HOW TO IDENTIFY A BRAND FOR YOUR BUSINESS
A crucial part of building and growing your business is identifying your brand.
What is a brand, you ask?
A brand is what your audience says and feels about you, your product or your service. It’s not your logo (although that can be part of it), but it has a clear mission that is aligned with your core values.
Here at Gerber we’ve helped a number of clients identify their brand. We encourage them to think about a brand’s three functions:
- The differentiator. A strong brand is all about focus. It can be a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that distinguishes your business from your competition, but it’s also your customer’s experience with you. Your brand stands for something on a rational and emotional level, and when your customers work with you, they experience it first-hand. So stay true to it.
- The promise. Your brand makes a promise to deliver something of value to your customers. When you make a promise, keep it. Door Dash delivers food from your choice of restaurants so you don’t have to leave your home. UPS delivers the packages you ordered safely and quickly, offering tracking to keep you informed. Those brands promise to bring you what you need when you need it.
- The foundation. Your brand is the bedrock of your marketing strategy, the driving, unified force directing all functional areas. So everything should be reflective of your brand. Consistency is key. Have you ever waited for a contractor to arrive for an appointment, and they show up late or don’t show at all? Your brand is tightly tied to your customer’s experience.
You can personalize your brand’s message by identifying different customer groups, or segments. By grouping them according to their shared demographics (age, location, gender, etc.), or psychographics (such as interests, hobbies or spending habits) you can gain a deeper understanding of their pain points and preferences, tailor your marketing efforts and content to their specific needs, and improve their customer experience with your brand.
Fitting your brand to one or more segments of a broad market sets you apart from your competition because you are taking the time to understand their needs. A solid brand has the following five elements:
- Simple. Ever heard of KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid)? Don’t make it harder or more complex than it has to be.
- Proper positioning. Make sure your brand is speaking to the right audience.
- Consistent. Show up. Always.
- Uniquely yours. Be you. Be authentic.
- Every touchpoint. Every contact your customer has with your company should reflect its brand. That starts from the person who picks up their very first phone inquiry to the person that finishes their project with glowing success.
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of not understanding they have a brand, or not recognizing their brand’s value. Your brand is not what you tell people it is. It’s what they believe about you. The best stories are the ones told about you by one of your customers.