Is it worth investing in developing your brand?

Good managers invest in building a positive image and good recognition. Allocate resources to do good and associate with causes.

Managers support many events of local importance. Here’s an interview with Liam James, General Manager.

Not all companies have such budgets. What advice would you give to smaller players?

First, to work with love and attention to the customer. Satisfied customers become regular customers and tend to share their positive experiences with those around them. And delighted customers (those whose expectations you greatly exceed) tend to become so-called brand advocates – to associate with the brand and promote it on social networks free of charge.

Second, to show patience, diligence, and perseverance in their undertakings. As our ancestors said – “drop by drop, a whirlpool becomes”! Sustained success comes slowly and gradually – one satisfied customer, then two, and so on. It takes a business between 3 and 5 years to establish itself in the market.

Last but not least, to realize that they can be useful to society without investing significant budgets. Recent marketing research demonstrates that customers are more likely to buy from businesses that are committed to social causes. Joining and supporting national campaigns contributes to positive image and brand building.

Examples of this type of activity are the cleaning of certain regions from pollution, the planting of trees to create new forests, or the donation of blood in municipal centers. For the described purposes, the resource you need to allocate is a positive mood and half a working day for employees. Reference: “Effective communication with your employees“,

What exactly is the brand and is it worth the investment?

A brand is a combination of symbols, names, designs, and messages that make a business recognizable to existing and potential customers. These are multiple associations that people ascribe to the quality of the product or service.

I like the comparison of brands with small children – they are born, develop, have positive and negative traits, learn to speak, develop some of their skills, and become established over time. Brands, like people, have their own identities and characteristics. They can be serious and expect high levels of trust (the banking sector) or artistic and creative. They can evoke associations of speed, low cost, or luxury.

The skillful use of the various brand components creates additional value for the company, which attracts and motivates customers, partners, and employees.

What are the most common mistakes made by young entrepreneurs when building a brand?

It is fundamental in building a successful brand that it “speaks” unambiguously – if we have chosen the color purple for our logo, then it should be implemented in all printed materials, furniture of the working spaces, clothing of the staff, etc.

Even when creating the logo itself, let’s predict where and how it will be positioned – how the letterheads, business cards, branded materials, advertising brochures, etc. will look. If we decide that it will be at the top right, then it should be like that everywhere!

In addition to choosing colors and a logo, an often overlooked branding element is the selection of appropriate fonts to be used in marketing materials. To select one typeface for printed materials and a similar one for the digital space and use them in all visions.

And what are the most common mistakes made in the construction of communication campaigns?

It is very common to use slogans in English without the brand owners thinking about whether the target audience knows this language at a high enough level to properly understand the message. Often, managers think they are saying something to target customers, but they don’t understand the meaning of the words used.

The same applies to messages in communication campaigns – they must be clear, precise, and understandable (no ambiguity). The target audience should perceive the information at a glance without putting additional effort into its absorption. I recently came across an ad for a hot drink – “you’ll get a size M coffee if you pay for a size S coffee” accompanied by a huge “M=S” sign at the checkout area. For most clients, it takes a second and even third reading of what is written to make sense of the message. Wouldn’t it be easier for them to accept the promotion if it was worded the other way around – ie: Pay for a size S coffee and get a larger one S=M?

If you don’t have the resources to hold focus groups when developing advertising messages, give them to 5-10 people in your circle for feedback – Are the letters readable? How do they understand what is written? Is the information sufficient? Do they like the visual layout? You can provide developed two to three options for evaluation and feedback.

Which branding tools are most effective?

The most successful brands combine online and offline activities and constantly intertwine communication channels.

For an online business to gain high levels of trust, it is recommended to “appear” in the physical space as well – events, billboards, print advertising, etc. For a classic offline business to gain popularity and accessibility, it must be present in the online space – have its website, be active in social media, etc.

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