Brands are still powerful. Building a solid brand is still a noble – and profitable – pursuit. You should work to build as strong a brand as you can and then work to make it even stronger, because a good brand is indeed money in the bank. It’s like having a printing press on which you can print your own money, in fact. (More on that here.)
That’s the good news. The bad news is, this brand of “yours” really isn’t yours any more. Brands are owned by the customers, not us. We can work all the live-long day to try to develop the perception we want them to have of us, but when it’s all said and done, the customer gets the last word. You may be thinking that this has, ultimately, always been the case, and you’d be right. What is different today is the kind of access customers have to their own media empire thanks to such tools as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Pintrest, and any of a number of other online forums in which they can express their opinions, good or bad, to their spheres of influence. All with just a few clicks.
So what’s the answer? Well, as we’ve said before, if you want more business, do GOOD business. Do the kind of business people will like so much they’ll want to come back, that will get them to proudly tell others they are your customer, and that will lead them to use their ever-growing digital influence to tell others they should become your customer, too.
As we’ve also said before, it may not be easy, but it is that simple.
The brand is any association the customer can have with your product.” – Philip Kotler