Post Written for Foodable.tv
First of all, we must define branding. Some think it’s the logo or how you look. Some think it’s your communications or how you talk. Those are both expressions of your brand, but they can only reflect what lies beneath the surface. Your brand is your reputation. Your brand is not what you say it is, but what others say it is. It’s how you’re perceived in the market. How you are perceived will be the byproduct of who you are, how you think, and how you make decisions.
Branding (reputation building) happens whether you like it or not. It takes work and intentionality to develop strong a brand, but the benefits are invaluable.
Here are six areas that may be costing you money.
No. 1 Unclear Positioning
Do you know your positioning in the marketplace? What is the one thing that customers know you do the best? What is the special ingredient or process that makes you completely unique? If you don’t know what this is, you need to figure it out.
The competition is fierce. If you are going to stick in people’s minds, you need a strong, bold position. You cannot be all things to all people. Hone your position in the marketplace and then communicate it clearly and consistently.
No. 2 Lack of Authenticity
What are you promising your customers? A bold positioning statement can be detrimental if it’s not true. Brands are like people. You can sense a fake a mile away and you don’t want anything to do with them. If your selling point isn’t truly organic, all-natural ingredients, don’t pretend it is. Don’t try to make yourself look like something you are not.
Let customers see the real you. Large brands tend to let corporate speak hide their true identity while small brands tend to try to look big. People want to buy from people. Be honest and authentic and allow your best traits to come through.
No. 3 Low Morale
Engaged, excited team members will affect profits. Does your team have a clear understanding of why they do what they do? Being a leader involves casting the vision and empowering others to contribute to its success.
By strengthening your brand values and collectively working to live those out every day, you will increase employee engagement and enthusiasm. Low morale can lead to poor service. Poor service kills your reputation.
Which leads to…
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Dustin Myers is a brand strategist and designer who has owned and operated Longitude° since 2010. He has had the privilege of consulting with brands all over the world, helping their businesses grow through clear communication. He lives in Springfield, MO with his wife Lauren and their three children.