A brand is the associations that a person (or group of people) makes with your company, product or service. Branding is the process of harnessing and influencing these associations so that your business can grow and become more profitable. This guide outlines why branding is important, the various components of a brand and gives you a few starting points for planning your branding.
1) The benefits of a strong brand
A strong brand can be particularly effective in a crowded marketplace as it allows you to differentiate your business from competitors. This helps free you from having to compete on price. As well as building customer loyalty, a powerful brand attracts quality employees and motivates staff. It can be extended across new products and services - look at the Easy group, covering flights, cars, cinemas, buses, hotels, cruises and even pizza delivery.
2) Components of the brand
There are three key brand areas. The brand identity is how your company looks to your customers. Your logo and brand colours are particularly important here. The brand promise is the pledge you make to your customers and your brand values - often linked with your USPs. The brand experience is what customers experience when they interact with your product or service. Your staff are a key part of the brand experience.
3) Planning your brand
Every business already has a brand, even if it hasn't been planned and managed. The first step is to understand your current brand. Talk to customers and ask them what your business/product/service means to them. Then take a step back and define the brand you want your business to have. Your next move is to communicate your brand message to your customers so they automatically associate your business with their requirements.
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