When someone mentions a name like McDonald’s or Coca-Cola then a clear picture is likely to form in your mind. If a person mentions the name of a close friend, then you could describe them in just a few words. Both of these are “brands”, although the latter wouldn’t instantly be recognised or described as such.
How is it with your business? Would your customers, those you’d like to be, or others who know of you only casually, be able to create such a clear and decisive picture in their minds? If not, how can you move to that established position?
Knowing what you stand for
This is a trite management phrase, but it is also a valid one. Describing what your business is, and is trying to achieve, in a single sentence gives you a starting point for creating an effective brand. The result of this is that, when the moment arrives when any individual needs the products or services you offer, then your name comes quickly to the front of their mind. Say the word “stout” for example, and it’s very likely that the listener is now imagining “Guinness”!
Communicating your brand
Understand the exact message you want potential customers to have in their mind when they think about your company. Next think about communicating this message to as many of the right people, as often as you possibly can.
Consistency of purpose
Finally, throughout your use of social media, online marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and other corporate activities, the principal message should be clear and simple. Of course, other messages are then attached to this for specific campaigns or events, but the over-arching (McDonald’s again?) key message should be constant. Confuse an audience and they will react in their way rather than yours. American actress Chloe Sevigny once said: “I know who I am by now. And I am my own brand”. For your business, it is vital to be able to confidently make a similar assertion.