How to Build a Successful Brand

Branding is more than creating a way to identify a product or company, it includes creating an emotional attachment to products we use or consume daily, branding the right way provides an enormous growth potential, stability, consumer loyalty and long term competitive advantage.

These days successful brands thrive to meets all the functional requirements of a consumer, it has added values, and a high degree of trust, making it more desirable than that of competitors.

A strong brand embodies all the tangible and intangible assets and aspects of a product or service. A strong brand represents a collection of feelings and perceptions about quality, image, lifestyle, and status. As a result of this, a strong brand creates a perception in the mind of the customer that there is no other product like it on the market that is equal. It also promises to deliver value upon which customers can rely on to be consistent over long periods of time.

Product branding has many layers of added value built around the core functionality of the product in other maintain distinction in a particular market, and build sustainable competitive advantage over the competition, a careful analysis has to be carried out so as to get the big-picture, this is where strategy must be applied because you can’t do anything worthwhile successfully without a sound strategy otherwise you would end up with a big old mess.

Gone are the days when business owners use to think that “if you build it, they will come” this path would only lead to waste of resources and eventual business failure, there are loads of examples from history, where technically superior products were invented but failed in the market. Just to name a few are: GM EV-1, Blackberry, Napster, MySpace, Google glass these are just a few of them.

To build a successful brand you must do the following four things:

Be Consistent: Being consistent with your product or services entails delivering your message, values and visual elements of every aspect to boosts credibility. This makes the product or services easily recognisable which drives sales and attracts new customers. You really don’t want to confuse your target customers and continuously lose market. For long-lasting results, it is recommended to these steps: brand planning → brand analysis → brand strategy→ brand building→ brand audit.

Communicate the Brand Promise: A clear brand message which communicates its benefits doesn’t just clarify what the brand stands for but also provides a compelling value proposition superior to the alternatives. This fosters brand trust, loyalty and improves brand awareness with the target market.

Measure Brand Success: Besides being authentic and purposeful in brand building, today’s customers actually care deeply about product they spend money on, so knowing how well your product or service is doing should be top on the list, as this will help keep track on areas that need to be improved because you can’t improve what you can’t measure. An effective brand analysis and marketing strategy will allow you to measure ROI.

Keep your Brand Fresh and Relevant: Be on the lookout and adapt to market changes, as mentioned earlier, history is filled with so many examples of brands that refused to evolve with market changes and had no choice but to close business. Being the number one market leader today doesn’t guarantee your brand to still maintain that position tomorrow. Industries constantly go through lifecycles and trends evolve, staying up to date with market changes and adapting is an effective path to business success.

Some helpful tips to remain relevant:

• Prioritize customer feedback
• Stay connected to customers
• Ensure your website is up to date
• Regularly update product materials
• Avoid inconsistent brand message
• Stay informed and take changes in market trends serious
• Stay updated with local laws and regulations
• Don’t compete directly with competitors, look for new opportunities instead
• Refresh your marketing materials quarterly
• Lastly, maintain brand consistency on all social media platforms

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