AUTHENTICITY IN BRANDING
When I think about authenticity in branding, Coca-Cola immediately comes to mind. “Coke is the real thing.” The crucial ingredient in the success of any brand is its claim to authenticity.
Credentials are the collateral you put up to guarantee the performance of your brand. When you have the right credentials, your prospect is likely to believe almost anything you say about your brand. Companies like Visa, Apple, and Microsoft all have credentials because they are widely perceived to be the leading brands in their categories.
If your business category already exists, you can still become a leader by making a slight but important change in the product or service, and then work to establish the needed credentials.
The key word is leadership; each of the companies I referred to are recognized as leaders in their field. IN order to grow a successful business, it may not be enough to sell benefits to your target market. Establishing yourself as the leader in that category should be the real goal. Once you establish yourself as the leader, that top spot in your category is hard to lose.
In today’s world of instant communication most small business owners work hard at selling “the difference” while spending no time on establishing leadership. With many new products and services being developed on an almost daily basis, the opportunity to identify yourself as the leader in your industry is tremendous.
Establishing credibility requires an effort. The following are several suggestions on how to achieve your goal:
- Get publicity, be seen in the media.
- Public speaking.
- Publish a book or white paper.
- Be seen.
- Get testimonials.
- Take a leadership position in a visible community activity.
Remember, your brand should be visible in everything you do, every day, all the time. Your values form the basis for your outreach program. Make sure that they become part of your story.
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