Having a brand that is on point for your target market helps build a strong base of loyal customers who will return to your product or service, even in challenging economic times.

So how do you start building your brand into a Kiwi icon?

Work Out Who You Are and Stick To It

Make sure you have your brand story sorted. What makes your brand different? What emotions does your brand evoke in your customers? Once you have your brand story defined, ensure your brand’s visual presence is simple and recognisable so it becomes memorable. Then the next step is ensuring everything from your letterhead and sales collateral to your signage and website are all on theme – both what you have today and what you produce in the future.

Be Yourself

Although it can be tempting to emulate success stories of big international brands, it’s a trap for smaller NZ based businesses. Instead of trying to copycat what the big brands are doing celebrate what makes your business different. Although big brands have big budgets to spend on marketing, local businesses are more responsive and agile, addressing consumers’ needs and wants as they arise. Take advantage of your homegrown appeal – with the ongoing trend towards locally made, artisan products, people are drawn to small independent operators with innovative interesting offers more than ever.

Get Your Team On the Same Page

Ensuring your employees have bought into your brand story is critical. The way they dress and behave is a direct reflection of your brand – as far as your customers are concerned, they are not a representation of your brand, they ARE your brand. Make sure you ask employees for feedback. As the ones who have the most direct contact with customers, they may be able to provide valuable insights to help you on your way to becoming the next iconic NZ brand.

Share Your Expertise

Work out your areas of expertise and share your knowledge through blogs, social media, newsletters, speaking events, white papers and any other channel you can use to get your voice out there. Today there are so many communication channels available, make the most of them and position yourself as an industry expert.

Reward Your Fans

People love to feel recognised and valued. Make sure you know who your most valuable and loyal customers are and reward them with exclusive access to events and deals, advance notice of new releases and special offers. Treat them well and these loyal customers can turn out to be some of your strongest human billboards.

Be Responsive

Monitor your business’s social media and respond to any customer queries or feedback immediately. The same goes for any communication received via phone, email or your website. Deal with any problems immediately. Be honest, acknowledge the problem, let customers know what went wrong and what you are doing to fix it. Unresolved issues can lead to your brand losing value with your customers so don’t sit around hoping the problem will go away – fix it today!

If this all seems too hard and you’re still not sure where to start building a successful brand, a good Marketing Consultant who is briefed on your brand and product or service can help set up the building blocks for brand success.