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6 Critical Brand Questions to Start your Year off Right!

Many business owners are setting out to complete their business plans to prepare them for the upcoming year and for future success. The planning process is such a critical component in business, I am amazed at how many business owners do not take the time to not only think about their business, but to put pen to paper and develop a solid business plan.

A successful strategic plan needs to address the following areas:

Brand People Strategies Actions Results

Putting together a strategic plan is very similar to setting your personal goals for the upcoming year. So if everyone is planning why do most business owners fail at meeting their goals?

Today, I am going to focus on your brand.

Your brand is represented by the emotional connection you have made with your customer and the perception they have of your business in their minds and is the strongest asset any business can own. Successful brands have a strong brand promise and have built customer loyalty by managing their brand. .

Here are some terms to know:

  • Brand Promise: What is the unique promise that you make to your customers that they can depend upon every time they engage your business.
  • Brand Identity: What is the outward appearance you portray to the world – your logos, your trademarks, tag lines etc..
  • Brand Personality: What is the personality of your business? What emotion do you invoke in people when they purchase your products and services?
  • Brand Positioning: How is your brand or business positioned in the marketplace? Where do you stand to your competitors?

To create a powerful brand, you must first define the specifics of your brand and the customer experience you desire for your customers. When planning your brand strategy there are 6 critical questions you must answer.

  1. What is the perception you want your customers and potential customers to have of you?

    How do you want your customer and employees to think about your business? Great brands such as Disney and Apple leave a lasting impression on its community and you can do the same.

  2. What are the core values of your brand?

    Values are what will guide your organization’s behaviors and actions. They are guiding principles that drive our decision making and how we treat our business peers. Strong brands have strong values and never waiver from them.

  3. Why are you unique? What is different from your competition?

    There are things about you that stand apart from the competition in a crowded market. Look for all points of difference in your products, service delivery, values, solutions and everything in-between.

  4. What is the identity of your business?

    How do you want the outside world to know you? Think about your colors, your logo, taglines, trademarks, characters and every piece of your organization that touches the outside world.

  5. What is your promise to your customers and target market?

    Think about a promise you can make to your customers that you can deliver on every time they engage with your company. This promise is reflected in every touch point, action and process and drives decisions for long term growth.

  6. What are your standards for performance – the driving force behind your employee, customer, operational and financial scorecards?

    Companies that have clearly defined standards for performance and consistently measure the organization against those standards increase their ability to deliver on their brand promise.

In today’s struggling economy, many businesses are being tested for their creativity and their endurance. Some will suffer or even go out of business while others will rise to the occasion and become smarter, leaner and more adaptive.

Which one are you?

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