New ventures…brand your company right from the start (final part)

This is the last article on this series we started seven weeks ago for New Ventures. For the past three weeks; we have actually been tackling the importance of branding. Effective branding has the power of elevating the image and perception of a company’s products and services.

This is the last article on this series we started seven weeks ago for New Ventures. For the past three weeks; we have actually been tackling the importance of branding.

Effective branding has the power of elevating the image and perception of a company’s products and services. The following features were the important aspects we had developed in this paper:

1.Branding starts with the name of the company
2. Branding is about the corporate identity of the company
3. Branding is about creating first impressions
4. Branding is about the feelings and emotions you offer customers
5.Branding concerns all your marketing messages
6.Branding starts from within

An important lesson to learn here is that a great brand value cannot be built in a day. It takes time, money, effort, energy, perseverance, creativity and many more. Below are the final aspects of branding we had wanted to share with you on this series:

7. Branding is about offering excellent customer service
One of the questions your columnist received before starting this series was “what is the link between branding and customer service?”  If you are a new venture, note that your brand is created out of customers contact and experiences. It is said that: “Ordinary people can spread good and bad information about brands faster than marketers.” It is not the brand guru who builds a strong brand but rather the excellent experiences your customers have.

Branding is a long process of building inseparable attributes in consumers mind. It is really about how strong the bond between you and your customers is.

Branding is simply more than just a logo or a slogan. Customer service is undeniably one of the necessary ingredients of Branding.  When you offer excellent service; your customers will keep coming and your brand will resist even in times of strong competition.

8. Branding goes with Advertisement 
If you are a new venture owner; you need to understand the power of advertisement.  Even though advertising might be costly, it is important for your business. When I ask companies here to place an ad in The ServiceMag for instance, the reaction I often receive says “what will be the use?

After all customers already know us”
Advertising is of great importance in our world of competition. Advertising provides visibility and helps to develop awareness of your products and service.

Advertising will make prospects/customers remember you.
Of course, it is better to have one quality advertisement that costs a little more than five inexpensive ads of no value. I must admit that I still have issues with some of the advertisements I see in town; especially on the national television. I personally think that most of them lack some creativity.  

It is said that a picture is worth thousand words. So when doing an ad, please avoid too many words. Rather use simple, clear powerful graphics that can capture the buyer’s attention. Also make sure this goes with your targeted audience.

9. Branding is also about your packaging
Your image is all in the packaging. How do you package yourself? Would potential clients take a second look or is your message getting lost? Branding is all about being seen and about the appearance of your packaging. Recently, Inyange upgraded their bottle water and this automatically gave a better image of their products.

Your packaging can speak volumes about your image and can either strengthen or weaken your brand. Spend time investing, researching, defining and upgrading it.

In conclusion, note that branding is an essential element for every business and most especially for new ventures. Branding represents your company in the media and in your customer’s mind. It is your company’s personality. Never underestimate its power.

Whether you are building your personal brand or that of your business, the basic steps are almost the same. You need time, energy and passion. Brands aren’t built overnight. You might not make money out of it straight away. But just like building a strong reputation, you need to prove yourself again and again in order for people to put their trust in you...

A strong brand value pays in the long term.

The author is a Customer Service consultant and the Publisher of The ServiceMag

www.theservicemag.com

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