A business is systems and processes.
A brand is the distinct and ownable value that those systems and processes bring to your customers and people.
When you start a business, what you want is for the business to ultimately run itself without you being there. When that happens, you have a business, and therefore it means that you can replicate it by being in more than one geographical area. Perhaps even better, these days, sometimes all you need is just one physical space and an online presence.
If you want to build a brand, you have to make sure that even if people don’t really know nor care about your systems and processes, what they do care about is their belief that you are the best if not the only option for whatever they may need.
What is value?
Value is the deep belief that even with many options, there’s only one place where your needs will be satisfied. Value is the smile you put on when you pay for something, and have the peace of mind that it will be worth it. Value is the return on investment for customers that can be either expected, unexpected or both.
How do you build value?
You have to do your homework. The concept of value is tightly linked to the concepts of distinction and differentiation. Why? Because value means what people get from you they don’t get anywhere else (at least that’s what they would believ), because if they did, then your service or product would just be a commodity in a competitive space. You would be just ‘one of…’.
Doing your homework means understanding and knowing what competitors offer, so that you will know how to offer it better or differently.
‘Value’ is the concept or idea of getting ‘more’. ‘More’ means doing things that are not part of the script, or taken for granted. For example, in your business, if you make it your unspoken rule to learn every customer’s name, you would be literally defining your brand’s value in the eyes of you customers. You’d be building a friendship, not a customer-client relationship.
Building a brand is not only about billboard advertising or social media posts, sometimes, and perhaps even more impactful, building a brand may simply come from how you design your service experience when you engage with customers. You can build an entire new way that people experience your brand or business. You can do this even if your competitors use the same systems and processes.
You can define your value going beyond systems and processes. Make people feel somthing bigger and better.