Every business is building a brand that represents “the sum of expressions by which an entity intends to be recognised.” Those expressions provide an emotional connection and a degree of trust those that engage with the brand will have. As company’s scale I often see slippage to protecting the brand which can be costly.
Here are my top tips to managing your brand and keeping it authentic as you scale:
- Avoid changes that may compromise quality
We all strive to reduce costs and improve efficiency, but the ultimate test is the potential to erode values, culture, and brand image. Every change has possible downsides, and it’s your responsibility to quantify and balance these against benefits. Don’t let cost cuts devalue your brand.
- Evaluate the brand impact of proposed market moves
The push is always on to grow your market with new geographies, new products, and new market segments. Yet every change can cause brand dilution or competition you don’t need. Always check language nuances and translation issues. Moving in or out of the wrong market can kill your brand.
- Be aware that employee morale impacts your brand
If employee morale is down, your brand will be negatively impacted. Thus you need to see and be seen with your people and walk the talk. Ask employees regularly for feedback and commit to fixing problems before you feel the brand impact.
- Never argue with customers, public or private
Pay close attention to social media and online feedback, and never respond defensively. Create and truly listen to your customer advisory panel and focus on removing opportunities for them to be disappointed. Customers, more than advertising, make your brand image in the market
- Differentiate your brand based on a higher cause
Be different based on a unique value proposition, not just better quality or cost. Know yourself as well as your customer, and make your brand a purpose that they can relate to, and want to be a part of.