Appearances are everything: Quality is king: Find a niche: Be creative

One of the most important tools any business can have on its side is a powerful and instantly recognisable brand.

The very best businesses are the ones that send out the message to customers that they are buying into quality. Customers have the ability to emotionally invest in their brands and will return time and again.

Top brands can take years to build, but the rewards for a business will make up for all the effort and hard work. Here are some tips for building a great brand.

Appearances are everything:

When I first started out in business, I was determined to get an office in one of the best parts of London, as a Mayfair address was great to put on a business card. It meant that it was easier to impress potential clients and people felt that they were dealing with a serious and professional outfit. In reality, I was operating from nothing more than a broom cupboard, as that was all I could afford. But as I arranged for all meetings to take place away from the office, nobody ever knew this.

Quality is King:

Customers are becoming better informed and a lot choosier in their habits. They want to know that they are getting value and quality for their hard-earned money. In the past it may have been possible to get away with a sub-standard product or service in the short term, but it is almost impossible now. The reality is that the best kind of marketing is word of mouth and recommendation. If you provide a top-class service, then people will know about it and the benefits to your business will be endless. That means that if you want to own the top brand then you have to have the best product or service.

Find a niche:

For small operators it can be tough to break into established marketplaces. If you are a new company going up against the big boys, the best way forward can be to find a niche that no one else is exploiting. Become the best in that particular area, and once you have established a foothold, then you can start to think about expanding your customer base and building an even better brand.

Be creative:

New ideas and concepts are like gold dust and it can be tough to come up with a unique brand or concept. The trick is to look out there at the marketplace and see what is on offer. It is far easier to add a new twist to something that already exists. Look at your USP. It could be that you’re faster, cheaper or more efficient than your competitors, or that your customer service is superior. Whatever makes you stand out from the crowd and adds value to your customers is what you must communicate – this will be the foundation of the brand you build.