There are many things that go into building a brand that lasts.
When a company or person begins to build their brand, be it online with a blog, or maybe as an online business, they need to remember to balance both the needs and feelings of their intended audience. This goes for retail brands as well. It’s a matter of doing the research and actually listening to the feedback. This will help to create a better, stronger brand.
There are a series of attributes that customers look for in a brand and if one is missing, it can cause irreparable damage. These include
- A good reputation
- The ability to build good relationships with said customers.
Integrity and reputation.
They’re often intertwined. If a brand has integrity, they will stand by what they say and do. It goes back to the old saying, say what you mean and mean what you say. Follow through and the customer will find the brand has integrity. This also goes a long way to building a good reputation for the brand. If customers and even other business owners are happy with how a brand is presented and how they conduct business, then a reputation of trust is built. This is the key to a successful brand.
When looking at reputation specifically, it’s worth noting that it can be built up over time and lost in a single bad situation. This is where using sound ethical and legal principals are going to win out. If a business has negative connotations associated with their brand, for whatever reason, customers will start to distrust that brand and it will lose both reputation and integrity. A budding or even established brand could become a liability when this happens.
Trust and building relationships
Trust is also a key element to building a brand that lasts. Like reputation and integrity, trust is essential to building relationships. That’s because relationships are almost always built on trust. Everyone wants to be able to trust who they decide to do business with. Out of that trust can blossom a wonderful relationship that helps to build and establish a brand. Once the relationship is established, trust can begin to be earned as well.
Trust is something that can be hard to win but easy to lose, just like reputation. When a customer trusts a company or brand, they’re doing so because that brand has not only earned their trust but fought hard to keep it. If a customer or customers lose trust in a brand that brand no longer has staying power and could fade very quickly from the minds of customers.
Build good relationships with said customers.
In order to build trust, relationships need to be established. Give the customer a reason to go into a store versus shopping online. Meet with them face to face and build those relationships. In other words, have a workforce dedicated to giving the customer what they cannot get online, face to face personalized service. Make sure that everyone representing the brand does this and it will build long lasting and meaningful relationships.
Another great way to build relationships is to study the data that has been collected on customers so far. Use that to learn what they want and build the brand around some of that data. Using social media to promote the brand as well as using fun and inventive ways to educate customers on the brand is essential. Use videos, contests, freebies (everyone loves a good freebie) and other great customer reaching ways to build the brand and connect it right to the customer. Heck, let the customer order using social media if the company can do it. Everyone is on social media in some way or another.
What about those customers that prefer to shop online?
Well, they can still get a great brand experience! If the customer decides to shop online for a product, make sure the product exceeds, not just meets expectations. Some brands will even give free shipping to a local store. This saves the customer money. It’s also a great way to build a relationship with a new or even existing customer when they come in and pick up the product.
In the end, when building a brand that lasts, there are many things that come into play. Customers have to trust the brand, the brand has to have integrity and stand by its promises and reputations along with relationship building are the 4 pillars of a strong brand and a brand that will last. If even one of these is missing, the brand may weaken and ultimately, fail. This goes for online entrepreneurs as well as physical stores that people do business with every day. In the end, the company is selling its brand, not just a product or service.