You only get one chance to make a first impression. For your business, your brand is all about the impression you make. What reputation does your company have? Is it consistent and does it establish trust and credibility? Your brand should embody the core of what the business is and its values. Customers connect emotively because they share the same values and beliefs of a brand. If managed correctly, a successful brand could lead to brand differentiation, loyalty, advocacy and eventually higher sales. Your brand lives in everyday interactions with your customers, the images you share, the messages you post on your website, the content of your marketing materials, and in your posts on social networks.

Here are the top 5 tips to consider when managing your company’s brand:

  1. Build great products and services.

The number one reason people write about brands is to share experiences about a company’s product or services. A great company message or design can’t hide a bad offering. First things first, be the best at what you do. Once you are the best, make sure you keep that spot.

Some companies stop focusing on building great products and services when they become successful but even a strong brand will fail if it creates a substandard product or service.

  1. Be unique.

What’s your story? What do you do that others in your industry do not do? What makes you different? To stand out, your business has to be unique and do things differently. Review the product or service your business offers, and highlight your competitive advantage. Make sure your offerings speak to the emotions, needs and concerns of your customers. Your brand should be able to successfully promote your business, connect with your customer base and differentiate you in the market.

  1. Find your voice.

How you say things is just as important as what you say. What personality does your company’s brand have? Your company’s “voice” is the language and personality you will use to deliver your branding message and reach your customers. The most successful brands speak with a unique voice. Virgin Mobile does an excellent job at communicating with their target audience of millennials aged 16-25. An informal, casual and sometimes playful tone gets their message across perfectly.

  1. Be consistent.

To build and maintain a strong brand, you must be consistent in presenting your brand. Whether it’s your company voice on different social media channels, logo, design, marketing materials, website, or in person presentations, consistency is key. Brand consistency leads to familiarity, and familiarity leads to trust.

  1. Aim to build long-term relationships with your customers.

Create trust with honest branding and make sure you keep your company promises. Uphold your values and deliver the best offerings to meet the needs and concerns of your customers. Like any other successful relationship, keep the communication channels open. Use multiple platforms and tools to engage your target audience and keep the conversation going.

In reality, branding is managing the thoughts and feelings of your customers to ensure that you are what they desire. As you think about the value your company delivers, make sure you consider your company’s brand reputation. Make sure all of the benefits that you provide are communicated and speak to the emotions and needs of your target audience. Without a strong brand, your company can get lost in its market. What branding tips would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!