This article is about what factors make a good brand, brand building steps, how to be a reliable brand and how to build brand reputation. Broadly speaking, a brand is created by augmenting a core product with values that distinguish it from the competition. Brand building involves an understanding of the various values that customers use when choosing between brands. To be a brand that consistently meets the needs of your customers, there are some factors that are mandatory to keep in mind. These are also the key metrics which awards, feedback forms and reviews focus on when it comes to brand experience, both from an employee and customer perspective.

1. Reputation

Reputation as a factor that makes a good brand might seem counterintuitive at first; after all, don’t you have to be a good brand before attaining a good reputation? Brand reputation is created by following a certain set of rules, which means that if your brand has a good reputation, it delivers on some key metrics. There are many articles which detail specifically on these metrics, but we will only provide a gist here to present a broad overview:

i. Honesty about brand offerings, which means that your brand never over promises and under-delivers.

ii. Solve a real problem, which means that your brand offering adds value to society.

iii. Prioritise customer service, which includes interacting with customers directly and ensuring that the customer feels looked after when they transact with your business.

iv. Responsive brand solutions, which means that your brand quickly reacts to customer feedback to improve customer experience.

2. Credibility and Accountability

The ultimate way to build credibility over time is to have top-tier products and industry-leading customer service. For example, people like the iPhone because it is a good phone. If the iPhone was a bad product with only the brand hype, people would not purchase it. To build credibility, your product should consistently deliver. A single defective iPhone or a memorably bad customer experience can be far more impactful than any number of amazing products and customer reviews.

Another important way to build credibility is to form strategic partnerships and business alliances. Done well, these will allow you to rapidly expand your network, get your business’ name out there and showcase you as trustworthy. However, this can only work if your company is accountable. This means that you admit to making mistakes when you do, instead of trying poor cover-ups. This will also work to humanise your company, instead of simply being seen as another player in the market.

3. Experience

Building relevant experience can be difficult, especially if you are just starting out as a new business. It is thus important to keep your core business values in place before you start seriously getting into business development. This includes a thorough analysis of your current skill-set and resource pool, a consolidation of your team’s technical know-how and leveraging this knowledge to solve problems in a measurable way.

By setting out your goals in writing and carving out a niche target audience, your business can quickly gain relevant experience by catering to clients that you are well-equipped to serve. As your business grows, you can always make changes to your target market so that you have room to diversify.

4. Availability and Professionalism

Availability is vague when compared to some of the other concrete factors, but is nonetheless very important. It is the characteristic of a business that is committed to performing the designated or required function. It is an aggregate of your business’ accessibility, reliability, maintainability, serviceability, and securability. This means that your business should commit resources to ensure that a task is completed on time and assuring quality output.

Professionalism is important here because availability also means that your business’ employees are committed to the job at hand, and know how to tend to customer needs. Professionalism, both from an individual employee and business standpoint, is crucial to ensure that your business is well-perceived by your existing and potential customers.

5. Transparency

With an increased commitment to customer trust businesses are held to a higher standard,. With online platforms like social media, review sites, and discussion forums, transparency is crucial to business growth and success. Transparency in business is essential. As a business, you make a commitment to your customers, investors and employees to provide the best product and service. To build a rapport with your customers based on trust, showcasing end-to-end process timelines and adherence to the same is a good way to be transparent. If your business is honest and straightforward, you may see a rise in your customer base; one study found that 94% of consumers would be loyal to a transparent brand.

Clearly, each of these five factors is key to ensure that your brand sustains itself in the long run. Your business should find the right blend of the factors that work well for you and your business targets.

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