BRAND OR GET BRANDED - MARKETING FOR SME'S
Branding is an active process. It’s all about reputation. And if you don’t take charge of your company’s destiny, then someone will do it for you. Either you influence how your consumers think of you through quality, consistency and a strong message, or they will decide for themselves what they think of you. So how do you create a strong brand identity?
THREE SIMPLE STEPS TO A STRONG BRAND IDENTITY
Evaluation involves assessing what your company’s current personality is, and contrasting it with where you want to be. Draw up two lists reflecting this. If the lists are similar, then they can help you maintain consistency as your company grows. If there is a difference between them, you can make a conscious and concentrated effort to move towards where you want your brand to be. All in all, every company should have a vision and identity.
Defining your brand really involves defining your company’s visual image. Use all possible media tools at your disposal, from literature, web site and taglines, to colours and logos. All of them should work together to maintain and strengthen your brand image.
Refining is a multifaceted process. Your efforts must be carried out consistently and be fully in line with the positioning statement you have set out for your brand. From marketing to advertising, to client service and employee relations, every level of your organisation’s business must be constantly improved to be more in step with your overall brand development.
EXPLAINING YOUR BRAND IDENTITY IN ONE SENTENCE
This is the litmus test of a strong brand: the ability to explain your brand position, purpose, promise and image in one concise sentence.
If you can communicate in this fashion, thus making your brand stand out for its unique and singular vision, you should employ this in your marketing. You can include this statement on your advertising materials or business cards to communicate the essence of your company.
Your company’s personality has to come through all the time, no matter what you do. Persistence and focus are the tools to create a strong brand. If you own a business, it is implicit that you have a solid, consistent idea of your brand in your head in order to have a strong and clearly defined reputation in your consumers' minds.
If you fail to fully communicate your brand to your consumers, they will form a perception of your brand out-with your control that can often lead to less favourable, confusing or inaccurate perceptions of your business.
About the author: Vincent Bissette is a freelance Brand Strategy and Design Consultant with over 30 years experience of branding and rebranding businesses and organisations, systematically, thoroughly and objectively. He has worked in major Design Consultancies as well as having run his own agency for 25 years, working with SMEs all over the UK to help them modernise their brand, grow their business, attract new customers, penetrate new markets and increase their sales, market share and profit. Throughout that time, there’s not much he hasn't done or many industries he hasn't worked in. He’s a creative, strategic thinker and problem solver with a wealth of experience in diagnosing trouble spots in brands and discovering their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Now based in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, he works throughout the entire UK.
Get in touch with him on Linkedin here