How to create a strong & authentic brand

If you have already read The Basics of Branding then you might be wondering as to what you can do to get a good brand. Here are some tips on how to create a strong and authentic brand.

Physical Branding

The first thing you can do, that might have the most immediate effect, is to get your physical branding sorted. How does your logo look? Does it look like a design that almost anyone could make on Microsoft Word? When your targeted audience picture your business, the first thing they will see is your logo. It is the graphical representation of your business. Does it complement the colour scheme and font you are using? Is is too simple, or might it be too bold and busy?

Customers want to know that you have made an effort to make your logo, products, website and marketing material visually pleasing.  A well designed logo creates a good physical representation. Your logo doesn’t have to be 4 different colours with different graphic elements to it. Clean & simple elements are more likely to be enjoyed and remembered by current and prospective clients.

Keep your target audience in mind, are you targeting children & their parents or young females that might require a more colourful or striking logo? Or is your target audience directed towards adults and require a more modern and sleek look? Whatever it is, remember not to make your branding materials and logo too complicated.

Figuring and sorting out your physical branding as soon as possible will avoid certain difficulties down the road. By choosing your business’ “theme” early, the logo, colour scheme, fonts and overall look of all your branded elements, you won’t be stuck with ads, marketing materials and packaging that is outdated. If you do not make sure that everything is unified you are diminishing the strength of the association they have with your brand. Remember to keep them organised and make back-ups of all your graphic designs and materials.

Great Customer Service

Reliable customer service is also another aspect that we have some control over. The ability to rate and review your products and services has increased dramatically with social media and web presence. By giving customers the platform to rate you, like on your website or Facebook page, you are making them feel like their opinion and experiences are being validated. Unfortunately it is also very easy for a customer that felt offended by you or found your customer service inferior and unacceptable to do damage to your business’ reputation. But no one expects a business to receive 5 stars all the time, and it adds a lot of authenticity to your brand.

If you decide to give your customers this, please be sure to actually respond! A heartfelt thank you shows that you appreciate their business and testimony, and clearing up any misunderstandings and apologizing can also turn a negative review into a positive one. This will show that your business is eager to accommodate everyone, and that you and your staff are mature.

A lot of people, myself included, would rather pay patronage to a business that has great customer service than a business that neglects it’s customers but offers cheaper products or services. We stereotype businesses just like we do with people, cold and inattentive customer service can do a lot of harm to your brand and reduce prospective customers.

Conscious Consumers

In my previous article I touched upon the importance of catering for conscious consumers. While you might be hesitant towards agreeing, today’s consumers and customers are becoming increasingly conscious, whether it is environmentally, ethically or socially.

The Goodpurpose 2012 study showed that when quality and price are equal the leading purchase driver for 53 percent of consumers was social purpose.  Some statistics show that 47 percent of global consumers buy brands that support a good cause at least monthly. 72 percent of consumers would recommend a brand that supports a good cause over one that does not and 73% of consumers would switch brands if a different brand of similar quality supported a good cause. These numbers are only increasing.

People want to know that the businesses they support are trying to make a difference, so that indirectly, they are making a difference. Do you put emphasis on the fact that you are a local business? Do you reach out to your community? Does your company give a percentage of it’s profits to charity? Do you strive towards environmentally sustainable products? There are so many different ways you can go about making your business stand out by standing for something.

A great example of excellent branding is Pink Sunshine Trading, a female empowered business. Not only do they place emphasis on being authentic, ethical and sustainable, they also stand proud with their business’ values and morals.

By choosing to create a brand that is authentic and strong, you are giving your customers the platform to relate to and engage with your business. You are creating loyal customers that will happily advocate for your business, helping you to acquire prospective customers.

East Rand Business Directory | Alberton, Bedfordview, Benoni, Boksburg, Brakpan, Edenvale, Germiston, Kempton Park

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