I remember watching Richard Branson’s reality show a few years ago. He put a bunch of entrepreneurs through crazy challenges and the winner won a position in his company. I thought he was a bit nuts at the time, but his business savvy was undeniable.
Entrepreneur Magazine recently published an article featuring Branson talking about how branding made him a billionaire.
When it comes to branding, marketers often think of expensive advertising campaigns or outrageous stunts. However, good branding comes down to just three things:
- Identify one or two core brand values that your company stands for. They must be values that your customers want and that you can deliver. For Branson’s Virgin music store, that includes providing good value and a great customer experience. He created a fun and engaging place where customers can buy music at a competitive price. Most executives are far too close to the inner workings of their company to be able to zero in on these values, so outside perspective is invaluable.
- Every new product or service must support your core brand values. As Branson notes in the article, “Though we receive proposals for almost every imaginable product and service – drinks, plastic surgery, clothing, restaurants, care for the elderly, even funeral services – we have a central team that evaluates each idea to see if it fits with our values and what consumers expect of Virgin.” Once you know what makes your business different and how you can deliver that to your customers, your decision-making process will be easier because you will have guideposts.
- Employees are your greatest brand advocates. Successful brands are only successful when every level of the organization is engaged in the process. At Virgin, the brand director has put together a structure to ensure that every company in the Virgin Group is aware of the company’s values and customers’ expectations. This includes providing brand training for all Virgin businesses and setting targets at call centers for customer satisfaction.
The entire article can be viewed here.
How does this fit with your branding effort?