Apple, Virgin, Nike, BMW...what do these four names having in common?

They’re all brands consumers immediately recognised just by their logo. They’re associated with prestige, a promise of quality, value for money and reliability.

What is branding?

Branding is a marketing term for ensuring your company name, logo and website are easily remembered by potential customers. It’s not just about logos though, it’s the entire feeling people get from your company. Think of it as a personality for your business.

Why is branding important?

Electronics, clothing, footwear, make-up, cars or a plethora of other products available, essentially share the same attributes. For example; running shoes are all made out of the same materials. They either lace up or have Velcro strips and come in a range of dazzling colours. Add the Nike tick and suddenly the shoe is not just any old running shoe. -it’s distinctive and highly sought after. Branding your products correctly is vital. Competitors may be able to counterfeit your products but they can’t replicate your brand.

It’s all very well having a brand name, but how can you even begin to compete with internationally recognised brands? You have to remember – once upon a time they all started from scratch too.

So how do you build your brand?

  1. Critique your marketing material
    Examine your logo, trademark and printed material. Are they all consistent? Do they match? What message are you sending out to your customers? Are you trying to say too much? Highlight a particular point of difference.
  2. Dress for success
    Dress standards can dramatically affect your brand. A grubby old t-shirt and track pants don’t scream of accomplishment and professionalism. Team uniforms with branding can create the appearance of unity
  3. Promote yourself
    You might have a remarkable brand but if no one knows about it, your company is not going to increase. Get your name and logo out there. Have a strong online presence. Get on to the social networking sites like Bebo, Facebook and Twitter. Banners, billboards and sponsored charity events will create a stronger brand.
  4. Train your team
    Invest in adequate customer service training for your staff. If customers are impressed by informative, polite staff, it’s like they’ll use you again and recommend your product or service to friends. This results in customer loyalty to your brand.
  5. Protect your brand
    Don’t forget to register the brands trademarks, logos, URLs etc.