5 Steps to Build Your Brand and Reputation

…by Susan Gunelius

Whether you’re trying to build your personal brand, business brand or a product brand, the basic steps to developing a successful brand are always the same.  Brands aren’t built overnight.  Be prepared to commit to the long-term and don’t give up.

Building a brand is just like building a reputation in that you need to prove yourself again and again in order for people to put their trust in you and become loyal to you. This holds true for individuals, small companies and even the largest, most trusted brands, such as Kraft Foods and Disney.

With that in mind, check out the 5 steps to building your brand below:

1. Be specific

Know what your brand stands for, and know what your brand promises. Your brand promise should be precise and attainable, and you should be able to communicate it clearly. For example, don’t just say your brand stands for quality. That’s a broad statement that any individual or company can make. How does your brand specifically live and breathe quality? Those specifics are what will make your brand stand out from your competition.

2. Be authoritative

Once you know what your brand stands for and promises, don’t be afraid to flaunt it. You need to make everyone else believe you’re the leader and authority in your area of expertise and specialization. Don’t meekly communicate your message. Say it with powerful words and conviction.

3. Be consistent

Get your brand message out there and don’t waiver on it. I’ve read statistics in the past that state as soon as you’re tired of your message, your customers are just starting to recognize it. Commit to your brand message.  A consistent message and customer experience are critical elements to building your brand.

4. Be honest

In today’s world, people welcome honesty and transparency, and your business will be rewarded for it. Don’t offer something you can’t deliver. Instead, admit your fallibility and deliver on your promises. Integrity goes a long way.

5. Be relentless

Get your brand message out there. Then get it out again and again and again. People are inundated with a myriad of messages each day. It’s not only critical that you try to stand out from the competition but it’s equally important that you are not forgotten. Don’t drop the ball on communicating your brand promise and building your brand image. Your efforts will be rewarded in time.

These rules apply to company, product and personal branding. They are simple, basic rules that are critical to your brand’s overall success.

Susan Gunelius is the author of multiple business books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company.

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