Most of us when we started thinking about owning our own business thought more about the type of work we’d do, the services we’d offer, and the nuts and bolts of operations. Branding to most of us was more like the packaging around our business; the logo, the website and our business cards. These are components of your brand, but the essence of a company’s brand is the unique experience that your business gives to its customers. Developing your brand takes careful thought and it is never finished. The heart of your brand in the consumer’s eyesis customer service. Your brand is rooted in your vision and in your priorities that inform the promise you make to your clients. It’s the delivery of a clear vision, based on your company’s unique capabilities and your primary values. It’s the character of your company. Branding determines the value your customers place on the connection to your company. It’s how they experience the services you offer or the products they buy. Your brand is the story that attracts customers to you, it drives customer service and it keeps your customers coming back to you when they have a need for your company’s product or service.
Successful branding depends on a clear articulation of the company’s goals and your dreams as the leader of the organization. It comes from clearly understanding how the company is distinguished from its competitors and knowing what your company is truly great at. It should be a simple set of values that drive the character of your business and give your employees guidelines to base judgments on. It’s the DNA that runs through the company’s procedures, processes and protocols.
The brand is all about you. It’s a reflection of your personal values that form the basis of your company’s principles. It’s your promise to the world.It’s what you stand for with regards to the product or services your company offers. The brand must be genuine to you and your staff. Your brand will inform the type of customers you attract and your brand will attract employees that resonate with your company’s image in the market. If the brand is genuine, it will be pervasive and will naturally differentiate you from your competitors in a positive way. When you think of branding as a reflection of your own personal values distinguishing your company from the competition becomes easier.More about the process of determining your brand in later posts.