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How To Transform Your Business Into A Brand

As seen on Entrepreneur Philippines.

My business is small. Why should I get into branding? Plus, it is quite an investment. I can’t afford it. This is what most small business owners say when the subject of branding comes up in conversations. The truth is, you can’t afford not to.

Your brand is an important ingredient to your success – whether you’re big or small. In fact, it matters even more if you’re small.

Let’s take a step back and understand what branding is. First things first, it is not a logo. It is not a trademark. It is not a product. True, it is all of these things but It is way more than that.

It is what sets you apart from the rest of the pack.

It is the sum of people’s perception about your company.

Branding helps make people want to support and buy you.

It is that emotional bond that makes people’s pulse beat a little faster, make them want to open their wallets willingly. Remember, people buy from those whom they trust and like.

Studies have shown that only 20% of the reasons for buying a brand is logical. The rest is emotional.

Why do you think people keep on buying Apple products despite the fact they can enjoy the same features if not more by buying a different brand? Why do you think people go to Starbucks often?

Sure, they go for the coffee but equally important (if not more important) is the whole Starbucks experience – the sights, sounds and smells inside the store, the comforting and familiar ring of your name being called out when your coffee is ready and the personal and warm service you get from their baristas.

The list goes on.

Isn’t this exactly why you have a “suki” for fresh fruits, vegetables, shoes and clothes?

Having said that, how do you now get started? There are key areas you need to look into when you start your branding journey.

  • It is all about brand love

The most successful brands in the world are the ones fueled by passion. If you don’t believe in your own brand, how do you expect people to believe in it, too?

As the owner of the company, you are often the brand. And how connected you feel towards your brand often translates to how strong your consumers can bond with it. Think Steve Jobs and Apple or Richard Branson and Virgin Records/Atlantic.

“Small business branding is the owner. It’s what the owner does, says and how the owner’s traits come through in every aspect of the business. It’s the way relationships are built and maintained, the way a person does business and treats other people. It’s how rapport is established at an individual level, where trust and comfort exist as human characteristics, not from theme music, models or slogans.”

Yaro Starak

Founder, Blog Mastermind

  • Develop a voice and personality

Much like a person, a great brand has a unique personality and a distinct tone of voice.

Both are expressions of a company’s culture, values and ideas. When shaping and choosing the right personality and tone of voice for your company, think about how you want to convey yourself to people. Do you want to be perceived as friendly, quirky or authoritative?

Most banks strive to sound commanding and confident because cultivating trust

and credibility is essential for their success. Most fast food brands work towards having

an approachable, fun and friendly persona. A lot of them after all target kids and families,

as in the case of Jollibee.

Whatever impression you choose to leave your audience, make sure that it is aligned with what

you’re offering and what you want the brand to stand for. Most importantly, it should connect

with your audience.

  • Keep your promises

Today’s audience is quite perceptive. They can sense a fake from a mile away. Who you say you are should translate into real and genuine experiences that live up to what you say. If you want your brand to stick around for a long while, deliver on your promise.

  • Know your audience intimately

Find out about their dreams and desires, their wants, needs and interests. Get to the bottom of what makes them tick. Know what turns them off. It does not end with the knowing. Another essential component is acting on what you know.

If you still have lingering doubts about branding, you will probably ask, “So, what’s the pay off?” The ultimate ROI of branding is loyalty. Loyalty is what keep customers coming back for more. It is what drives up profits.

If you still have lingering doubts about branding, you will probably ask, “So, what’s the pay off?” The ultimate ROI of branding is loyalty. Loyalty is what keep customers coming back for more. It is what drives up profits.

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