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Mark, our Creative Director, was asked to write an article for Island Business magazine about the importance of building a good brand.

Produced by the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, Island Business is the Island's only pure B2B publication and is distributed on a monthly basis, keeping readers informed of local and national business news.

To see Mark's article, keep reading below or check out the online version here: http://ow.ly/2Hbt30cOlJZ

The problem in today's busy consumer world is that we all have too many choices. Too many products and services have similar qualities and the consumer is bombarded with information from all directions. People simply don't have time to make decisions and work out the right choice for themselves.

Luckily, the brain is programmed to notice what is different. For your product or service to be noticed and stand out from the competition, all you need to do is be different.

In today's digital age, a brand is less about a trademark or identity, product or service, it is more about how people 'feel' about an organisation. So what steps can you take to ensure your customer's brand experience of your organisation is a positive one? Below I have suggested some starting points.

Innovate

Great brands are packed with creativity and it is this creative energy that gives them traction in the marketplace. Wherever possible be innovative with your brand, your people and your customers.

Engagement

The process of engaging your audience enables the customer to take ownership of the brand. This empowerment leads to brand loyalty and growth in equity.

Dialogue

Traditionally the communication process between company and customer was a monologue: the company messaging the customer. Today communication is a dialogue. The customer returns messages to the company and the process repeats. This is a great opportunity for you to learn more about your customers and keep ahead of the competition.

Brand voice

Professional copywriting is often the forgotten hero when it comes to branding. The 'tone' you adopt online, in print and when speaking is an essential part of your brand communications. However, 'brand voice' is as much about what you say as the tone in which you say it. Does your brand voice currently live up to your organisation's values and customer expectations?

Collaborate

To build a successful brand, organisations need to collaborate with best-of-breed specialists in research, naming, brand strategy, identity and copywriting, amongst others. Try to set aside annual budgets for brand development – it is important that you do!

Relationship

Today the role of brand is less about selling to consumers and more about building meaningful and trustworthy relationships. There are plenty of powerful Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools available online to help you build customer profile knowledge and successful relationships.

Storytelling

Great stories provide a communication channel that is more personal and emotive than traditional messaging methods. A brand's story is an effective means of communicating your organisation's values to your customers. If your audience finds your story interesting, or there is a shared passion, more customers will listen and follow.

Social media

The goal of the brand is not to simply build brand awareness – more importantly it is to build 'conversational equity'. Social media is an essential part of this process and should be central to any brand strategy development. Businesses that understand this have a better chance of making an impact on their customers' lives.

Ambassadors

Your business needs brand ambassadors and quite often your employees are the best suited. Passionate employees are the most trustworthy candidates to drive engagement through your brand communication channels.

Guidelines

Historically brand guidelines were about maintaining control and consistency; however they focused on rules and regulations and forgot the importance of great 'content'. Brands today need to be flexible and imaginative, and today's guidelines should be more of a starting point for inspirational copy, print, display, audio and digital imagery.

With a thorough understanding of brand and with the intelligent use of creative design, you can cut through the noise and reach your target audience.

Did you find this post useful? If you'd like to find out more about how Bate Brand can help you rejuvenate and get the most out of your brand, we'd love to hear from you!

You can find out more about the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce here: https://www.iwchamber.co.uk