Who are you? Develop your brand.

Many people are mistaken that their brand is their logo and colour scheme. Branding is much more than this, branding is the emotional response a business evokes in a customer.Evoking emotion is critical to building long term, loyal customers.

Think of your brand as your businesses voice. What voice is going to appeal most to your ideal customer? How will you stand out to them in the crowded marketplace?

The most important thing to know is to know exactly who you are and always be authentic and consistent. Your customers will sense if you are not being genuine a mile away and will find someone else to spend their money with.

One thing that everyone should strive to do is to be the premium brand within your marketplace. Now this doesn’t mean you have to be selling high end products and services that your ideal customer may not be able to afford. It means being the premium brand within your competitors.

By being the premium brand within your marketplace you will no longer need to compete on price – sounds good doesn’t it!

How do you achieve this you ask?

It’s all about how you interact with your customers and potential customers.

Think about this example.

Often, not always, but quite often if you need some repairs done at home, whether it be your phone line, washing machine, tv antenna you ring to make a time, you are given a time or a time range and you sit and wait, and wait, and wait. You are then charged a call out fee and a hourly fee in 15 minute intervals. Most people you talk to rarely have a good thing to say about this model of service. In fact, you may have heard this said or thought yourself “you know, if somebody would just show up on time, do their job, give me a bit of extra service and take some more time with the details and explanation I would happily pay them a premium just so I could rely on them.”

This is the same for every industry not just trades, they are just a good example to use as everybody has had, or heard of a bad example. In saying this, there are some great examples of trades out there – they are just so hard to get!

When you look at the general frustrations of your industry and then go above and beyond to ensure your customers don’t feel these frustrations, people will happily pay you a little bit extra. Go the extra mile in customer service, storytelling (more on this another day), consistency, honesty and integrity and you are well on the way to building a strong brand that will last.

When you are marketing yourself as a premium brand it is best to stick to your pricing. This means when people are asking for discounts outside the ones you have chosen to offer you say no. Now, this might seem like bad customer service but the whole idea is to somehow add additional value another way rather than devaluing your product or service. Ways to do this is to offer an additional product, an extra service, extra time but never cut your pricing. [On a side note – also consider how much you want the sale. Sometimes the customer who requires the most amount of work to get over the line becomes the time wasting customer you regret ever negotiating with and they are not loyal or brand ambassadors]

Remember, never sell anything you can not put your whole heart and soul behind.

It takes time and effort to truly build a brand so stick with it. Within this challenge we will also go through more ways to build on your brand and reward your customers.