By Paul Kent
Welcome back! We are now halfway through learning to expand your brand! We looked at knowing your brand and what it takes to understand what you really are and reflect on your story. Then we looked at how to share your brand with others and some different ways you can do that. Now we move on to growing your brand.
Growing your brand is very important, especially for companies who do not have a strongly established brand, or for very young businesses. First let’s remember that:
Story + Marketing + Reputation = Brand
So, in order to grow your brand you will have to grow one (or more) of the three components that comprise your brand. We will take a look at what it takes to grow each of these components and help you grow your brand.
Let’s start with the story. Your story is continuously growing, so this one isn’t overly difficult. However, to manage your brand you have to manage your story, which takes careful planning. Do you have a 5 year plan for your business? Does where you want to be in 5 years match your current brand? These are things that require a lot of thought, but are important if you want to grow your brand. If you do not have a future plan for what you want your brand to look like it will be difficult to grow your brand and make it stronger. The reality of your story is that it will continue to grow whether you like or not, so what is important is that you continue to use it to grow and strengthen your brand.
The second component to consider is your marketing. This includes everything that you do to make your company and its products more known. Digital, print, radio, TV, and even social media are all parts of the marketing component. One of the ways that you can use marketing to grow your brand is by making sure that you are utilizing all of the options at your disposal. There are a number of cost-effective ways that can be used to grow your brand using marketing. Social media and an effective website can do your brand a lot of good if they are handled properly and truly reflect your brand. Make sure that you are taking advantage of all of the options at your disposal.
The last piece of this brand puzzle is reputation. The first step in using your reputation to help your brand is to find out what your reputation currently is. You have to know where you are to get to where you want to be. It will take some work, but you need to find out what people think of you and your products or services. Use incentivized surveys or comment cards to encourage customers to voice their thoughts. This will help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses and give you the information you need to change your reputation. People will take notice if you are making changes to increase the quality of what you offer. If people see an effort to change, it will change their opinions and give you a stronger brand reputation. A strong reputation is a large part in what creates brand loyalty, so it is very important to be constantly tracking your reputation.
Growing a strong brand will take work in all three of those areas. Your brand can be one of your biggest assets or a huge liability. If you don’t take the time and put in the work to be continually growing a stronger brand, you may find that your brand is becoming a liability that makes life more difficult for you and your business. Instead, take the time and make the investment in building a strong brand by planning and telling your story, utilizing all of the marketing options you can, and constantly tracking your reputation to improve it and show that you care. This will grow your brand into a strong asset that will help you build brand loyalty among your customers.
If you have any comments or questions about this blog series on expanding your brand, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
View Paul's Profile