A business owner recently asked me to help him build a world class brand. But how do you do this?

Building a brand is different from making a sale. It’s fairly easy to develop a marketing campaign that drives sales: you just tell everyone you are on promotion. Suddenly sales spike! But a brand is a very different animal to sales.

Demand for a brand can never be stimulated by making it cheaper or putting it on promotion, because it trades not on its price, but on a favourable perception. An image!

So how do you use marketing to build a brand?

The secret is to create a specific position for the brand to occupy in people’s minds. They must associate the brand with something unique and special. Examples are:

  • Volvo is associated with safety,
  • BMW with driving pleasure,
  • Mercedes with elegance and status.

Having a clear brand position is not only true for product brands, such as cars, but also for company brands, such as your business name. This positioning must be associated with something that matters to both customers and employees, such as: excellent customer service, industry leading expertise, flexibility, speed or partnership.

Building a brand requires a different approach to boosting sales. It requires marketing activity that consistently communicates the unique position – or story – of the brand. It is a long-term job, and requires patience and attention to detail.

So, how do you build a world class brand? By being absolutely clear about the brand position and investing in it over the long term.

Ultimately a brand is an asset, and like any asset, it takes time to accrue value.