Try this little test. How many brands can you think of in each of these categories?
- Communications software
How did you do? Which brands were top of mind for you? I’m sure the list included the ones you’ve interacted with the most or whose advertisements you’ve seen often. A strong brand lets you know it’s there. It establishes presence and relevance. Most people can name four to seven brands in any category. You want your brand to be one of them!
If your brand is top of mind, it’s made it to the consideration set. Your brand is seen as an acceptable choice on its way to being preferred. The more people know about your brand and the more they experience it, the easier it will be for them to make that buying decision. Customers will have a rational reason to choose your brand over another. That in turn justifies their buying decision. The good news is, it also leads to referrals. And, a positive experience creates brand loyalty!
What idea, attribute or market segment can your brand own in your customers’ minds? Think of the top brands that own the ideas of physical fitness or healthy living – it’s not the products they sell, but an idea that appeals to consumers that they can take action on. Looking back at the brands you remembered in the categories above, what do you know about each? A plane is a plane, right?
If you have an intangible brand, then your focus will be on creating a great customer experience. Think of the service providers you’ve hired. Did they arrive when they said they would? Did they confirm appointments in advance? Customers want to know they’re going to get professional services from a company that cares. I once had someone come to my home to fix my furnace. From the top of the stairs, I could hear the technician’s frustration in fitting in a part. Not words I wanted to hear. I wasn’t comfortable with the experience and, needless to say, didn’t use the service again.
Building a strong brand doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and a consistent focus. Know what it is you’re offering and stay the course. Don’t lose sight of what your customers want. Test your brand from time to time to make sure it remains relevant. The strongest brands have been around for years because they were able to adapt and change over time. Yours can too!