Remember your Brand is your business
In the current economic climate you might be forgiven for thinking that grappling with the complexities of your Brand are the least of your problems.
However, a strong Brand and effective management can help protect your business in tough economic times. In some cases it can even position you to take advantage of potential opportunities.
Follow the big boys example
Big businesses such as Apple know this, but the same is true for us smaller guys. It’s just sometimes harder to stay committed when times are tough. Effective brands help make sure customer loyalty and protect profit margin by establishing a robust market position.
Your Brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients and everyone that it comes into contact with. It is the total of their experiences and perceptions.
If delivered well and managed successfully a strong brand can offer the greatest protection during an economic downturn.
Branding is not an optional extra
The fact is, investing in strengthening your brand, is simply something you be doing in the modern business world. An economic climate which is creating pressures can even prove a positive environment for a small business with a strong brand.
So start by asking yourself these questions about your brand.
• What is our message and is it delivered clearly?
• Does it enhance our credibility?
• Is it connecting emotionally with our customers?
• Does it help motivate our market to buy?
• Is it cementing customer loyalty?
If you don’t have answers to these questions then the time has come for you to start working out what they are. As a small business do some research (the internet is a free resource) and get your management team together. Analysis the status of your brand and develop a brand strategy. If this all sounds like a mountain you’re not sure you can climb on your own, seek professional assistance. The options are wide from freelance professionals to large agencies. Your budget may play a part in your decision. But remember, that you tend to get what you pay for. Even more important than the cost is ensuring that whoever you work with has a genuine empathy for your business and a real desire to see you succeed.
Deliver on your promise
In tough economic times it is even more important to make sure that your Brand structure and presentation is effective, adaptable and agile. It is important that it remains connected across your business. That all aspects of your business from customer service to corporate communications and public relations understand the role they play in delivering your Brand promise.
This is not highbrow stuff, that only certain types or sizes of business have time for. Every business has a brand, because every business presents a promise to its customers. Whether it is, we are the best, the cheapest or trust our quality. Ensuring that your business delivers the outcome your customer needs is vital to success in competitive economic periods.
My advice. Firstly focus on strategy. Now would be a good time to take a good old fashion look at your business. Ask yourself some of those big scary questions like, who are we, and what do we really offer? Then ask yourself what do you need to do to make yourself stronger, smarter and more relevant?
Then get creative. Think and re-think opportunity, not just survival. The opportunity to change your message, your offer, almost anything about your business to achieve a positive outcome is available.
Why not make a start and review this simple PDF guide to brand for business.