If you’ve been working through our previous posts then you can recognize how some careful observations and easily implemented changes can positively affect the ease of your daily operations.
The simple act of evaluating and understanding your customers and learning to be a careful observer of your business and economic environments are both key strategies for developing success. However, these principles work best when compounded. They can’t do all of the work alone and unless you can focus the customers attention towards your brand then ultimately you won’t convert traffic into sales (IRL or online).
The foundation that you’ve developed by knowing the consumer and engaging their needs brings us to then point of discussing branding. Branding is the sum of your entire business image and you want this package topped with a pretty little bow. The clearer and more concise you can illustrate who you are and what you represent as a retailer or service provider the greater you can legitimize your name.
Consistent branding breeds brand consistency. Consumers most often want to feel secure that they are receiving value and quality. They want to know that the quality of the product they purchase today will match the quality the next time, just as it did the time before. Branding is as much about outward appearance, design, and awareness as it is an exercise in maintaining consistency of products. If you are serious about establishing your business and providing/maintaining a benchmark of quality then you must be prepared to brew your own special brand that your customer can ultimately trust, like and share.
Trust is an interesting commodity; it can be lost, found, traded and it can even be bought or sold. Whether you’re a ma and pa shop or a budding franchise with multiple locations, the trust that you can build by having a consistent appearance in addition to a consistent product is indispensable. Trust at the consumer level is providing consistency both inside and out of your store, through your brand and within your packaging. All of these efforts to develop and maintain consistency will allow the consumer to feel comfortable with their purchases. Customers recognize that if a business has taken the time to curate their products and brand image together that they are more likely to be a secure and reliable source to deal with.
A big question to ask at this point is beyond providing consistent and quality products, how do I develop my brand? From an aesthetic standpoint, you’ll want to make sure that there is ‘thread’ or ‘theme’ running through everything. This is the most basic form of branding and most often it will all relate back to your logo or mantra. If you haven’t already updated your logo, then consider it now. At the same time, you’ll want to choose packaging, business cards, decor in your store (if you’re brick and mortar), as well as interior and exterior signage. Make sure everything either matches or compliments the image you are trying to present and ensure with diligence that things like your colour palette, the typography you use and your themes you deploy run throughout. If you are refreshing a brand make sure to try and sell off as much your legacy branded product as possible or rebrand to the new look to make the change as seamless as possible.
As you establish your physical image, you will want to be aware of your presence in advertising and online. From social media and to signage and vehicle graphics your brand must be maintained evenly. There is a lot of places people will see your brand so this is the point where many businesses reach out to a professional. Enlist the talents of a professional if you feel overwhelmed, they can help make sure that you don’t leave anything unattended. Remember, do your homework, make concise notes, establish what you want before you reach out for help and above all trust the professionals, they are the experts.
No matter how you decide to achieve your branding goals, you will find that as you move through the process and become further established that maintaining your image/brand will become easier. Branding grows customer loyalty, and the foundations that we build which will ultimately provide us strength and success. A powerful brand reflects a strong and healthy business, so never underestimate the power of consistency and repetition….never underestimate the power of consistency and repetition.