30. January 2017 -

Dave Walmsley, MD Palletways

Like the rest of you, I spent much of the last week watching Donald Trump move from being a business tycoon to becoming the most powerful politician on earth with an army at his disposal! I would not dream of debating politics over the dinner table so certainly I won't start here... However, whether you are in favour of Trump or not, one thing it did make me think about was the importance of brand. There is no doubting that his skillful branding and the powerful brand TRUMP (both personal and business) helped with his rise to power.

What does this tell us about the significant role brand plays in the success of our own businesses.

First of all, a brand will create recognition. Something Trump uses to his huge advantage. Brand recognition isn’t just about a striking logo or a catchy strapline. Yes, this helps, but more important is the brand awareness you create when people see your brand, and what it says to them. Look at some of the world’s most successful brands including Trump. They have created a capital around their brand that speaks to potential customers. What do you think when you see McDonalds, Jaguar, Apple? The list goes on. Just by mentioning these names they are instantly recognisable to you, not just their logos! You associate those brands with a product and a story. This is where they have been successful in building that brand awareness. They have focussed and invested to ensure they are continuously visible and in the psyche of the consumer. Trump is no different.

A brand therefore must be recognised as offering value.

Each of the brands above strives to associate their brand with providing value and are successful in doing so. The same should be true of any business. It is therefore important to ensure your brand is associated with value to the consumer. Without it you don’t have a brand. Value can be viewed in a variety of forms. For example, value for money or quality of service are two ways we can work value into our brands. Your brand should speak to your customers and show them what value that brand can offer. Basically, why choose this brand. Ensure your company offers a superior brand experience to your customers and build that brand value. Trump is mastering this in his role as a politician too – ‘making America great again’. His customers (voters) are completely bought in to the value they believe (rightly or wrongly) that he can offer!

Present authenticity and trust.

Above all your brand must be genuine and sincere. You must do ‘exactly what it says on the tin’ as the famous phrase goes! Create the expectations for your brand and meet them every time. This is how you will gain trust and repeat custom. Sincerity from a brand is what consumers look for the most. When your brand is seen as trustworthy customers will stay loyal to it. This is perhaps where many perceive the Trump brand might be fail in its new venture into politics and could ultimately prove to be costly to the business but as I said at the start of this article...that’s a topic for people with much more knowledge on the subject than me !

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