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234Finance: The 5 Stages of Branding

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Do you think companies should focus more on building the brand and retaining the loyalty of customers than actual selling? Building a brand takes a lot time and work and it is the most important element to focus on, if businesses plan to stay for the long haul. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a step, but as gigantic as brand building sounds, it requires only 5 stages to build an exciting brand that will be on the lips of your customers.

Stick to a Specialty
You can’t be everything to everybody, without a differentiation in the products and services your business offers, it confuses the customers about your specialty. Stick with what you are great at doing and provide the best quality ever. Doing otherwise will reduce the viability of your brand and cut off the loyalty of your consumers.

Focus on your specialty
There are a variety of noodles in the market today but when we think of a brand, we think Indomie. If I want to buy toothpaste, I would prefer either Close-Up or Colgate. For laundry, most women would rather buy Omo, Ariel or Sunlight. Your product/service should be the number one brand the customer thinks of, when it comes to that category. Specialize in an area of expertise or skill and be excellent in the delivery of your products and services. Branding can also be synonymous to leading in a certain category.

Promote your brand
To build your brand, you need to publicize it through all the means of communication possible. As a start-up company just kicking off, you may not have the funds for big budget advertising yet but that should not deter you. There are other ways you can promote your brand; new media is a cost effective means of marketing your brand, and reaching thousands of people online. Networking also plays an important part in creating more awareness about your products and services, people want to see the face behind the brand.

Create resonance
As a business, you should focus on engraving that word on the minds of the customers. Strive to create an enduring image and it should be linked to something the customers can focus on. For example – a bespoke shoe should portray quality, a five star hotel should depict luxury and a baby product should represent care. Building a brand with a key word is essential. For example if I want my bespoke shoe line to portray quality, I would ensure the quality of leather used is original and the design is unique. Then I would find a code word for bespoke and play around with these two elements to create a bespoke image.

Build credibility
As brand, it is important to work on reliability because most customers are suspicious, they feel many companies are just out to get their money. When advertising on a leadership factor, it is important to equally validate that point as well. To build a successful brand, you need to everything it takes to get there and to also stay there.

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Photo Credit: Santiago Nunez Iniguez | Dreamstime.com

234Finance.com is an online hub that promotes African Entrepreneurship. We provide free resources, share opportunities and events that entrepreneurs can benefit from and thrive in Africa’s tough business landscape. Follow 234Finance: instagram.com/234finance facebook.com/234finance twitter.com/234finance

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