“Identity is cause; 
brand is effect.”

Larry Ackerman

Branding should both precede and underlie any marketing effort. Branding is not push, but pull, it is the expression of the essential truth or value of an organisation, product, or service. It is communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what this particular brand is and is not.

A brand will help encourage someone to buy a product or service and it directly supports whatever sales or marketing activities are in play, but the brand does not explicitly say “buy me.” Instead, it says “This is what I am. This is why I exist. If you agree, if you like me, you can buy me, support me, and recommend me to your friends.


Branding is as vital to the success of a business or nonprofit organisation as having financial coherence, a vision for the future, or quality employees.


Does branding have a cost?

It is the essential foundation for a successful operation. So yes, it’s a cost centre, like good employees, financial experts, and business or organisational innovators. They are cost centres, but what is REALLY costly, is not having them, or to have substandard ones.

10 Tips to Help You Build and Grow a Brand

  1. Define your brand

  2. Stand out

  3. Have great products and services

  4. Build a personality behind the product

  5. Get your name and logo right

  6. Tone of voice

  7. Build community around what you do

  8. Be an advocate for your business – not just a salesman

  9. Be reliable

  10. Have a Value Proposition

Improve your branding 



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Define your brand

First, it’s important to understand that your brand is much more than your logo, merchandising or products. It is about the sum total of the experiences customers have with your business. 


Stand out

Standing out means being different. If your brand is going to be strong, you need to be able to pinpoint what it is that makes what you do unique. What differentiates you from others in your industry?


Have great products and services

Having great products and services that people talk about is a critical part of your brand and why you are in business.  Don’t lose sight of your product – keep refining it, testing new offerings, and making sure you always put product first, not the money it brings in.


Build a personality behind the product

Your business needs to be able to function without your constant presence, but it’s important to strike a balance – find ways to make sure your customers know you and connect with the face behind the business. 


Get your name and logo right

This is essential to brand recognition and it’s important to get it right the first time (changing your name and logo can be costly down the road). Your logo and name should be easily recognisable and reflect the nature and tone of your business as well as appeal to your target market.


Tone of voice

A great way to ensure your distinct brand message is delivered consistently across your business, is to focus on how you and your employees interact and communicate with customers – in-person, on the phone and on social media.


Build community around what you do

A successful brand is one that is trusted and respected by customers – building a strong community online and off can help you achieve this.


Be an advocate for your business –
not just a salesman

Selling takes many forms – and being a brand advocate brings them all together. Make sure people understand what you do, what your products have done for people, your methods and mission. Invite people in!


Be reliable

Letting your customers down by failing to live up to your own promises and brand standards can be particularly harmful for businesses. The foundation of brand loyalty lies in great service – a happy customer is a loyal customer. 


Have a value proposition

Value, not to be mistaken with price, can help define your brand and differentiate you from the competition. What niche do you serve? What do you do well in that niche that makes you different from everyone else? What are the emotional benefits of what you do? The answers to these questions will help define what your value is to your customers – it could be your great customer service, product quality, innovation, or any combination of these.