Branding is one of the most important parts of running a business and can make all the difference when competing in a global marketplace. Building a successful brand relies on laying a strong foundation and planning an effective strategy. Build a solid foundation for your business with these seven pillars of successful branding.

  1. Authenticity

Authenticity in business is crucial for building a trustworthy reputation with customers, suppliers and the general public. Openness, honesty and transparency are far more important than marketing gimmicks when it comes to long-term success.

Never make false claims or promises you can’t keep. Instead, focus on promoting your strengths and your brand values. Tell people about your business, including its history, successes and failures, using stories that show a human side to your company.

Provide profiles and photographs of the people involved in setting up and running your company, as this helps to build a stronger connection with your customers.

  1. Clarity

Every brand needs to have a clear message that prospects, customers, suppliers, the media and the general public will understand. The message should encapsulate your business vision and portray the right image for your company.

It’s important to test your message on friends, family, employees and other people to make sure that your message is clear and cannot be misunderstood.

An effective message is one that can be expressed in several different ways, such as through text, imagery, video and audio content. All elements of your branding, including logos, images, slogans, taglines, websites and social media profiles, should work together to reinforce your message.

  1. Distinction

Distinguishing your company from other similar companies is a crucial part of building, branding and marketing your business. In order to succeed, every business needs to stand out and provide something different from its competitors.

Trying to be the best in all areas of business rarely works, as your time and resources are limited, so try to focus on one main advantage (unique selling point) that your company has over your competitors.

Look for ways to improve on and promote your main selling point. Research successful companies to see how they use their selling points to encourage new prospects and returning customers to buy their products.

  1. Presence

Branding only works when prospects and customers are continually reminded of your brand. Maintaining an active presence on social media is one of the easiest, and cheapest, ways to stay in the minds of the general public. Using social media influencers to promote your brand can be highly effective for gaining publicity, although influencers will usually charge a fee or expect free goods in return.

Writing articles and blog posts for popular websites and blogs can also be useful, as it enables you to reach a wider audience and helps to establish your reputation. You can also use print and online media to your advantage by giving interviews and allowing journalists to write a profile of your company.

  1. Dependability

Customers want to buy from businesses they can trust. You need to show people that your business is reliable and consistent throughout all its operations, from the quality of your products to the effectiveness of your customer complaints procedure.

Consistency starts with your branding elements, so it’s important to use the same logos, slogans, images and designs across all of your websites, social media profiles and other platforms.

Always be professional when communicating with your customers, suppliers and the general public. Ignore online trolls and maintain a calm tone when dealing with angry customers, as angry exchanges can easily be made public, leading to bad publicity for your company.

  1. Flexibility

The most successful brands are able to adapt to changes in the marketplace and keep their brand relevant to customers. Changes in public opinion, politics, environmental policy and social concerns can all affect public perception of your brand.

Keeping up to date with current events and public opinion is important for anticipating changes that will affect your brand strategy. Being able to adapt to these changes is crucial for long-term success. Customer feedback forms and surveys can also be useful for gauging public reaction to your brand and looking for ways to improve your marketing activities.

  1. Security

Seeking legal advice on copyright law, trademarks, legal business structure and security measures you can take to protect your brand is essential for preventing content theft and fraud. Without adequate legal protection, other businesses could steal your ideas or even pretend to represent your company, potentially damaging your reputation. You should also seek legal advice on choosing the right kind of insurance to protect your business from theft, loss, lawsuits and other potential problems.

Branding is an essential part of running a business in a global marketplace. Authenticity, clarity, distinction, presence, dependability, flexibility and security are key pillars of successful branding. Paying attention to these seven pillars will provide a solid foundation for your brand, as well as your marketing campaigns.