Building a brand

Whatever your line of business, the right brand is essential. Your brand should encapsulate everything you want your customers to think about your business. The right brand can help you to increase your market share and encourage long-term customer loyalty.

The Package ... not just the packaging

Think 'brand', and the initial tendency is often to picture a particular well-known logo or style of packaging. However, building a brand is really about forging a unique identity in the marketplace - not just a neat logo or slogan - and if you want to go beyond merely differentiating your product or service from others in the market, you need to think about the complete package.

What should a brand do?

When building your brand, your overall aim should be to create a positive, consistent message, which is instantly recognisable for your customers.

Brand recognition is only the start, however. You will want to communicate an association with a particular quality, such as value for money, a traditional approach or exceptional service, which will appeal to customers and encourage them to put your brand first. You might like to refer back to your business plan and/or mission statement.

Brand tips

1. Define your qualities
Begin by defining the qualities which most closely represent your product or service. For example, do you aim to be modern, innovative and dynamic, or more focused on high-class, high-quality and reliability?

Brand names can inspire a feeling of confidence, and over time customers will automatically associate your company with the qualities you have chosen to highlight, when they come into contact with your brand.

2. Be original
Make sure that your brand is original and does not impinge on another design.

3. Be consistent
Make sure your branding and logos are consistent on all of your stationery, mailers, advertisements and website.

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