5 easy ways to build your businesses brand
Branding is often perceived as a bit of a dark art by business owners. But it needn't be; there are a number of small things you can tweak to improve the effectiveness of your brand. Grab a notepad and pen (and a glass of something nice, if it's that sort of time), and jot down these 5 thing you can do right now to make your brand work harder for you: 1) Have a chat with your best customers
We all have those favourite clients - they may be the ones that you work with the most, the people who's values echo yours, the ones who shout about your business the loudest and those who truly value what you do. Wouldn't it be lovely if all your clients were like them? Attracting more of those clients is easy - first, you need to understand what it is that they value the most about your business so you can steer your brand in a direction that resonates with those people.
2) Don't be afraid to think big
You may only be a team of 2 now, but what's your game plan for next year? Or the year after? Your business deserves a brand you can grow into, so it pays to know where you're heading.
3) Know your bestsellers
If you offer several services, or a range of products, is there one element in particular that nets you the most profit? If so, you probably want to be known as the go-to provider for whatever that is. Jot down your bestsellers and ask yourself if your brand really reflects the things you want to be known for.
4) Make your moments of truth as good as they can be
In brand speak, a moment of truth (or touch point, depending on your choice of words) relates to any interaction that a customer has with your business. This may be in the form of a phonecall, email enquiry, face to face conversation, visit to your website or blog or even an interaction on social media. Does every interaction reflect you in the best light? A while ago, I phoned a local high-end hairdresser to book an appointment. The phone was answered by a bored-sounding receptionist (who was chewing on gum while she spoke to me), who clearly didn't want to know. Given the salon's image, I would expect a polite, courteous and efficient service to back up their slick look. Needless to say, the reality rocked my view of the brand and I went elsewhere. Don't let the same happen to you - your moments of truth are one of the easiest and cheapest things you can control.
5) Own your niche
I say this so often, I feel as though I ought to have it tattooed on me somewhere. In a competitive marketplace, it's essential to know what makes your business stand out from the rest. Do you offer a product which no-one else sells? Perhaps your customer experience is unique? Maybe the way you do business sets you apart? The things that make you unique are the golden elements of your business that mean customers buy from you and not your competitor. As a sense check, list your competitors to be sure that your niche is truly unique to you. And when you've hit upon your niche, you need to shout about it, as loud and as often as you can.