One thing that makes companies successful is branding. We see it everywhere and all the time, from television spots, to radio ads, to catalogs and other marketing materials, businesses put out impressions of themselves to the public. The reason for branding is obvious but it’s not necessarily an easy task. It requires differentiating an entity from its competition to make it instantly recognizable to consumers. A brand has to not only be recognizable, it has to live up to its self promotion and establish a reputation that’s commensurate with its marketing.
There’s practically little else which can destroy a company faster than having a bad reputation. Even the most effective branding won’t allow a company to escape bad publicity or a negative consumer image. Small business owners might not believe that branding is necessary for them precisely because of their small size; however, in a world that is digitally centered, that’s simply not the case. No matter the size of your organization, it needs a positive brand to help propel it forward.
Ways to Build a Positive Brand
To build a positive brand, you’ll need to think about the future–it’s what you do now that’s most important. There are defunct companies that doomed themselves by not being aware of the image they were presenting. Relying on gimmicks is another mistake. Companies that place their marketing efforts into gimmicks usually have little else to offer, and, that’s a precarious position. Being genuine and offering good service with a positive attitude are great ways to build a brand.
Our personality and professional image sets the tone and stage for how we are all perceived. With the reality of a 24/7 online media world that can change things in a real-time split second, one small wrong move or right move can go viral and change everything. —Small Business Trends
To keep your business growing, you have to employ more than one tactic. There are new customers to be found and try your products and services over competitors, and, it’s your brand that will help to convince them to do so. Here are a few ways to build a positive brand:
- Create a positive work environment. Your brand starts from within your organization. Remember, your employees have lives outside your company and talk to people about work. This is why it’s important to facilitate a positive environment. After all, people won’t give you any business if they’ve heard bad things from insiders.
- Have a clear and easy-to-follow customer service protocol. Your team members are one of the most powerful sales tools you have. The better they deliver, the better your company does. When it comes to customer service, everyone should know how to respond and to do so in a timely, polite manner.
- Offer something for nothing. People like free things, practically no matter what they are: great content that is helpful, complimentary items, discounts, and other things can have a big impact. What’s more, if you do this on a regular basis, it will create a positive impression.
- Make a commitment to your community. Volunteering is something every leader should do and not just for the sake of networking. When you volunteer, you send a very powerful message about yourself and your company.
Another thing you can do to create a positive brand is to always follow-up with comments and reviews. Good or bad, these are helpful and the way you deal with comments and reviews will say much about your business.