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Consumers seek out brands that they know and like. This can also be equated to trust, an important emotional benefit that works in direct mail. Consumers, who consistently buy a certain brand, do it because they trust the brand.
Becoming an enduring brand with a loyal following starts early and takes a lot of time and effort. In the present stage of customer centric marketing it can be more important than ever.
We all have our favorite brands but today, consumers are more willing to try another brand. If it means a consumer is willing to switch to your brand, that’s a good thing. If it’s your brand that they are leaving, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at your brand image.
A brand image is just as important for the small company. It’s not just for the big boys on the block anymore. Here are a few ideas that can help you think about branding to assist in building a new brand or re-inventing your existing brand.
Here’s how to start
Think about the big brands that you do like. Make a few notes. You’ll need them as you look at other brands. Don’t limit yourself. The more brands you think about, the better. Now look over the notes of those you like and how they may pertain to your company.
Next, think about what is the particular niche that your product and service was intended to fill. Define your brand’s strengths and unique benefits. Then ask:
- What will your company stand for in the minds of your prospects and customers? What makes them come back and how do I make the experience better?
- What is your organization’s overall marketing philosophy? Do you always deliver what you promise?
- Today, what business are you really in? And, what specific needs or niche are you filling in your market space?
Today’s consumers want more than the product they are purchasing. They are looking for an experience, so your brand image must offer a distinctive package of benefits.
Here is a simple definition of a brand that focuses on customer needs.
“Your brand is the promise you keep… not the promise you make to your marketplace.”
Better than giving customers what they want, is anticipating what that might be. When you think of premium brands, quality is probably the first word that comes to mind. Quality will always help you land customers, but a created brand loyalty is built by consistency.
Building the brand image
By now you have a lot of ideas and a few loose ends that you need to tighten up. To help tighten up your brand image, explain to customers what will happen after they buy.
Those customers you have spoken to, what promise(s) do they want you to keep? If it was free shipping what can you do for them that is better?
Finally, a brand should never compare even so slightly to your competition. So, what promises can you keep better than the competition? If the competition can deliver within 24 hours what do you need to do to deliver the same day?
Will you always hit your brand goals? The answer is probably no, but when you don’t, give the customer something extra for their trouble. That’s the type of consistency that will pay off from your brand image and keep customers coming back.