Often when independent businesses think about their brand, they automatically associate it with their logo. A brand is so much more than a logo, so let’s get to grips with what it really is and why it is so important to the success of your business.
In simple terms, a brand is a “set of perceptions and images of a promise of what is to be experienced or delivered”. But let’s look at the different components that make up a brand:
- What you promise
- What you deliver
- Your reputation
- The experience your customers have
- What you stand for
Why is a brand important?
Your brand is one of the reasons why customers will choose you over your competitors. Think about large, global brands. They have a very clear identity and communicate their values continually and consistently. They can often charge more for a product simply because of the value that their brand adds.
It is important to define your brand values and communicate them at each customer touch point – from answering the phone right through to the service you deliver.
Your brand values help your customers to understand your business. So, how do you define them? Start by looking at what makes your business different:
- Do you approach things in a different way to your competitors?
- Is your business environmentally friendly, or does it use sustainable products?
- Do you or your business have a particular skill set that no-one else has?
- Do you have the best service, a unique product, or have you won an award?
For example, a florist might consider brand values such as:
- Fresh/ natural
- Value for money
A brand personality statement is an easy way to communicate your values to your customers:
An award-winning creative florist with a modern twist, using only the freshest flowers at real value for money.
Of course, your brand values need to be something that your business and its employees truly deliver and believe in, because all of your marketing needs to continually and consistently communicate this every time you deal with customers.
Your brand is a great way of making your business really stand out from the crowd and can turn your customers into advocates! If you can achieve this, your business has a fantastic potential for growth.