Are You Building a Business? Or a Brand?

You’ve built a successful business, with sales growing every year. Your bottom line looks great. Your profitability is up, too. You’ve built a business. But have you built a brand?

What’s the difference between the two? A successful business means your numbers look great. But a successful brand means you have built a well-established company that your customers recognize and love.

Look at companies that have built extremely strong brands: Nike, Starbucks, Tesla, Coca-Cola, Apple, Red Bull. Their products transcend their categories. When you hear their names, you not only think of their products, but you experience an emotion. When companies have strong brands, customers not only love their products. They love how the brand makes them feel. The result is strong emotional connection and strong customer loyalty.

How do you create a brand if you don’t have one?

Craft your brand story
What do you want your customers to associate you with? Speed and efficiency? Reliability? Spontaneity and fun? What narrative will tell that story?

Design visual elements consistent with your brand
Develop a consistent color palette, typography, and imagery that align with your brand’s chosen personality. Use these visual elements consistently across all your marketing materials.

Build your presence
Develop a multichannel strategy that reinforces your branding in different channels at different times. Branding is built through reinforcement. Consistency is key to success.

Develop quality content
Generate high-value content that addresses your audience’s needs and interests as filtered through your branding lens. Utilize direct mail, email, blogs, videos, infographics, and other formats to reinforce that story over and over.

Engage on social media
Regularly share content, interact with followers, and participate in relevant conversations. Use social media to humanize your brand and build relationships.

Be consistent
Maintain uniformity in your branding across all channels and touchpoints. Ensure that every interaction with your brand, from customer service to product quality, aligns with your brand promise.

Invest in marketing
Building a brand takes time, consistency, and dedication. Keep those communications coming.