Branding is important, especially when it comes to a developing a business. However what does branding mean? “Branding yourself means making yourself visible, and communicating via all avenues your personal value and what your stand for, with total clarity and consistency”(Forbes.com) 

  1. Brand boldly – for your business and you. A common way to position your personal and business brand is to boldly “own” an attitude on a key attribute. Every product or service has specific attributes that are important to key customers, like integrity and trust, or customer focus. Craft a simple message to make that your identity. (Forbes.com). Many business’s believe that putting their product out there and branding the product is important. However, the product represents the business. When individuals rely on a business its is just as important as putting their trust into an individual. Before branding the product, make sure you evaluate your business and what it represents. Follow some of these steps to successful branding boldly:  1) What does your business represent? 2)What is the vision or reputation that your business hopes to strive for 3) How do you represent that vision and reputation, its easier said then done. Individuals perceive and interpret messages in various ways, so make sure you tailor to multiple perspectives. Do you research and explore ways. Test it out with individuals of different backgrounds and find out what they have to say about your business plan from the outside. 4) It’s not about you, its about the consumer, think about things through the eyes of the consumer. How do you develop your relationship with a loyal brand. Take some time and brainstorm the multiple ways you can present your vision.
  2. Dominate the category (even if you have to create a new one). Small brands that break through to grow big find a “small” idea that fills a gaping hole – a need in the marketplace that wasn’t met before – and they keep filling that need better than anyone. If you dominate the market, competitor copycats will only amplify your positioning. (Forbes.com).     Let’s be honest; there are probably fifteen other companies out there selling the same product as you with a slight microscopic difference justifying why their product is better. I hate to break it to you, but that microscopic alteration does make a difference. Yea consumers are saying that they’re researching all the products and I won’t stereotype there are people who do, but the majority of consumers are superficial and only look at the business from the top layer. What does that mean? Look at your presentation. How are you trying to catch their attention? Its all about having some type of catch phrase, a logo, a jingle something that gets stuck in people’s minds and makes them remember your business when they’re trying to compare products.
  3. Figure out how to grow and scale the business. Businesses that scale have leverage and more rapid brand growth. Technology businesses can be very scalable because you can develop a core set of assets, such as software systems, and then you can monetize them at low additional cost. Build your business model on systems, not on people. (Forbes.com). Visual branding, look at how people try to understand or know a business. That is where this idea of systems comes in. Build your business through the software and tools that consumers use to discover new products and innovations. Social media set up is free, start there. Maintain free social media and develop your brand through social media. Lets be honest people spend more time on social media than anything else, so you have a cost effective way to develop your business platform.
  4. Enchant your customers. At the end of the day, you’re only as good as your customers who love and appreciate you. That’s why having a special customer relationship model that’s hard to copy can propel your business growth. According to Guy Kawasaki, enchanted customers elevate your brand, like advocating a good cause. (Forbes.com)  Build your relationship with the customer, make customers feel important. To achieve brand loyalty you need to create a loyal relationship with your customer. Remember there are multiple business selling similar products, what makes you stand out is how your customer sees your business and not your product.
  5. Put “growth agent” in everyone’s job description. Growth means change, and that doesn’t come naturally to most people. Keep everyone focused on one key objective and three measurable key results, so “business as usual” is not an option. Find people smarter than you in each aspect of the business, and hand if off as you scale. (Forbes.com) As we discussed before, individuals perceive and interpret things in various ways. Your team has multiple ideas. Take all these ideas and expand condense it into one. You will be all over the place, but when your team is content your consumers will be too, because not only will they understand that you have put your customer first, but they will also see that you have utilized multiple perspectives to make your brand a success. 
  6. Strike the right balance between innovation and staying true to the brand.Ignore innovation and your competitors will quickly pass you by. Too much innovation will confuse your customers, and drain your resources. To stay true to the brand, use open innovation, and see the power of involving customers in the process of innovating. (Forbes.com) Your consumers are important, you are building your business and building your brand to not only benefit you, but your consumers as a whole. Like I said build your social media, see what your prospective consumers like and don’t like. How do they perceive you through your social media face. I am not saying have your consumer build your entire platform you need to take advantage of marketing innovations, but when you involve customer interaction, you are not only helping the business develop but you are also creating that customer relationship.
  7. Take advantage of good luck and bad. Sometimes a sprinkling of good luck after bad, along with pluck, can propel your business idea into a breakthrough brand. The early start up period (“valley of death”) is your most vulnerable time but also your most opportunistic, because it is the time when you can create tremendous brand value. (Forbes.com)               Yes, we all mistakes, but instead of looking at the negative attributes of mistakes, think about what you learned from them. The people who fail end up being the most successful. Why because you learn from your mistakes. You take the stuff that went wrong and you build your business from the mistakes. I am not saying be hopeful that you will fail. In your first try you may achieve great success. Its about balancing the good and bad. Build on the good and build on the bad. Branding is not perfect or easy, it takes steps to build just like your business. Just remember its all about your end goal. Taking small steps to achieve success. 

Nothing is ever simple at the beginning, but when you are able to create a successful business and brand, things become more simple. Remember its about creating a unique vision and returning to that vision. Don’t concentrate on the microscopic difference between your product and your competitors. Focus on building customer relationships and loyalty. That’s what will make you stand out. Take advantage of low cost and free tools, such as social media. You do not have to rush into building a website, build your customer reputation and get your vision out there. Once you have learned what your customers like and don’t like, build your brand website through that.

Overwhelmed by the process? Take some time and see what Kemeck can offer, let us help you build your social media experience strengthen your vision and brand. We will make the observations for you and build your website around what works best for you.

To view the branding article from Forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/martinzwilling/2012/06/16/entrepreneurs-need-to-brand-themselves-first/

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