Something that’s very challenging for new businesses who are up and coming is establishing brand identity. What is brand identify? How can you cultivate what you want your brand to be? How much say do your customers have in this interaction? Why does brand identity even matter at all? Even for businesses which have been around for some time, getting a firm hold on your brand identity is crucial in growing your existing field of customers.
When it comes to talk like brand identity many peoples eyes just glaze over. You may think that you will just bring your product to market and when your business becomes big enough your customers will tell you who you are.
That’s fine, and an enviable plan, but that still doesn’t give your brand your brand identity.
Commerce is a two-way street; you need to hear your customers and refine your product or service so that they will be pleased and the two of you can have a fruitful relationship. But brand identity comes from the business owner.
- What do you say about what your business is?
- How is your product or service better than others?
- What are you offering your customers that other companies can’t?
If you can’t answer these questions, you might want to head back to the drawing board. You need to know why you’re in business and you need to be able to stand behind that definition with conviction. To your business and to your brand, as the business owner, you are the only one that really matters. Your company lives and dies with your whim, so what do you want to say to the world to carry that life forward?
If you’re a restaurant, for example, your brand identity is going to define who your customers are, what type of food you sell, and at what cost will people pay for your food. At the end of the day many restaurants are selling the same thing. So why is a fancy restaurant able to sell a hamburger for $25 when you can go get something from a fast food chain off the value menu for pennies?
Well plenty of reasons, of course. One of the biggest is the quality of the food being sold. Frozen patties and microwaved American cheese aren’t going to fetch nearly what grass fed black angus beef and lamb combinations topped with gruyere cheese and Chanterelles will at an authentic bistro. For some it’s foie gras, for some it’s French fries.
But that’s the thing is that as the consumer who needs to eat we know what we are paying for. Because the brands of these businesses where we shop and where we dine are so well-defined. We know what golden arches means, we also know what “jacket and oxfords required” means. While we may try and emulate what these great restaurants do for us. we are also comfortable making choices which make the most sense for us.
That is what your business should strive for; a customer that’s well-informed about who your company is and what they do. A customer who knows what you are bringing to the table and still wants what you’re offering. A customer who seeks you out and anxiously devours what you’re bringing to them.
What is your brand all about? Who is your customer? What are you new slant are you offering to the discussion? You need to know these things and you need to be ready with the answers when you’re asked.
Your business and your brand depends on it.