Every business has a brand even if you start with the intention of never creating one, and developing your brand all boils down to how every activity of your business is conducted from your social media right through to how you treat your employees and clients.
What message do you give your employees and clients about your business, what do you want them to come away with after having an experience of your business?
Your brand sets an expectation. Each part of this brand must help your business to deliver on these promises and help your customer understand your values and why they are important to your business.
What goes into creating your perfect brand?
Probably the most powerful part of your brand, it’s the first impression any client gets of your company which is why it is so important to hire a company which understands the market and researches your ideal clients and competitors. If your logo gives the impression of friendly local service your business should provide that very same service, if it’s more corporate you need to show a more professional edge, the smell of freshly baked cookies may not be quite the ticket to help promote a professional feel.
Most people like to research any company they come into contact with, I want to order a new washing machine, so instead of opting to my nearest electronics store, I’m comparing goods online across companies for the very best deal. Here having a site which is clear, user friendly, and provides a quick and easy way to get in contact with the company helps tremendously. It’s all about making the life of your client easier. Not only does your website have to be easy to navigate it also has to be able to further the message of your brand.
We’ve already written a couple of articles on the power of social media, but here you truly have a chance to shine. By one you can target people who are looking for suggestions on which washing machine to buy, but also you can also reply to positive and negative feedback. Being able to reply to your customers concerns in a manner which also fits your business. Some companies will respond in a more abrasive manner to criticism from customers, whilst others have a more polite response to criticism. Both have their merits depending on who their ideal clients are.
Bricks and Mortar Stores
Here you have many elements at play, from the layout of your store, to the sights and the smells, the displays of products, how light your store is, what type of sounds are played through the store and the positioning of signs and the special offers. There are uniforms to consider and staff behaviour policies in place, how should your employees deal with a complaint? What are the policies for staff training, discipline and promotion? What about your packaging? If you’re a company who highlights care of the environment it would make more sense to use paper bags or even cotton bags depending upon your company’s budget. The same goes for where your products are sourced. Environmentally friendly and fair trade employment policies should equate to providing ethical goods and ensuring those goods are responsibly sourced.
We’ve all heard the typical saying, hire a PR firm when the going is challenging, when things are going wrong, and typically this is what a PR firm is known for. Providing spin and turning a negative into a positive.
Had an oil spill through cuts to the maintenance budget? Hire a PR firm to find a solution which appeases the people affected and those beyond. This though isn’t the only use of PR, it can be used more carefully to garner attention for a brand new product, or a new way of doing something which is far more effective than previous methods. How many times have we all picked up a magazine, flicked through and found an advertorial? This is PR. Bringing a new product to light and highlighting the value of this new product whether that be a new hair serum or even a health product which is packed full of helpful tips to maintain your health.
Sponsorships and Social Movements
Big and small companies alike join up to sponsorship programs, donations to a charity or even a local community group. It works. It helps build trust and shows that your business cares about other people. Even still your business has to be clever with who you affiliate with. Do you want to affiliate with an organisation which discriminates against groups of people or would you rather support an organisation which tries to combat discrimination. Both have an affect on your business. For example: Campbell’s soup who openly supports the LBGT community with their two dads advert [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rZOMY2sOnE] was hit with bad reviews on their social media from a traditional community. Whilst others from more open communities supported the company’s efforts to show the modern family.
So many individual elements are at play in the formation of a brand and every single part helps to create one big picture that clearly demonstrates the values of your company. Therefore it is important to use a company which both understands the markets needs and the needs of your business.
Get in touch to discover how to make the most of your brand with our free consultation.