Another word for “Brand” is “Reputation.” It is that reputation that makes customers want to do business with you—or not.
If you are not actively working to promote and protect your brand, your competitors will be more than happy to take control of your brand for you and tarnish it for their gain.
Don’t let that happen.
Here’s how to be proactive with your brand.
1. Live Your Core Values
Your business should be based on four or five core values that you hold to be of utmost importance. Once you have defined those core values, LIVE THEM. This goes all the way back to Shakespeare, when he wrote in Hamlet, “To thine own self be true, for then thou canst not be false to any man.” Your clients can smell a rat a mile away. Live your core values, and they will come to know they can trust you.
2. Think of Your Business as a Person
People want to interact with other people, not faceless façades. Give your business a personality consistent with your core values, and develop that personality in all your interactions with everyone—on and off the job. People buy products and services because of an emotional connection. I am friends with a car enthusiast who can tell you every logical and mechanical reason why the McLaren is an extraordinary automobile. But at the end of the day, when he finally buys his first McLaren, it’s not going to be for those rational reasons. It’s going to be because the McLaren makes his heart beat a little faster. Give your clients a positive, emotional reason to do business with you.
3. Focus on What Makes You Different in the Marketplace
There are lots and lots of people out there who do the same things you do. But what makes you stand out from the crowd? It could be that you offer a particular product or service that none of your competitors offer. It could be that you use a “secret ingredient” in your product that makes it so much better than the competitors’. It could be that you are the first to offer a certain level of service. Whatever it is, capitalize on it, and make sure the world knows about it. That difference is the reason people will seek you out.
And hand in hand with differentiation is
4. Don’t Copy the Big Guys
When a business is successful, everybody thinks if they copy what that business does, they’ll be successful, too. But, guess what? All they’ll be is a knock-off copy of a successful business. Don’t be a dull clone! Embrace your uniqueness! Trumpet to the marketplace what makes you different.
5. Build Long-Term Relationships with Clients
Your friends are comfortable with you because they know you. Your clients will be comfortable with your business if they know the business, its values, its personality, its consistency over time. Build that emotional connection with your clients. Keep them wanting to do business with you because, time after time, you have been there for them.
If you follow these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to protecting your brand and your good name and building a customer base that trusts you.