When you begin your business, the first decision you will make and the first concept that will take form in your mind will be the most important. That first concept will remain with your company until the last day of its corporate life. Unless the company is regrouped, sold, or otherwise conceptually changed, this first thought will remain part of the day-to-day existence of the company. That first decision is your company brand. The brand is the visual markings, moral standings, and business reputation that your company will forever stand for.
A smart business owner fearlessly protects his brand. He ensures that when someone hears of his brand, they respect the brand and trust it. They want to be ranked with brands like Craftsman, Volvo, Carrier HVAC, Ford, and Federal Express. They work hard and expect their employees, and vendors to do their parts.
Does it really matter?
Of course, we all want everyone to know our name, but at the end of the day, isn’t value the real game-changer? In a word, no! There will always be people who will reach for the .99 cent special first. But, most of us feel that we get what we pay for. We look for value in quality, but we don’t look for junk. If we buy uniform clothing, we want it to hold its shape and color for the long term, not just for the grand opening. We want to trust the people we do business with.
Once established, our Brand is our Marketing
Consider a company like Apple. On the linked chart provided by Forbes, you can see how successful the Apple brand is. Apple spent a lot of money and a lot of time building its brand. Now consider another cash maker, the iPhone. Yes, the iPhone is a great venture. The iPhone has made millions and it is a great product. But many of the people who bought the iPhone simply bought it because It is made by Apple, (so they believed it had to be good). When you have reached that level, marketing is very often a personal concept shared within a family. Unless a person has a horrible experience which changes that, it is part of their mental makeup. This is the customer who says, “my grandpa drove a Chevy, my dad drove a Chevy, and I drive a Chevy!” It would take a lot to make this person buy a Ford.
Creating your place in the industry
In our modern world with technology advancing us to new heights, there are some companies that have grabbed hold and dug in. These companies took established concepts, combined with new opportunities, and created bigger and better ways for them to do the things they love.
Lottoland is a great example of this. Lottoland is the largest offshore casino company in the United Kingdom. Lottoland is the industry leader of online casinos in the world. They have lotteries in more than 30 countries, with a customer base of over 6-million people. Lottoland is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for achieving the world’s biggest online gambling payout.
Just by visiting their site, you can read that Lottoland is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GABA). Lottoland is the first online casino to be approved to have its own, legally owned, and licensed insurance company after securing approval from the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (FSC).
As you can see, Lottoland has grabbed hold of new technology, and dug in. They hired the best of the best in designing their casino games and lotteries and lottery programs. They have spared nothing to make their brand the highest of quality. They back up everything they say. Their customers are their top priorities. They are known by name.
In a situation like this one, trust is a main issue. The same can be said with many companies that operated virtually. As more and more companies move to virtual sales, people become concerned with who they can trust. Lottoland is completely transparent, and they are fully insured.
Other online companies are not as transparent. It takes time and effort to build your reputation. or name Your reputation must be solid before your brand is solid. Once you have gotten started, don’t let anything hold you back or turn you around.
Rebuilding Your reputation
Warren Buffett once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and about 5 minutes to ruin it.” No matter what happens to damage your name, deal with it quickly. If you need to hire a professional, do it. It is worth it to save all your hard work. We all make mistakes. Your mistakes will follow you throughout your success. Be prepared to address them. Show no fear. This is the price you pay to create a brand that works for you. With the right frame of mind. You will make it. Your brand will live on long after you have gone on. It truly is your legacy.