Following on from our 30 day campaign on how to build a brand, inspired by Simon Middletons book of the same name, here's a roundup of all the posts in one place!
DAY 1: Branding is about meaning
Big or small, it's about how your business is thought about by everyone who comes into contact with you, from employees to existing customers and new customers alike. What 5 core meanings does your brand have?
DAY 2: Be strong & positive
A good brand should be well known and understood (strong), and enjoy repeat business and recommendations (positive). Where does your company fit on this diagram?
DAY 3: What's the motivation behind your business?
When you can understand the core purpose of your business, you'll be well on the way to a super strong brand. Over the next few days we'll explore the various elements of purpose in more detail.
DAY 4: Brands are made by humans
We all have thoughts, feelings and passions which drive us in our everyday work. Try to think about what human qualities make up your brand as they will influence the decisions you make over the coming days.
DAY 5: Putting emotion into action
So, we've explored the emotional side of branding. Now it's time for the science bit. Don't worry though, it's easy.... Show me the science
DAY 6: Find talent in others
It sounds simple, but it's very important. Concentrate on what you can do and do it well. Get others to bring the talents you don't have to the party.
DAY 7: Always add value
Having key core values helps to underpin the meaning of any business. Make sure yours are genuine and achievable.
DAY 8: Identify your competitors
See what they do and how they do it. Then work out how you can be better than them!
DAY 9: Let you imagination run wild!
Ok, so maybe not wild. But take some time out away from business plans and forecasts to allow your brain to ponder and imagine your brand in a different way. Think of them as a person. What would they be like? What would they look like? Jot down your notes.
DAY 10: Return to your notes from yesterday
How could you bring that 'person' to life through your business? How could they inspire your team and what will your customers think of them? Allowing your creative imagination to flow can help to unlock powerful qualities that brilliant brands understand and use to gain a competitive advantage.
DAY 11: Not for everyone
Yes, you read it right! Think about who you don't want to attract to your business and why. It will help you direct your brand as a whole, and will also give you clear warning signs when that nightmare client/job/customer comes a knocking!
DAY 12: The brand spider
Under each heading on the diagram (left), try to add some detail that identifies specifically with your business. It will take some time, and you'll need the biggest bit of paper you can find!
DAY 13: What are you? And what are you not?
Today you need to evaluate all the words & phrases you collected yesterday. You need to review each one in turn. If you can honestly say that it is achievable, interesting, commercially relevant & different from the competition, it can make it onto the final 'magic circle list'.
DAY 14: Take your position
Positioning your brand is crucial. Follow this simple exercise to work out where your brand sits.
Show me how
DAY 15: Once upon a time
All great brands have a fantastic story behind them, it sets them apart from the competition and reduces the customers need to even think twice about using them. Think about your favourite brands. How would you tell their story to your friends? Now do the same with your own brand. What would your story look like?
DAY 16: What did you say your name was?
Flying the flag for your brand, make sure your company name is as impactful as possible and try to apply some meaning behind it. That way not only will you stay in the customers mind, but you'll have expressed a lovely insight into your brand too.
DAY 17: Paint a picture
It's now time to write your Internal Positioning Statement. No that doesn't mean saying - 'I'm sat down!' It's a simple sentence which paints a picture of your brands ambition, your vision and how you intend to get there.
DAY 18: keeping it short but sweet
Also known as a strapline, an external brand positioning line can add value. If you decide that your band needs one make sure it's short, simple and to the point. It will only add real value if it evokes emotion, is informative, and ideally less than 5 words!
DAY 19: Celebrate!
It's important in a small business to celebrate successes. Even the little ones. Failures will also come, learn from them and stay true to your core strategy.
DAY 20: PR. What's that all about?!
PR is a great way to get your name out into the public domain. Send structured & relevant copy, with great pics, to appropriate journalists. It can feel a bit like a lottery, but the coverage you could get will be worth all the effort.
DAY 21: One thing at a time
Spend your advertising budget wisely. Stick to one message (yes, just one!) and be clear about who you are talking to.
DAY 22: How hard is your website working?
Of course an online presence is 100% necessary in this day & age. But for your brand to be working hard for you on the web your presence must be engaging, useful and easy to understand & navigate.
DAY 23: Be worth your weight
From your promotion, website & social media to your packaging, service & after sales care, every single place that your customers come into contact with your business should be an experience that communicates your brand values.
DAY 24: Design matters
It really does. You've put so much hard work into your brand concept and strategy, now it's important to get your visual communications right. Invest in a professional. Like us!
DAY 25: Be a reflection of your brand, even if you are having a bad day
Running a business is tough, and being the brand guardian too can add extra pressures. No one is perfect, but you must try to remember that your behaviour should always reflect your core brand values...even if you did have a row with your family before you left for work this morning.
DAY 26: Listen, in order to be heard
It's your job as brand champion to engage your staff and get them to support it too. Speak to them regularly, listen to their thoughts and be respectful. After all, what would your business be without them?
DAY 27: Being cheap can be dangerous
Thinking of going cheaper to beat the competition? Be careful. Once you have made that choice, you have repositioned your whole company.
Are you happy being thought of as the cheapest in the market? Can you sustain that pricing and still make a decent profit?
DAY 28: Say sorry. Properly
Yep. Sometimes things will go wrong. But it's how you react that will have the biggest impact. Ultimately, make sure you apologise swiftly and be sincere.
DAY 29: Branch out, carefully
It's always tempting to take opportunities to extend your brand into new markets. But make sure that if you decide to do so, your customers can buy into the move from a logical AND emotional perspective. From pet food to pet insurance, yes. From toothpaste to ready meals, probably not.
Day 30: Just the beginning
This is just the beginning and we hope you've enjoyed our posts from the last 30 days. The trick now is to keep up with the good work. Why not get yourself a copy of Simon Middletons book that inspired our project, it really is a great read. Buy here