Sunday, December 16, 2007

A guide to developing an effective brand strategy

When working on developing an effective brand strategy make sure you know what you want your brand to mean to you and your customers. Your brand is your image, how people perceive your company, and this affects what people expect from your company. In this case image is everything. Does your brand strategy convey everything you want people to know or think about your company? What is the message you want to give? Who is your market, how do you use your brand strategy to reach them?

When you start to develop an effective brand strategy for your company, you should have a logo designed that would be easily identifiable with symbols relevant to your target market. Your company name should be created to strike a chord with your customers, but also contains key words that your customers will use on search engines. The design of your web site should be tied into your customer base and how you wanted to be seen. For example you may want to go with simple, uncluttered, and no flash. Your product should be the focus. Make sure you show your integrity, both on the home and about us pages. So now you have put the work into the imagery, what’s next?

You have to build brand recognition through customer relations. You are trying to get uniqueness, quality and value associated with your name and logo. Make sure you respond promptly to any customer inquiries and comments. What people see on the web site is what they must receive when they buy from you. Items need to be ship as soon as payment is received. Stand by your product and don’t play games with the return policy. What you do is just as important as how your web site looks. Every interaction you have with people affects how people see you, your company, and what they associate with your brand. Even when you just have a casual conversation with some one that can affect the image of your company. As the owner you represent the company even when you are not working.

You design and build your brand image, now you need to have a strategy to protect it. You cannot just stop selling and promoting your brand image once your brand is known. A brand image can be destroyed much faster then it takes to build it up and maintain it. You have to be careful with customer relations because word of mouth is a powerful thing. As the saying goes, one happy customer will tell two of their friends about you, one of them might come to see you and maybe buy. An unhappy customer tells 20 people who will each tell at least two other not to deal with you. So once you have built your brand image you still need to spend time and money to maintain it. Other wise everything you invested into building your brand image is wasted.

Written by: Lori-Lee Craig
Medieval Magic

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