You want to be a leader in your market. Becoming a market leader means building a brand like one, and in order to get started, you’ll need some tools and sound branding advice.
We believe that no matter your industry, there are some undeniable truths in branding – truths that apply across all niches. The things we’re sharing today are practices that the most successful market leaders have used, and although these points might seem overly simplistic, we warn you: Don’t underestimate their effectiveness.
Building a Brand like a Market Leader
Incorporate these simple steps into your branding strategy and watch your goal of market leadership draw closer and closer:
- Do what you love. If you’re passionate about your vocation, that passion will be evident in everything you do. People will see your enthusiasm and will want to be a part of this wonderful thing you call “your brand.”
- Listen. This is a principle that was introduced to you at a very young age, and it’s just as important now that you’re older. If you listen – and I mean really hear – what consumers and clients are saying about your brand and the industry in which you work, you will naturally move toward solving problems that have gone unsolved and you’ll find better ways to make your brand the go-to solution.
- Teach. If you introduce people to a new concept or answer a question that no one else has answered, you will plant a branded marker in their memories and move toward building a solid reputation for your brand. Give freely of your expertise and the reciprocal effects will be stunning.
- Aim to please. Deliver more than you promise. Give surprise gifts. Always strive to raise the bar in all brand processes. The idea is to keep your clientele in a state of pleasant surprise at all times. This can be accomplished with something as simple as birthday wishes, coupons, or a “Thank you.”
- Embrace change. No matter your industry, change is inevitable. Choosing to embrace it or reject it can mean the difference between market leadership and utter failure. Study industry trends. Look ahead in order to be a market leader, rather than a market follower.
- Be genuinely you. We’ve been talking a lot lately about how building a brand is less about your material product and more about the values and mission of your brand. Whilst building your brand, you employ certain values. Name them and then make them evident in all your communications. You will naturally attract those consumers who share those values – and who appreciate your expression of them in world. As a result, those consumers will reward you with their loyalty.
- Involve the team. First, you must choose your team carefully, filling it with those who share your core values and who can see the significance of your brand. These people will want to share all that’s good about your brand. Involve them in projects. Ask them for input. Give them roles in building your brand, as well as the freedom to speak to your target audience with the words you all share when speaking about your brand. Building a brand is always a team effort.
- Respond promptly. Whether its criticism on social media, an email asking for help, or a referral, reply to comments and questions with immediacy. Each one is an opportunity for building your brand and a chance to say “you matter” to the people with word-of-mouth power. Additionally, never underestimate the potential of personalised responses. Use people’s names. Refer to their specific communications. Be warm, friendly, and welcoming, and always remember to say “thank you.”
- Tell the truth. Trust is something that can take years to build and only a few seconds to destroy. Take the ethical high road in all your processes and business dealings – this way you can exercise transparency in all realms and build valuable trust (critical to building a brand) as you go.
Building a brand isn’t a simple process; however, many of its core components are simplistic in nature and have worked well for generations of market leaders that have gone before you…and they will work far into the future, too.