Branding is one of the most important elements of your business. Some would argue, the most important. Your business identity is a business asset. We have worked with companies that have done significant work to enhance their brand as they prepare to sell their business. Branding is more than your logo, it is your reputation. As Jeff Bezos has famously stated your brand is “what people say about you when you’re not in the room”. Brand is perception of what you have to offer, your service, vision and what you say, it can be the difference between people choosing you or your choosing your competitors.
Before you consider redeveloping or refreshing your brand, you need to understand your current brand through a process that outlines where it stands now, how it functions and how it is perceived. This approach will give you a clear understanding of how you can improve your brand and also creates a roadmap of how to develop your brand into a world class, recognisable and admired business.
- What is your brand story?
Storytelling is critical for a brand’s success. Your story is the best way to build relationships and trust with your customers. Customers also want to hear who succeeded because of your product or service so sharing case studies that are effective enhance brand stories too. Your story is a great opportunity to outline your background, experience and successes and create that emotional connection with your customers. People buy from people and find connection with brands through the personable and relatable side to them, communicated through stories of where they came from and who they have helped.
- Why are you in business?
It’s a simple question, however lots of businesses forget to answer this fundamental question. Why do you do what you do and why should your customer care? Aside from money, what has been the driver for your business and do you refocus and reset on that on a regular basis.
The most successful businesses understand the ‘why’ and focus on that. This is why a vision and mission statement are so important, to keep your business focused and consistent across every aspect of your activity. Remind yourself daily as to the reason you are getting out of bed to drive the business and you’ll entice your customers.
- What solutions do you offer?
Customers have problems that need to be solved, your job is to provide the solution to these. You need to know your market, your competitors and what your customers are seeking. After that, the easy part is to give them what they need. There is an opposing view that says find out what they need before customers realise it themselves and give it to them. Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on, knowing your market and competitors will pave the way to providing valuable solutions and growing your business.
- What is your Tone of Voice (ToV)?
Your tone of voice is central to your communications and relates back to your customers sense of trust and perception of you. Your tone of voice displays your authenticity, not just what you say, but how you say it. Whether you are very serious and corporate or more fun and informative, if your customer connects with you on an emotional level, they are more likely to engage and ultimately purchase from you.
- Why should customers choose you over competitors?
Knowing your unique selling product (USP) will create the differentiation between you and your competition. You may not be able to beat your competitors at every aspect of your business but completing a SWOT analysis (check out our free template) will help define what sets you apart. Then focus on selling and communicating your strengths, exploit the opportunities and work on your weaknesses, always keeping the threats in your peripheral vision.
Ultimately, your brand encompasses your logo, your product and services but also how you behave and what you say or in some cases, what you don’t say. Defining your brand is the sum of each of these parts, no one element is a standalone aspect of a brand. Businesses that succeed have mastered their look, feel and tone of voice as well as correctly identifying their customer and proactively selling to them in a way that they can connect with.
Similarly to the words of Maya Angelou – ‘People will forget what you said and forget what you did, but will never forget how you made them feel’. What your brand says and does is only one element of how your customers can engage. The experience and service they receive and how you make them feel will ultimately define your brand’s success for the future.
Consistency remains key in building authenticity and connection with your audience. Growing your customer base through trust and engagement will deliver new customers and retain those relationships that have built to date.
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About the Author
Founded in 2022, Pennypop is an Irish Marketing agency specialising in Marketing and Communications. The business is based in Louth, Ireland and supports businesses across Ireland, UK and USA.