One of the toughest things you will ever do as an entrepreneur is to build and maintain a recognizable brand. Factors such as your interaction with your employees, competitors and customers, as well as the quality of your products can build or destroy your brand.
You therefore need to be alert at all times to ensure that you are not only taking positive actions but also avoiding decisions that could be detrimental to your brand image.
Yes, it is important to market your brand to the world. You can market it as the best thing in the industry but you need to know the limit. When you keep describing your brand as the most innovative, best employer etc., you start sounding like you are over hyping it. You risk having your confidence in your brand mistaken for arrogance.
Instead, use your customers to market your products or services. Ensure your customers are satisfied with your products then create a strategy that allows them to share their awesome experiences. Create an interactive blog or social media page that your customers can share through their social media accounts.
Attacking competitor brands
A large portion of advertisement is presence. The more people see a certain product, the more likely they are to purchase or consume it. Therefore, when you create content to malign your competitor brand, you are actually offering them free publicity.
There is very low likelihood that your target audience will even remember who created the content. In fact, if the audience knows the content was created by a competitor, they will most likely not believe the negative information you share about the product even if it is true.
The smart thing to do is therefore to avoid mentioning any other brand in your advertisements or other marketing content. Sell the positive aspects of your brand, let the customer discover your competitor’s negatives by themselves.
Lack of a consistent brand image
The point of branding is to fix a specific image of your brand in the minds of your target customers. You want to inform the customers about the core qualities of your brand and convince them to buy your products if those are the qualities they also value.
This, like a personal reputation, cannot be achieved if your brand’s image is constantly changing. Frequent changes make it hard for your customers to keep up with the qualities that your brand is anchored on.
Businesses often want to alter a brand image because they feel that the customers are not connecting with the current image. To avoid this, research properly before embarking on the branding journey to ensure that the image you create resonates with the customers and can remain as it is for a long time.
The need to maintain a consistent brand image is even more important today. The technology and social media have made it easier for customers to notice a change in your brand image and share their opinion instantly.
Poor quality and Under-delivering
Customers rarely forgive poor quality products and services. It is even worse if you had previously promised to deliver products of a certain quality but fail to live up to the hype. This can be a direct effect of over promoting your brand.
Always promise only what you can deliver. If you are a distributor, for instance, don’t promise a one year warranty on the products you sell before making the agreement with the manufacturer.
The other trick, and maybe even more impactful, is to under-promise. If your labs indicate that your electronic batteries can last up to 5 hours, when marketing tell the customers that the battery can last 3-4 hours. The customers will probably be impressed that the product is better than you had indicated.
Underestimating the power of social media
Most of the customers you are trying to sell your brand to spend a lot of their free time on social media. To successfully market your brand to them, you have to ensure that they are constantly seeing positive content about your brand on their feeds.
You also have to be interactive with the customers. Leaving their queries or comments without replies for a long time is not good for your brand.
Bankruptcy and brand image
Businesses often take nearest loans to facilitate their regular operations or maybe for expansion. However, things don’t always go according to plan. Unforeseen factors may cause financial turbulence and lead the company to bankruptcy.
As the leader of an organization, you would definitely be worried how the news of your bankruptcy could affect the brand. The attractiveness of the brand to investors and potential employees would most likely take the greatest heat.
Bankruptcy, however, doesn’t have to damage your brand’s image among your customers. Since this is a topic that most companies dread and try to hide, you can use the situation to demonstrate the openness of your business.
Communicate to the public the causes of the bankruptcy and the measures that have been taken to correct the situation. This will leave your brand unscathed or even improve its image.
When creating your brand, you want to create an image that will be embraced widely by the customers. Of more importance, however, is that the image should last for a long time without losing value.
You must, therefore, create and maintain a good relationship with your competitors, employees and customers. For customers, the primary stakeholders, you should supply top quality products and live up to the promises that you make