Shaf Rasul is an expert in setting up and selling tech and property companies. The self-made millionaire caught up with Only Marketing to share his top tips for building a successful brand.
No matter what kind of industry you are in, building a distinctive brand is an absolute must. It’s something that will define your business, while embodying its spirit and core values. First and foremost, you need to work out what you want and how you wish to be perceived by potential customers. After that, it’s time to bring in the professionals to design logos etc. It may seem like an extra outlay, but its money well spent and you won’t regret it.
If you’re serious about reaching more customers and want to make your mark, it’s time for a brand new dawn. Here’s how you do it.
What sets your brand apart from the rest? If you can’t instantly answer that question, think very hard why not. Your brand has to be original. Consumers are much more sophisticated these days and can quickly see through hype, spin or downright lies. Research your customers’ needs. What do they react to emotionally?
Drive your business
What exactly are the aims of your business? What are your hopes for it? Can consumers relate to this? Think about how you can clearly and concisely articulate and align these aims.
Think of your brand as a person
Look at your best friend. You know their beliefs, their principles, their morals and what’s important to them, right? You need to think of your business in the same way. Once you have worked out key messages, you will be able to get them across much more easily.
Make it future proof
If customers know what is driving your brand, they will have more of a connection. If you can catch their eye with your branding, gain their trust and ultimately deliver a good service or product, they will return time and time again. A word of warning though. When things go wrong, they can easily shatter any trust you have built up. In 2017, a Co-op ad asked parents to “treat their daughters for doing the washing up” with one of their Easter Eggs. Unsurprisingly, customers were shocked at the awful gender stereotyping and the Co-op were forced to apologise.
Make sure you are getting your message across clearly. Don’t try confusing or nonsensical slogans as they will stick out for all the wrong reasons. Use different messages to build your identity but don’t repeat yourself. Always think of how your products or services will come across in a marketing message or advert. Last year, H&M were rightly slated when a hoodie with “Coolest monkey in the jungle” was modelled by a young black boy on its website. The firm apologised and removed the picture, as well as the item itself, from their site.
Be original and bold
Don’t copy an existing brand’s style. Capture and define your own unique look. Remember people don’t always want to support a big multi-national. Many appreciate smaller, local, independent firms. Motivate them to pick you over the competition. However, learn from the top brands. Why are Apple, Google and Coca-Cola logos recognised all over the globe? Part of the answer lies in their simplicity.
Take advantage of social media
It’s a gift, so use it! Depending on your business, Linked In, Facebook and Twitter can be vital in spreading your message. Don’t forget to network. Ask friends and family to share to help your business grow. Ask customers to leave positive reviews and recommend you.
Our mission at Only Marketing is to help small businesses grow into giants. If you'd like help in building a successful brand, get in touch today. We'd love to hear from you!