The list goes on and varies for eager entrepreneurs. Make a product. Create a customer base. Earn profits and invest. Hire great workers. As beginners or novices, how does one make a profit with their idea? One word continues to be repeated, brand.
How does one create a brand?
First, you need to start with the understanding that we all want quality. Quality signifies special. Not everyone can afford quality or wants to be treated special. However, we make the necessary accommodations when it’s a necessity. At one point in life, everyone has had an important memorable item that exudes quality with a special element of prestige. Regardless of the verb, a marketing agency is using that specific memory to be summed up into one word- brand.
Secondly, people who follow these specific brands are loyal customers. Both men and women have been allured or marketed to believe an organization will satisfy their needs. Once that need has been fulfilled, the task has been complete. The company’s promise has been fulfilled. In other words, these customers are now in a committed relationship.
When it’s time to spend money:
- Do you look for the swoosh for basketball and running shoes?
- Use the Google for a search engine?
- Are Burgers, fries and milkshakes are synonymous with a specific group of fast food restaurants?
- Need a referral from a family member, friend or colleague?
- Looking for the best deal for the least amount of money?
Yes, it’s called customer retention or brand loyalty. Successful companies know the price it requires to acquire a new customer versus retain a current customer. Marketing efforts have paid off. Forbes’ contributor found multiple data suggesting this in his Five Customer Retention Tips for Entrepreneurs.
According to Bain and Co., a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%. And if those numbers don’t impress you, Gartner Group statistics tell us that 80% of your company’s future revenue will come from just 20% of your existing customers.
Brand loyalty doesn’t happen overnight. The goal is to work smarter, not harder. In working smarter, the focus pivots from company founders working in the business to working on the business.
The first lesson to learn in establishing brand loyalty, brand creation for new entrepreneurs takes time. Figuring out a niche, USP (aka- unique selling proposition), value, service or product is a process. Nike, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Costco and ESPN have mastered this skill. They’re benchmark organizations because they found a formula to ensure customers return, buy several times a year, and share your experience with another person of interest.
No matter if it’s a nonprofit or for-profit business, brand creation is paramount to sustainability. Sustainability and loyalty go hand-in-hand. Therefore, your brand must be relevant to your desired demographic. Only relevant brands make it through economic depressions, evolving technology, business eras and human generations because their customers stayed faithful.
For example, Starbucks gives out treat receipts in the summer time to encourage customers to comeback and buy another beverage. Treat receipts are issued to morning purchasers before a certain time. No one wants a warm beverage during a hot day. Despite their efforts to add frappuccinos and iced teas, foot traffic decreases during the summertime.
On a more personal level closer to home, a better example would be when I worked at Nike WHQ in Beaverton, OR. During my night patrols of graveyard security, I learned so much in my seven years reading the building plaques and watching intranet videos.
Their focus was different than their competitors. The strategy to use athletes to market the products differentiated them. The brand creation started with legendary runner Steve Prefontaine. After “Pre” and his successes, Nike’s transition was John McEnroe in Tennis and Michael Jordan for Basketball.
Nike’s strategy was to use one athlete for one sport. Both of those athletes did exactly what Nike needed- created attention. McEnroe and Jordan’s success kept spectators watching. Fans watched their athletic abilities on television. Read about it in the newspapers, but also followed them off the court to their apparel. And the timing for all parties were perfect. History has written them in the books as greats. They’re marketing department established a brand.
As a small business, what’s your brand strategy?
The above Fortune 500 companies listed are great for benchmarking. However, those companies have marketing strategies based on libraries of data. There are talented individuals with years who understand the market. Executive teams comprised of experienced intellectuals with a systematic process that produces data to assist in making critically immediate decisions.
Don’t be overwhelmed. Don’t compare either. Companies had to start somewhere.
Young small businesses will have an uphill battle when competing against these gigantic conglomerate corporations. It’s good to be ambitions, but you don’t have to start at that level. Nowadays, entrepreneurs don’t have to compete on a high level. Technology has made it super simple to create your brand.
To start your brand creation. An organization needs to consider the following. The company brand needs:
- To be distinguishable.
- Serve a purpose.
- Create a loyalty.
- Have value.
- Help others.
Once the above branding bullet points have been fulfilled, the company has created a brand reputation. Congratulations!
I write this because my business is personal because this service is for the advancement of all humanity. My failures and successes are for your gain. No strings attached.
Nathan A. Webster, MBA
March 17, 2019
December 14, 2018
November 17, 2018