you make. See that your customers aren’t disappointed with what they find once your advertising gets them through the door. They should leave smiling. Pay your invoices on time. Be a good citizen. Get involved with community projects where your business can do something positive.
- Use the internet. A company with no web presence is archaic. Even if you’re only interested in local sales right now, your customers are on the web, and they’ll want to see you there, too. Get it done NOW.