Developing Your Brand
As an entrepreneur, you may be a one-person shop inundated with the daily tasks of running your businesses. One thing you may have overlooked could make or break your business—developing your brand.
Your brand is not just your product or service, it transcends what your product or service offers. When two products have virtually the same features or two businesses offer the same service, it’s the experience the brand offers that wins over the customer. So what is a brand? Fundamentally, it encompasses all interactions a customer has with your business and the resulting experience.
Successful brands never lose sight of the brand attribute that defines the value their brand offers. By consistently incorporating their brand attribute into all customer interactions, the business lays the groundwork for an experience customers can’t’ live without. Brand attributes should be a part of everything from the voice that answers the phone, to your messaging in marketing collateral. Even how your office or store environment appeals to the senses is an important attribute of your brand. When it all comes together, customers feel compelled to remain loyal to the business—even in the event of a PR or product blunder.
To effectively define your brand, you must consider the “value” it can offer a customer. Then hone in on an “attribute” that supports that value. For example, if the value your product offers is endurance, then your brand attribute might be one of “focus.”
Two particular brands that resonate with me are:
1) Nike: Value = Endurance, Supporting Attribute = Focused
When I work out, no matter how ambivalent I may feel beforehand, once I get started I feel good and want to endure, not wimp out. The Nike brand does an excellent job at promoting endurance—its tag line “Just do it” embodies endurance. When I feel like I can’t run another lap or push myself for another rep of weights, I hear myself repeating “Just do it.” Repeating those words keeps me going beyond what I believed was possible. Nike is a focused brand that speaks to me.
2) Starbucks: Value = Nurturing, Supporting Attribute = Experiential
The Starbucks value proposition “to inspire and nurture the human spirit one person, one cup, one neighborhood at a time” superbly positions it as an “experiential” brand. Starbucks is conveniently located in my community. The store layout and décor are consistent from store-to-store making it effortless for me to grab what I want regardless of the store I am in. I know that the madeleines will always be within reach at the register. The barrister responds to me by name, knows that I want a triple grande cappuccino and asks how my children are doing. This is an example of an “experiential” brand at its best. And for this experience, I don’t mind paying more for coffee than I have to.
Define Your Brand's Value and Supporting Attribute
So, how do you define your brand and make it resonate with your target audience? Define your value and attribute—nail these and you’re on your way to building a strong brand that attracts your target customers, retains them and motivates them to tell others about you. Invest in developing your brand and experience a powerful return on your investment.
Join me for my next blog on brand identity, including logo design and other creative assets that reinforce your brand.
Please share—what value does your business offer and what attribute supports it? Log in to leave a comment.
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