Neil writes a regular feature in the UK's Gift Focus Trade Magazine answering people related questions.

Here is the latest article and if you want to see the actual Gift Focus Magazine ... here is the link.

Q.  Many people are talking about building their own Company brand these days … but how do I get my own people to actually deliver my brand?
A.  A great question, and one that is indeed highly topical.  It seems every business has a ‘strapline’ these days explaining what they are trying to offer their customers.  How many times, though, when you read ‘going that extra mile’ or similar on the shop window do you experience the opposite when you enter.
The first step to building your brand is to define what it is you are striving to offer – how you are trying to be different.  Always consider that your brand needs to be consistent for every customer touch point: the service you offer, your own product if you have one, your shop layout, your website, your answer phone message and also, and importantly, the way you all work together as a team.  As an example of this last point, how many times have you seen a business who talk about being friendly to their customers and yet run their own business with a rod of iron?
At from you to me we have 5 clear company values at the heart of our brand and these are: Partnership, Personal Growth, Prosperity, Enjoyment and Open Communication.  If you know our products you will know that these values are intrinsic in them all but they are also a key part of how we try to work with our customers, suppliers as well as internally with our own team.
We are proud of our brand and we tell people about it. We also need to live up to it with everything we do.
We have spent a lot of time developing this and there are more words behind these that define what each means.  This helps us to articulate our brand to those that need to know and to measure whether we are being successful.  It also helps when it comes to recruitment of the right people with the right behaviours and approach as well as with identifying training needs.

Your brand is what differentiates you, so invest time in this and make it a day to day part of your business. Don’t just have another ‘unbelievable’ strapline on your door!