5 brand-building essentials to move from downturn to upswing

107750_sprout-322x300Now more than ever, people are looking for brands they can trust. Faced with uncertainty and insecurity, and forced to tighten our belts, trust has become a powerful motivator for choosing which businesses you prefer to deal with.

Strong brands build trust, and there’s never been a more important time to build your brand. Think of it as a long-term investment not an indulgence, not just a quick-fix but a way of doing business.

Apple posted record profits again this year, shipping iPhones and iPads in their millions. They are figures that would have been pretty impressive in a boom, but are a staggering achievement at a time when more than the economy is suffering its share of palpitations. Why? Rock solid reputation. They consistently deliver on their brand promise, and their brand building is an ongoing process regardless of economic conditions.

Sure they’ve got a budget to die for. But the big boys like Apple, McDonalds, Proctor & Gamble or Coca Cola do more than survive downturns, they thrive because they understand the power of brand building and keep at it.

You can too. Whether you’re working from a kitchen table, have 5 staff or 500, or you want to build your personal brand to boost your chances in the job market – these 5 essential brand building principles are a New Year must-do!

  • Give your brand a health check: What do you stand for? Are you authentic? Is your brand still relevant? What could make you irrestistible?
  • Cut through while others cut back: Capitalise on less noise in the marketplace, while countless businesses slashed marketing budgets and bunkered down. Look for opportunities to be seen and heard.
  • Dare to be different: You can choose to stand out or blend in. Build personality into your brand, be brave, dare to be talked about and remembered for all the right reasons.
  • Become more engaging: Forget the same old, same old things that everybody is doing and find more targeted and effective ways to genuinely connect with the people who matter. Open dialogues, build relationships.
  • Keep it consistent: Don’t confuse your audiences, they like to know what to expect. Consistency grows recognition, reputation, trust and ultimately profits.