I’ve written several articles over the last few years, mostly business related, over 200 of them (I’ve even lost count unfortunately). Many of them are lost, forgot to move them while I was leaving my previous job. Anyway, managed to get some of them through a friend of mine, and periodically I’ll be posting them here.
The first of the series is about building a brand, from scratch. So those who are keen on reading something on certain core business areas may tag along.
Building your Brand
Any new business starting off must focus on creating and maintaining the brand name. The aim should be to create a favourable image of the company and its product, by getting it across to the customers in the most appropriate manner, and able to distinguish it as a distinct identity from competing products and services.
The message that you are trying to give to your customers also has an impact on your brand. Each word used in promotional literature, advertisement or even conversation must be strategically positioned. Many companies require sales personnel to stick to a script, which covers all possible questions that customers may ask or enquire. The message should be constructed keeping in mind the relationship the company wishes to build with its customers. It should contain the elements that clearly make the brand stand out against its competition.
To maintain a level of customer satisfaction, it is important to maintain a quality communication strenght with your won staff members, especially those in customer services. A small business has the benefit of being closely connected with its staff, but this is not enough. Being the manager, you should be able to control their actions, words and get your message through efficiently and effectively. Get them to give their suggestions, build plans on how to manage the bridge between production/purchases and the sales department, thereby managing stock levels. You should also consider their involvement in decisions regarding managing the brand and creating new strategies.
Make your brand a customer-oriented product or service. A strong and targeted brand goes a long way in building a strong and long-term relationship. Focus on providing a service, satisfying them in a way they can’t experience elsewhere. Find out what features do customers value the most, and work on them to improve your brand. Also focus on improving overall quality, price, customer service and efficiency.
Customers are a major influence in making a brand successful. Many of them give valuable advice to help improve quality where possible, and how to increase market share. You should also understand what keeps your customers attached to your brand and what they look forward to. Focus on customer needs, they higher the satisfaction level the higher the demand.
Now comes the most important element – consistency and maintenance. It is said that getting a new customer is easy compared to maintaining one. Your intention should be to not only quick sales revenue generation, but also to keep your sales ledger healthy and in good shape. You also need to maintain your standards, your customers expect a commitment of quality and service from your brand; you can convert this into a launch pad for your future products and services.
And last but not the least: every product and service has a life cycle. Do not anticipate a prompt return, and certainly do not start making drastic changes in your sales policy or the production/purchases policy. Have patience, and wait for a proper and authentic report regarding the performance of your brand. It is not always possible to strike gold on the first swing. Study the consumer response carefully, and then plan your next move.