8 rules for brand survival
October 20, 2014
Thanks to the power of the Google machine and technology in general, it’s now easier than ever for someone to start a business and brand of their own.
While this may seem like a wonderful thing, it’s actually bad for the many brands, corporations and businesses that already exist. The simple reason is because this means new competition is being created everyday. Likely competition with smaller overheads, lower cost bases and the ability to cut into your market share or client base. Branding and business is a lot different from the economic environment 15 years ago. No business can survive on traditional print advertising or radio and television advertising. Now, you need to target your demographic, make sure your campaigns are profitable and can demonstrate a real ROI and value to the client.
Here is a list that feature 8 different things that every brand must implement into their business to make sure they can stay ahead of the competition. This list is by no means ground breaking and many business will have most of these, but now it’s time to make sure you add in the rest.
The Internet has changed everything, including how we contact others, find information and engage with brands of all sizes. If you don’t currently have a Web site then you are missing out on everything! What are the first thing people do when researching or looking up a brand or product? Google it. Without a website, when someone searches for you, what will they find?
A Website is a great way for people to find more information about your brand, but with a blog, you can take this a stage further. Creating new content that provides value to your audience. Ask yourself, how many of my products or services could you be writing different blog posts about? The internet is no longer static and creating a blog can greatly improve how many times your brand is found in the search results, while also providing more detailed information for potential customers.
With over 2 billion users spread across the major social networks, there is no reason why your brand shouldn’t have their own profile pages as well. We are all aware of the popular and useful social media platforms, the likes of Twitter and LinkedIn. By creating social networking profiles this will allow others to follow and “like” your brand, thus creating more brand loyalty and value. Social networks are also a great way for you to engage with your audience and customers throughout the world, while also being on their preferred social network of choice. As always the benefit of social media relies entirely on your internal ability to keep the content updated and engaging.
People still need to get in contact with you no matter what kind of brand you have. The best way for people to find your brand is through your Web site; however, many organisations still don’t understand the importance of making the contact process easy. This should not be a game of virtual hide and seek. When possible, make sure to include a phone number, contact form, physical address and an email address to get in touch with your company. Otherwise you’ll be faced with a situation many of us have experienced, annoying/scaring off potential clients and customers simply because it was too frustrating to contact you.
If you only had a few seconds to explain what your brand or company is all about, what would you say? If you can’t simply explain your business model and what your brand does in a few seconds, then you simply don’t understand it yourself. This is why a short, pithy company profile is far more important and effective than a dry credentials document. Take the time to look at your business model and what your brand represents, you shouldn’t be struggling to explain what you do.
All of the greatest brands in the world have a logo that represents their organisation. Your logo doesn’t have to cost thousands of Dollars/Dirhams/Pounds to create and you don’t need to hire an expensive designer (but you could); you just need to create a logo that represents your brand and connects with your audience. Take some time and create a story around your brand that helps a designer create a logo with some depth and meaning – rather than a pretty picture that could be for a shoe shop or a freight company. Some of the most well known brands in the world don’t even have their name written on their logo (Nike, Apple), yet people know exactly whom they are. (Although this takes years of conscious brand building, but it marks these brands out as brands who’ve valued and invested in the development of their logo and their messaging.)
Quality product or service
Your brand represents something special – usually a product or service. If you were a customer looking at what your brand offers, what would you want them to think? In order to justify trust (and fees) you must deliver something of value. As a brand owner or brand guardian in our case, we must have that same appreciation for the product or service that is being offered. If you don’t personally feel like you have a quality product or service to offer, why would your customers ever feel that way? As always actions speak louder than words, we can all tell people how great we are, but demonstrate this greatness. Through testimonials or completed project – this is the easiest way to sell the brand and gain client trust.
After all of the Web sites, blog posts, social networks, logo designs and knowing everything in-and-out about your brand and its products/ services – it all comes down to the customer. Your customers need to appreciate and love what your products and brand represent. But keep in mind, it’s much harder to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing one. This means you need to keep your customers happy by providing them with amazing service, expertise and support like no one else does in your industry.
You can focus less on some of the points above, but at the end of the day, the customer defines the success or failure of your brand off of your efforts to please them.