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What separates Red Bull from Red Rooster? Why do people pay more for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes than Co-Op’s own? Branding, of course.

In days of yore, when shops were locally run, people would choose products based on trust and individual qualities of the shopkeeper and their premises. These days we have the ability to distribute and advertise products around the world, making the global market accessible to almost all. But the underlying motives behind buyers’ choices are the same – trust and personality.

People trust Coca-Cola to make cola with a consistent taste and quality, and Virgin to provide services such as record stores and transport – which is why Virgin Cola never really stood a chance. But what are the qualities of a good brand? And how can a relatively small company make use of branding to grow within their market?

In this series we present the steps toward creating a great brand. Throughout the coming articles we will be delving deep into each step, gradually climbing the stairway to heavenly branding.

Find out what people want

Your first step should always be research. Who are your target market? What do they want from a brand? Without these answers you won’t know where you stand and where you need to go.

Discover Yourself

We don’t mean you should take your staff to a Ashram in India for the next year! We mean research your company from the inside out. What makes you special? Where are your key strengths? How do you clients view you? The key is to make as honest assessment as possible and not simply rely on potentially unrealistic beliefs.

Position Your Brand

Once you understand your customers’ desires, you can begin to find your space within the marketplace. How can you distinguish yourself from your competitors? What can you do that they aren’t doing? And how can you align your strengths so they can satisfy the requirements of your market?

Image and Message

Your brand position should be communicated through everything you do. Your logos, tagline, images, font, writing style and collateral should all communicate your message – defining who you are and confirming what you’re about. How you communicate also says a lot about your brand. If you are consumer-focussed then should you be talking to consumers in the street, in-store, and online? For b2b brands, perhaps exhibitions, webinars, LinkedIn and road-shows tell clients that you really want to speak to them.

Consider carefully what, how, when and where you communicate with your clients, or else your effort will be wasted.

Internal Communications

Are you getting positive feedback regarding your new branding? Are you getting any feedback? Do your staff know what your brand message is and how to effectively communicate it? Breaking-down barriers to effective internal communications helps ensure that your brand grows in a way that benefits your customers and clients. Ultimately this is the only way to ensure growth and success in the long-term.

Customer Experience

The icing on the cake – customer experience. As we mentioned earlier, building a good brand is about forming a personality customers trust. Ongoing brand success involves monitoring your customer’s overall experience. Monitor, adapt, grow. These are the final steps toward organic growth of a heavenly brand.

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