Knowing what your customers want and how you can deliver it is an integral part of the branding process. You need to know what drives your customers, and what makes them buy. In most cases, it's not only about price or performance.
Researching what customers want
Ask existing customers what they like about doing business with you and ask potential customers what they are looking for.
If your brand values are in line with what customers look for when they're buying, you have the beginnings of a useful brand. This means you're ready to start building on it. If they're not, you'll need to reconsider:
- the benefits you offer to your customers
- whether you're targeting the right people
For example, a clothes shop that has ‘high end fashion’ as a brand value can benefit from this if its customers want to buy the trendiest clothes. However, if its customer base are looking for practical clothing, those brand values may not be in line with customers' buying needs. Read more about customer research: what you need to know.
Communicating your brand to customers
Once you have defined your brand values and your customers' needs, you can start to build your brand by consistently communicating your brand values.
Remember that every possible contact you have with a customer or potential customer needs to reinforce your brand values. This may include your logo, business name, staff uniforms and product packaging.
If all these are consistently in line with your brand values, your brand will be strengthened. But if they are not, your brand - and your business - could be damaged.
Get regular feedback from customers to check that your business delivers the promises your brand makes. Ask dissatisfied customers or former customers for feedback as well - you can gain valuable, and sometimes more honest, information from them about how your brand is perceived.
You should remember that your customers can change too. Read how to manage your brand.