Success In Design Business: How To Become A Brand
To create a successful, long lasting business, you need to be more than a business. You need to be a brand. The terms 'business' and 'brand' are often used interchangeably, but the fact is that not all businesses are brands. So, what is it that differentiates a brand from a business?
A brand is a signature that makes a product distinct from similar products in the market. Successful brands are perceived as unique; they always deliver high quality products and soon become icons that are easily recognised. The names of such brands are identified at a deeper emotional level, with an image that sticks.
Establishing Your Brand
This article on the Entrepreneur, mentions that for a business to become a brand it has to transcend its original category. This means that the business name should become a symbol that people identify with, even when the business grows in a different direction or new products are different from the original line. Lego is an excellent example; what began as well-engineered building blocks for children, later expanded into movies, video games and even amusement parks that have all enhanced the reputation of the brand.
Building a brand is not easy. It is always work in progress. Many businesses start off well, but once the novelty of the product wears off, they struggle to survive. This is because their owners fail to update their strategy and play up to the customer's expectations. This Forbes article suggests the following tips to ensure our business grows, and doesn't become stagnant:
- Continuously update and revamp the existing line with changing trends.
- Offer add-ons or additional services that will encourage previous customers to keep visiting.
- Be bold to experiment with out-of-the-box ideas, so you find more business avenues.
- Understand the pulse of the customer, and design products to meet their expectations.
- Study successes and failures closely, find out what caused them, and plan the business strategy accordingly.
This just scratches the surface of creating a business that has longevity. But we're talking about creating more than this, we're talking about creating a brand. There are various ways in which to grow a business into a brand. Let us take a look.
Ways To Grow Your Brand
When building a brand, your target should be to define our business to a community of people. For this, the product should come across as a distinct entity with a recognisable personality and interesting characteristics. You need to have a strategy. Your strategic brand building should aim to allow customers to emotionally connect with your brand. This will in turn build brand loyalty and improve the scope for extending your range of products. Here are a few examples of what I mean by Strategic Brand Building:
Joining forces with the right partner through collaboration, can enhance the growth prospects of a brand manifold. It allows the two companies to share resources, try innovative ideas, launch unique co-branded products, attract a wider audience and meet baseline target sales.
When launching a collaboration, it is necessary that the goals and objectives of both companies are in alignment and that both brands deliver a consistent message. The integration should be seamless, and for this the partnership should be planned well in advance. Read more about how to build a successful brand collaboration in this article on the Marketer.
Brand extension simply means to extend your brand name to a new and different product. For brand extension to be successful, there should be a logical link between the parent product and the new one. When this is established, the consumer associates the new product with the reputation of the original brand, and this encourages them to accept the new offering.
Last but not the least, licensing is an effective brand-building strategy. It helps to leverage the value of a brand, and protect the intellectual property rights associated with it. Without licensing approval, you are at risk of being ripped off. Anyone can take your intellectual property and use it without signing a license, if you can't provide proof of ownership.
Avoid this by taking care of the legal stuff like trademarks and copyrights, so the ownership remains with you. Then you can begin to build your brand through licensing.
Licensing agents have knowledge of the marketplace and the skills to convert a brilliant concept or unique creation into money. They can help identify the scope of your product, the partnerships that will benefit you and the right terms and conditions for any licensing contract.
Types Of Licensing Contracts, Benefits & Considerations
Before scouting out license partners, you should first have a clear idea of the type of agreement you want to enter into. Where remuneration is concerned, you can either choose a paid-up license where you receive a lump-sum amount initially, or a running royalty.
To make the right choice, consider the long-term relationship and if it will be a fair deal. Explore the potential our IP holds for the licensee, the profits they can make and expenses that will be incurred, when citing a royalty fee. The price should be based on industry standards, and deal with exclusivity clauses diligently. Finally, give due consideration to how your IP will be protected, if the licensee sells to a new buyer or files for bankruptcy.
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