One of the oldest McDonald's restaurants in Des Plaines, Ill. The restaurant chain was founded by Manchester, N.H., brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald in San Bernardino, Calif. (CHICAGO TRIBUNE)

Building a brand with staying power

It’s now easier than ever to launch a small business – 400,000 flood the market every year. But, how do you build a brand that will stand the test of time? This is no small task. Inspiring people to fall in love with something you’ve spent countless hours creating, sleepless nights worrying about, and who knows how much financially investing in, takes something special.

Start from a Place of Authenticity

You will never build a brand with staying power on a shaky foundation. Be honest with yourself about what your brand-purpose is. Listen carefully to your customers. What is your brand doing for them? How are you enriching their lives? Your marketing message will be powerful if you know you are providing something valuable to your customer.

Engage with Your Customers

The more you engage with your customers, the more they get to know your brand. Your engagement lets them know that there is a real person behind the business who cares about their needs and concerns. Engaging with your customers builds trust, and people buy from brands that they trust.

Speak to Your Ideal Customer

When you speak to everyone, you connect with no one. When you sit down to write for your brand, have a specific audience of people in mind and write your message to them. If you are successfully engaging with your customers online, you should have an idea of what they are looking for. People will engage with content that is solution-based, not product-based. Self-promotion without value negatively impacts your marketing.

Strive to be Number One

To have a brand with staying power, you should be striving to be number one in your category. That doesn’t mean that you have to take on a whole industry, it just means that you should target your niche and strive to offer the best you possibly can within that – you need to specialize in order to be the best. To stand out from the crowd, focus on what makes you unique from your competition.

Be Consistent

How long do you think your customers will stick around if your brand is unreliable? Remember that there are millions of options out there for your customer, so building a strong relationship with your customers is key. You need to provide exceptional customer service to keep your customers loyal to your brand. People need to see a consistent standard at every touchpoint of your brand and maintaining that standard lets people know what to expect.

There are many ways for you to build a brand that has staying power beyond what we covered here. But, hopefully these points will inspire you to get creative and direct you on a path toward making a brand that is focused on adding value to the lives of your customers.

Contact Union Leader for help creating a social media marketing strategy for your business.

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Retail/Classified Advertising
Jim Normandin

Advertising Services Manager
National/Major Accounts
Robin Wilson

Digital Sales Manager
Chris Durant

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