Recently I saw an online post wondering how a cubed sugar brand had managed to retain market supremacy for over 30 years, with no adverts or rebranding. As I pondered on their business strategy the first obvious answer was that they had a enjoyed a clear monopoly before other brands came into the market as they were probably the only cubed sugar in West African markets for years. While one may not have the good fortune to be the pioneer in a field or business we can definitely do many other things to get and maintain customer loyalty. Here are a few major lessons that may just help build a successful brand.
Keep it simple
Have you ever seen someone wearing an outfit with too many contrasting bright colours and almost felt like shutting your eyes in pain? That’s what happens when you overload your logo or product design. When designing your corporate logo or brand identity try to ensure the design is aesthically pleasing with simplicity being your watchword. The fact that a brand has too much going on, may actually be a turn-off. You should consider hiring a professional to help you design something simple with the right colour combo. Truly, many times, less is more and the beauty is in keeping things simple.
Let this be your watchword. Never be tempted to allow anything below standard fall into the hands of a client even if they seem not to mind. A clear example is an experience I had with a friend who makes some of my clothes; one day I was in a hurry and after fitting an outfit that had one or two glitches I told her it was ok and I would manage it. She refused to let me take it saying she would quickly fix it as if anyone saw those flaws they would assume that was her standard. Even when you are giving away freebies make sure they are the same quality as you regular goods, as when its being assessed by the market no one will care whether it was paid for or not. When you refuse to compromise on quality people will trust your brand, remain loyal and spread the word.
Change is not always good
People trust what they know, so while some change is necessary some things are better the same. A good example is not changing quality (except if for the better). Another one is not changing your corporate logo or brand identity. If you have a corporate identity that has been working for you then re-branding may do more harm than good by causing customer confusion as they will wonder if it’s the same brand. If you must change anything listen to your heart (and your customers) and only change what is necessary.
Of course there are many other things you can do to grow a successful brand but these are just a few I learnt from a pack of sugar! What other branding secrets have helped you grow your personal brand or business?
*first written in 2016 and published on Bellanaija