What makes or breaks a brand?
Read this especially if you’re an SME/SMI owner
You’ve taken that all-essential first step (or rather, plunge) and invested precious effort and resources into establishing your company, and promoting your brand.
But understand this. Your brand is so much more than your company name and your logo. Both are important, yes, but they are merely two creative elements of your brand.
Your brand is the sum of the experience your customers and prospects have with your company. And a strong brand communicates what your company does, and how it does it. It establishes trust and credibility with external parties, and defines your relationship and interaction with your customers.
Put simply, your company’s brand is its personality: The way you want customers and prospects to perceive you; how your products or services influence their lives; the emotions and conscious thoughts crossing their minds, whenever your brand is mentioned.
And no, you don’t need to be an MNC to engage in successful branding. Lest you forget, even today’s most valuable brand, “Apple”, started small and grew over the decades from the dream of two young entrepreneurs.
Bottom-line, the world’s top brands started small, but they share one common trait: They channelled strategized, considerable effort into their branding efforts, and continue to do so, even today. They knew how they wanted to be perceived, and worked consciously towards this.
Branding: A quick checklist for SMEs/SMIs to move forward with
- More than releasing `new’ products & services
The marketplace is already over-saturated with products and services, all accompanied by `Buy Me!’ tags. Instead of just being `another face’ in this maddening crowd, why not position your brand as something that customers actually need, actually want and actually derive great value from?
- Location? Nope, not really relevant anymore!
If you’re small, you’ve a valuable advantage. You’re more mobile, and chances are, your overheads tend to be lower. This allows smaller brands to compete very effectively with larger ones, because you’re capable of reaching out to your customers anywhere. And in today’s internet age, all you really need is a good web presence – no matter where your company is physically based.
- Be different, but not for the sake of being different
Remember all that talk about `going the extra mile’? Well, customers always expect `a bit more’ from most brands, no matter the product or service purchased. And if you’re an SME/SMI, you should be able to deliver great value, via personalized products, services and communications with your customers. Now, that’s being `different’, by really being different.
- Quality, quality, quality
It’s not good enough, these days, to make a good first impression. Your products and services represent your brand, and there’s simply no substituting quality, on any account. Remember, customers no longer have to put up with poor service or defective products, because where you fail to deliver, your competitors will step up to the challenge.
- Content marketing
If you’re relying solely on the media (read: external parties) to help you promote you brand, you’re in for a very long wait. As an SME/SMI, you need to not only keep up, but also stay ahead of the competition, by finding ways to create useful and unique content about your brand. Ultimately, it’s about your `brand personality’, and the story you share with your customers that make the difference.
- Brand reputation and presence
Word of mouth, word by media – note the emphasis on the word `word’. What your customers say about your brand can make or break it. And you need not be told again, of course, that it’s important to explore new, emerging markets with excellent growth prospects. Take a look around you; from the vibrant economies of China, Indonesia and India, to the booming economies of Africa and South America.
- Listen to your customers and communicate a clear value proposition to them
Even the world’s most valuable brand, Apple, does this. Despite late co-founder Steve Jobs’ notorious temper, he continued to emphasize the importance of not only giving customers what they want, but also serving them products that exceed expectations. This is an excellent example of a clear value proposition, communicated both explicitly and succinctly to customers. And this is why Apple is the world’s #1 brand!
This is where LINs.AD comes in
Let it never be disputed that Malaysian SMEs/SMIs have produced and continue to produce world-class products and services. Unfortunately, this won’t do much good, if your prospective customers don’t know (or care) about what you’ve to offer them.
Let us show you how you can make an “Icon of Your Brand”, locally and globally. You might be pleasantly surprised to know that the process isn’t as difficult as you imagine it to be!
So talk to us today. You’ve nothing to lose, after all.