"How do you build a successful brand and how do you measure how you are doing in terms of your reach, your marketing tools and your reputation?"
1. B is for Build - consistent effort creating an easily identifiable brand. Build your brand by posting consistently the same corporate colors, the same images, the same style of writing, the same ‘packaging’ across your platforms. If you are on multiple platforms, use the same profile pictures, for example. Make it easy for people to recognize you.
2. Reputation - Build a reputation for delivering on what you promise where possible. Build a reputation for producing high quality work and being generous in your dealings with "customers" by providing value. These are ways to build respect.
3. A is for Association. Create an association for people in their mind. Guard your reputation by ensuring that you never walk away from a dissatisfied customer where it is in your power to positively resolve the issue and by being careful about what you release into the public arena and who you associate with.
4. N = In a sea of competitors you need to become noticeable. People will associate you with your products and services. You are the guarantee that stands behind your products and services and it is really important that you understand that. We all know iconic brands like Coke an McDonalds. They have easily identifiable branding and it is noticeable in the marketplace. Why? Because they have worked hard to be consistent with putting that brand in front of their market. The golden arches at McDonalds are still the same today as they were 25 years ago.
5. D is for Differentiate. Differentiate yourself from your competition. Brand is an asset of a company because it is very closely associated with customers goodwill and your brand should be GUARDED at all costs.
Brand also becomes about the WAY that you do business and not just the products or services that you sell, especially in Social Media where you place your brand in the hands of customers to spread. Your businesses core values and ethos are part of your business brand. “It takes 40 years to build a reputation and about 4 seconds to destroy one.”
Excerpted from "Social Media Woman" E-Zine, July 2011