10 ways to build your business’s brand more effectively

Alpesh H. Patel shares ten tips that will help you to build your small- or medium-sized business’s brand effectively and get the right message to your customers.

1. Brand message: What is that you are trying to achieve with this brand?
Is this a social brand, is it a commercial brand, is it B2C brand or a B2B brand? If you don’t clearly understand exactly what your brand message is and what that message is meant to convey, then how are you customers ever going to buy into it?

2. Brand solutions: What problems does your brand solve that others do not?Everyone says their brand is different, but what really makes your brand different? You can say it is the best in the world, but that is just your opinion. Have you done a sample research, even among friends and family, to get honest feedback about if and why they would choose your brand over others?

3. Brand competition: Who and what are the competitors to your brand?
Take a moment to think. Ask yourself who the top five immediate competitors are. Do a SWOT analysis on each one – see where you stand out and then focus on that as your key edge. (Is it price? Is it quality? Is it geographical reach?)

4. Brand identity: How have you thought about your logo and colours?
You’ve probably spent a lot of time looking at your branding, but take a step back and try to view the design through a customer’s eye. Is it friendly or garish? Do the colours reflect what you are selling? Consider the importance of fonts. Make sure you pick colours and fonts that match both your logo design and the brand message you’re trying to put across.

5. Brand packaging: Is your brand a product or a service? How is it packaged
Does your product of service really require a new type of innovative packaging, or would it be safer to go with something customers are more familiar with? Convenience is key, so ask yourself if it makes customers’ lives easier, and what the user’s experience is like.

6. Brand elements: What are the three things that immediately stand out?
This relates back to your target audience and exactly what your product or service offers them specifically. If your brand is for old age pensioners, for example, how is that message coming across to that audience, and why would an OAP choose your brand over others?

7. Brand associations: Who and what are you associating your brand with?
If your brand is a B2C offering, have you considered non-conventional and new ways to reach your audience? Engaging with social influencers can enhance your brand image and reach significantly – but choose carefully, because by using them it will reflect on your brand, for better or for worse.

8. Brand marketing: How will you get your brand awareness to increase?
How much budget do you have? What will give you the best bang for your buck? What marketing channels will you use (e.g. TV, radio, press releases, email databases, social media)? Go back to your target audience and think about which media reach the right people. There is no point in using a medium that your target market does not access – social media might be cheap option in some ways, but if your old aged pensioner target audience aren’t tech-savvy, a Facebook campaign could just be wasting time and money.

9. Brand scalability: Is your brand just for a few or is it scalable?
Does your brand have mass reach or is it just for a few? This is important when figuring out where your revenue streams will come from. If it’s a high-end luxury brand, it must only be communicated to a select few so that the product will then become aspirational.

10. Brand user experience: What is the actual experience someone gets when they use your brand and how compelling is this for someone to return?
Ask yourself what is so addictive about your brand that you will get repeat business. Can you think of how to position your brand and sell it via a subscription service? Look at Uber – the app is very convenient, you don’t need to carry cash to order a cab. The cabs come to you based on where you are and the app saves you time. Uber is in the business to save people time, not to sell cab rides.

Alpesh H. Patel is author of new book Tested, out now on Amazon and Apple iBooks. It is available in Kindle, EPUB and in print. Published in the UK by Peshmode Ltd. For more information see www.peshmode.com/testedthebook.html.