It’s every brand builder’s dream: The name of your brand is mentioned, and the clouds open up, rays of sun shine through and celestial voices sing its praises.
Okay, maybe it’s not that dramatic.
However, we’ve all seen what happens when a respected brand is discussed. Heads turn. Eyes brighten. There’s a mad rush to share stories of how that brand has changed lives.
You want your brand to be that brand.
How can you gain the level of respect that compels people to stop what they’re doing and recommend your brand to a friend or stranger whenever a need arises?
That’s exactly what I’m discussing today.
Respect, Admiration, Veneration…all for your Brand
Your brand can be that head-turning, ear-perking brand. Here’s how:
- Emotion: This is what consumers crave. We hear lots of talk about price, service, products, etc…however, in the end, when it’s all boiled down, consumers want to feel and they want connections with brands that will continue to make them feel. Tide laundry detergent makes us feel accomplished and clean. Apple makes us feel competent and cool. Starbucks makes us feel trendy and energetic. Know what’s most important to your ideal customers and evoke crucial emotions within them, so they’ll feel it, cherish it and want to share it.
- Exceptionalism: When you solve a problem for your ideal customers that no one else has been able to solve, your brand will be respected. When you solve a problem that fills a gap created by the competition, your brand will be admired. Or when you solve a problem in an innovative manner, that makes lives easier, more fun, more peaceful, more exciting—or whatever your audience members are craving—then your brand will be celebrated. Being different is never enough. You must exercise that difference in a way that affects your ideal customers like they’ve never before been affected.
- Continual Improvement: The most respected brands are receptive and reactive to consumer trends and their audiences’ evolving needs. Your ideal customers’ biggest, hairiest problem might stay the same, but the ways in which they prefer to interact and receive services are certain to change. Look ahead; anticipate these shifts and be ready to respond in ways that demonstrate your brand’s agility and willingness to revolutionise its processes. This constructs respect—because the competition is rarely willing to match that level of movement.
- Empowerment: There’s a segment of the brand-building community that would have you believe that creating dependence is the most profitable way to move forward. For example, they might suggest that you create a programme with a cliff-hanger ending, requiring that customers buy more in order to continue. My approach, and the approach I would suggest you adopt, is entirely different. Every time you sell a solution to a customer, it should improve their day, their business or their life…it’s that simple. If they want to continue, that’s great. If they don’t, they should see clearly that your brand takes pride in serving them without strings attached, and that you’re confident enough in your product to know that they’ll want to come back.
- Benefits: Every consumer needs to know what’s in it for them. It’s not selfish; it’s business. Consumers are busy, attempting at every turn to trim time and effort from their shopping and problem-solving missions. If your brand makes the benefits it’s offering to them clear, from the very first point of contact, then it will be respected from the get-go. Deliver those benefits efficiently and without hoop-jumping or murkiness, and that respect will compound.
- Integrity: This could go unsaid; however, I beg of you never to discount the importance of following through on every promise and always doing business on the highest possible ethical level. Integrity isn’t something your brand can claim; instead, it’s something that must be demonstrated every day, in every communication, in every interaction and in every transaction. In a world filled with stories of corporate greed and fraud, this alone will set your brand apart and earn for you the admiration you need to make your mark.
Brand respect isn’t something that is spontaneously produced. It takes time to develop…and the best time to start is right now.
Use the points I’ve shared above to develop a branding strategy that will build admiration for your brand. Focus on your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) as you develop that plan and always integrate your corporate values, mission and vision into every heartbeat your brand sends out.
The first step to building brand respect is getting consumers to choose your brand. In the book I’ve written with Miles Fryer, The 7 Reasons Why Customers Don’t Choose You, you’ll learn about common mistakes brands are making, as well as the ways you can win over your ideal customers. You can even get a chapter for FREE, here.