Do you buy into a brand, or the people behind it? Let me explain what I mean…
What is a brand?
When you buy a Coca-Cola, you do not buy it because it has an iconic red and white swirly logo, you buy it because you associate it with quality, opulence and longevity in the ‘cola’ marketplace.
In the same way, if you look at the motor trade, Aston Martin instantly conjures a picture in your mind of quality, precision, luxury, lifetime aspiration. Unfortunately for most of us, the price tag bursts our bubble at this point; however, we are still left mentally gathering our views of other brands by conceptions we have over value, reliability, quality etc, etc…
As a business we should set ourselves a goal to demonstrate the right core values that will attract the customer base we are looking for. As a business we should set ourselves a goal to demonstrate the right core values that will attract the customer base we are looking for. People buy from people, and often like minded people…
Be more like the customers you wish to attract.
We should all remember this, and make a conscious decision to invest in product, staff, quality customer service, communication to a level that will create the right associations with our target audience. In building a likeminded sense of trust and loyalty with potential customers, we will help them to shortcut their decision making process.
Businesses that develop brands that resonate with their target market will always be more successful than those who base their branding and marketing decisions on what they think the customer should like, or what they think is good for their business.
Let me give you an example. If you hate the ‘hard sell’ yourself and you are looking to develop long term business relationships that will prosper and grow from word of mouth, then why would you push a hard sell mentality for your business? It may give you a one off boost to your bottom line in a low income month, but will it help your brand identity establish itself positively going forward? Will it give you loyal customers with longevity?
Offer ‘easy to identify ‘shortcuts’ to customers.
One business can rarely be ‘all things to all people’ without careful branding; supermarkets are an excellent example of this. Let’s take Sainsburys as an excellent example of social and niche branding to push a message to a maximum audience:
Social branding: Basics Range: Value to the masses
By Sainsburys: Simple quality from a respected name
Taste the Difference: Oozes luxury
Niche Branding: Be good to yourself: For the health conscious
SO Organic: For environmental ethics
Free from: Gluten!
‘Shortcuts’ help customers to make decisions easier. We live in a world where we are spoilt for choice and shortcuts mean we can be more productive when making our choices. Not only that, buyers also make assumptions and eliminations based on their perceptions. Just think about the supermarket again for a second… If you already know that X is in your price point, Y is gluten free and Z always make a healthy cereal you love, you are able to make faster, more efficient choices.
X, Y and Z may all come under the same retail umbrella, but that umbrella has created brand values that you trust… This can be applied to virtually any industry.
Take our business as an example. We pride ourselves on quality seating, desks, tables etc. but how much easier would it be for a customer if we collaborated furniture together and offered solutions by workspace for them to consider:
Meeting room ideas…
Break out space ideas…
Home office ideas…
Bespoke handmade furninshing ideas…
Three guesses how we are in the process of developing our brand right now?
Be unique; make your customers remember you.
It is a common fact that the first brand into the brain is more often than not the one that gets the order. So, make sure your business is remember by your customers for all the right reasons; that way, when their next need arises, it will be your business, your brand, your staff that the customer will want to deal with.
Putting it simply…
Branding your business doesn’t need to be the big, scary monster that it sounds, and you don’t have to be truly unique in order to become the pre-eminent brand in the marketplace, you just need to think cleverly about how to communicate it differently.
“But i’m trying to sell the same thing as everyone else, and the marketplace is saturated” should never be an excuse not to succeed. How you sell your service, how your staff represent you and how your customers remember you are every bit as important as the product itself… If not more!
Developing a brand should not be about how much spare cash you have to blow on a whizzy logo. It is about consistency, trust and what you inspire in people. And that most certainly doesn’t need a big budget.