Brand Building

Brand Building, 15 Short Term Ways to Build Your Brand for the Long Term

In adversity, there are short term things you can do which will help brand building for the long term. Not only will it help you improve short-term business results, it can build a strong brand foundation for long term business success. 

Here we’re sharing fifteen ways you can improve your brand building in the short term for long term success.

1. Conducting A Simple Copy Review Helps Your Brand Building

As with any endeavour in life, measuring your performance helps you evaluate if you are on track and where you need to adjust your course to improve. Large brands do formal reviews of their advertising “copy”, to assess it against criteria such as how consistent it is with the master brand strategy document and brand guidelines and how effective it is. They use this to inform decisions on how to move their brand building and marketing campaigns forward.

Even a small or modestly resourced SME brand can conduct a simple copy review of recent communications, from its website to brand collateral like leaflets, brochures, video scripts, social media content, adverts, sales scripts and even business cards and informal social media posts. 

Every well developed brand with a brand strategy has its own signature language which needs to be balanced to match the moment whether that’s a seasonal occasion, cultural context or when communicating in adversity or a crisis

Related: Branding Psychology in Adversity – 7 Ways You Can Embrace Behavioural Shifts to Grow Your Business

2. Identify and Train Brand Ambassadors so You Can Fuel Your Brand Building

A brand ambassador is used to build a brand’s credibility and awareness within a chosen target market. It might be because they are well known, or because they have some specific claim to expertise, for example a doctor, artist or homemaker. Sometimes they will be well-known for this already, but other ambassadors are less well-known and the brand introduces them in its brand communication, giving some reason as to why they are credible in this field.

You don’t actually need someone famous or expensive to be one of your brand ambassadors, it could be an existing customer, like Avon use, or someone locally respected or even a thoroughly brand inducted member of your team with a strong online presence relevant to your brand offering.

A brand ambassador can help amplify your message, especially within a specialist  or close-knit community and they don’t have to cost a lot. In fact, sometimes they will be happy to work with you for free, in return for a discount, input into your products or other benefit in kind.

Brand Building

Image via Metro © Walkers

So, a big consumer brand like Walkers crisps uses a well-known celebrity like Gary Lineker to help differentiate what at the product level is a similar offering to that of competitors.

Related: How to Use Influencers to Grow Your Brand and Open New Markets

But B2B brands have also had success using brand influencers as a form of brand ambassador. In fact, Forbes magazine describes influencer marketing as the “next hottest thing” when it comes to B2B marketing [1], drawing on the principles of what makes brand ambassadors successful at brand building. Dell has launched a podcast called Dell Luminaries, hosted by two B2B IT influencers.

Brand Building

© Dell, Luminaries

We know that sometimes it’s a struggle to build a brand strategy that really engages your ideal customers effectively, particularly in adversity, so we’ve developed three different ways of working with us to help you build your brand, depending on your preferences, so if you’d like us to:

  1. Build your brand for you – find out more here or get in touch [email protected] or ring +353 1 8322724
  2. Empower you to build your brand – check out the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind here. This is a live, interactive programme online where you work on your brand with us codifying and mapping out your brand strategy for business growth. Alternatively, join our online half-day Branding Accelerator Masterclass for a fast-injection of brand building essentials. Ask about our Personal and Corporate Leadership Brand Alignment Masterclass
  3. Want a DIY solution? Check out our how to build a brand eprogramme here and our how to audit your brand yourself eprogramme here

3. Increasing Your Marketing Push Behind Your Biggest Successes Supports Brand Building

Nothing succeeds like success. A lot of businesses take their cash cows for granted and spend disproportionate marketing effort on their problem children – the slow moving lines or difficult to explain brand positioning

But customers are already giving you feedback – your best selling product or service is obviously meeting some demand and your ideal people like it.

Cutting back on marginal brand building activity and devoting more time and resources to your biggest success can help compound your success further.

Crafting Minds, a successful SME business in Romania and now moving into the US market, was forced to engage in a radical re-evaluation of its offering and how it marketed and supplied its services to its customers in the midst of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Brand Building

© Crafting Minds

The business, founded and run by Camelia Păduraru, empowers managers and entrepreneurs to claim more of who they are and create the success they want through enlightening NLP training and coaching experiences. 

With their three signature core deep dive programmes running between 9-18 days in a highly experiential format offline they suddenly had to find a new way of not only delivering these programmes but also marketing, reaching and engaging their primary target audience. 

The transition required a big internal and external shift in a matter of weeks. Crafting Minds doubled down and really focussed their marketing push entirely online around their core ‘service’ using live streaming online ‘events’ to market and engage their primary customers. 

Brand Building

© Crafting Minds

They also took what was an entirely offline experiential programme and transformed it into a 10 day live online programme. Suffice to say, they sold out and ran ten full consecutive days to great acclaim. 

So reevaluate where you already have your best performing ‘products’ generating your strongest revenue streams and leverage them more with marketing support.

4. Brand Building Through Ranking Your Sales Channels in Terms of Brand Fit

A lot of brands rely on different sales channels. This is true not just for products, but also services: recommendations from different intermediaries bring in new business, whether it’s a broker or a firm you sometimes work with on bids. 

But while some sales channels are a good fit for the brand image you want to project, others are not. You might hit your monthly sales target by offloading spare product at the Sunday market, but you know it damages your brand longer term.

It can be helpful to make a list of your sales channels (already a useful task, incidentally) and then rank them from best to worst fit in terms of brand alignment, congruence and margin. 

Using this list, re-evaluate how you can expand the relationship in the channels which are the best fit. Also consider what to do about the sales channels which are the worst fit: can you improve them somehow, for example in their knowledge or presentation of your brand?

Brand Building

Image via The Sun, © Greggs

An interesting case study is Gregg’s, the well-known high street bakery chain. It stocks hot items in some convenience shops which are non-competing, but in supermarkets near its stores only sells frozen items. By giving supermarket shoppers the chance to buy frozen food for home use but not ready to eat hot products that it sells in its own stores, the company is gaining incremental business which doesn’t threaten its own ‘fresh’ takeaway business.

5. Engaging with Your Complainers Can Help Brand Building

Every brand has its share of people complaining about it. These can be existing customers and ex-customers but they can also be disgruntled neighbours and jealous competitors. 

A strong brand should have a ‘Marmite™ factor’ i.e. those who love it and dislike it because if you’re nothing more than an average vanilla ‘brand’ you’re typically unremarkable, forgettable and prone to being bought on a price-based decision (the cheapest gets the sale). When people complain about your brand it demonstrates some engagement with it, so it’s something you can potentially harness positively.

Trying to understand the complaints and decide whether they are worth dealing with can be a valuable free lesson because it gives you insights enabling you to improve your offering. 

Related: 4 Ways You Can Be More Customer-Centric to Grow Your Business

Frequently the feedback whether its favourable or unfavorable has some validity, even if you don’t agree with all parts of it. Into the bargain, making dissatisfied customers feel listened to will often help to restore their perception of your brand.

Brand Building

Image via Press Gazette, © TheGuardian

A case study of this is provided by The Guardian newspaper, which has a “readers’ editor”. This is part of its decades-long brand ethos which is, that it takes the full picture to fully understand what is going on, both sides of the equation – invaluable in today’s world of increased divisiveness and ‘fake news’. 

Related: The Magic Words, 7 Ways to Appreciate Your Customers

6. Conducting a Brand Audit is a Highly Effective Tool in Your Brand Building

If you want to set yourself up for success be that financially, in your health or in education, you would periodically take stock of your situation and assess your fitness for that task. A brand audit health check is exactly the same! 

A brand audit is a way to take a temperature check on how your brand is performing against some key metrics. What could it do better, what are its strengths, how does it look compared to competitors? 

As a brand owner, some of this will already be intuitively in your head but taking a methodical, objective analytical approach can help deliver immediately actionable next steps. It also addresses your blind spots, the things you don’t see that can make a massive difference. 

A simple way to think about this with short-term impact is “stop, start, continue”: what does the brand need to stop doing, what should it start doing and what should it continue to do? A brand audit is powerful because it provides fast tangible action steps.

Related: How Healthy Is Your Brand? 7 Vital Signs to Measure Today Using a Brand Audit Health Check

7. Wargame Your Brand Marketing Plan as a Brand Building Tool

It is easy to see the world from your own point of view, but it can also be limiting and potentially highly risky because one perspective can place restrictions on your brand building. 

Big brands often run “war game” or exercises where team members pretend to represent other brands and design a marketing plan to beat their own brand.

Brand Building

Image via © McKinsey & Co

This is really helpful for a number of reasons. Not only does it help strengthen your own brand, but it also forces you to get out into  the market and brush up your knowledge on your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. 

No matter how well you think you know your market, there is almost always something new to learn, which is why big consultancies like McKinsey use wargames with their business clients [2].

Related: Leading in Adversity – 10 Practical Steps to Make Your Brand Work Harder to Grow Your Sales

Are you a business leader, manager or entrepreneur who wants to re-evaluate or build your brand strategy so you can lead in adversity to increase your sales? Are you curious about how to re-evaluate, build, adapt or scale a highly successful standout brand? Join one of our live, interactive online branding masterclasses because they empower you to build your brand, enhance customer experience, expand your market impact and create higher perceived value so you can command a premium.

In fact, the live, interactive online Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind is all about fast-tracking you, your brand and your business through the brand building, agile branding strategy process using professional big-brand know-how with proven systems that get results so you can grow your business faster and more effectively.

The programme enables you to make your brand highly visible, different, credible, trustworthy, memorable and much loved amongst your ideal customers so you can become more profitable and leave your competitors way behind. Be The One — your ideal customers’ favourite brand of preferred choice commanding a premium.

If you want a tailor-made solution specifically for your brand then we also provide inhouse bespoke Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Intensives working with you and your team so you can grow your business faster and more profitably. Contact us to discover more [email protected] or +353 1 8322724


Branding Psychology


8. Use a Brand Sign-Off Process to Support Brand Building and Mitigate Risk

Different people producing brand collateral can easily produce items which look similar but aren’t quite the same. That confuses your brand in your customers’ eyes which in turn undermines trust. 

Successful brands usually have brand guidelines or brand style guides – a set of well thought-out guidelines about things such as the brand tone of voice and its visual identity.

Related: What’s a Brand Guide and How Can it Help Your Business?

Whether or not you think brand guidelines are for you right now, a simple sign-off process can help deliver some of the same benefits. Implement a procedure that requires all branded collateral to pass through one gatekeeper for sign-off before it goes into production or publication. That will help you ensure consistency and prevent your brand from unintentionally being sabotaged.

Brand Building

Image via Hull Daily Mail, © Morrisons

The U.K. supermarket Morrison’s is a multi-billion pound enterprise, but for decades its founder insisted on signing every cheque above 3,000 pounds personally, as a way of seeing what was going on right across the company.

9. Brand Building by Rewriting Your Last Brand Packaging Brief

Did your last piece of brand packaging wow customers the way you wanted? No matter how hard we try, it often seems that after the event it is easy to say that we would have done something differently. 

So, go back to your last written packaging brief, with the finished product in hand, and ask yourself: knowing what you do now, what would you have added into that brief for a more powerful result?

Brand Building

Image via Amazon © Nivea

An instructive example is provided by personal care brand Nivea, a leading global brand with significant longevity. Nivea redesigned its existing brand packaging to make it more sustainable but in line with its existing brand. They managed to reduce packaging by 15%, which represents a cost saving even before any incremental sales are considered.

10. Mapping Your Customer Experience Journey Helps Brand Building

Customer experience is a critical part of many B2B brands, as well as B2C ones. Figuring out how your customer experience conveys, represents and expresses your brand can help your brand building.

A useful tool for this is a customer journey map. These can be detailed and sophisticated, but even a simple version is helpful. Simply make a map of all the steps customers go through, from first awareness of your brand, through gathering information, to making a choice, buying, and beyond. For each stage note down what is positive about your customer experience and what is negative. This helps you identify areas where you need to improve and optimize your customer experience to be consistent with your brand. An example is given in the video below.

Related: Top 10 Brands for Customer Experience and What You Can Learn From Them

11. Brand Building by Making a List of Things You Want to Learn about Your Customers

You can never know too much about your customers. Understanding their needs and desires, their consideration set, and what they like and dislike about your brand helps your brand building and so strengthens your brand’s long-term appeal – and your commercial longevity.

Consider what you know already and then what you would like to discover. For the list of things you would like to find out, what steps could you take to close your knowledge gap?

Related: Increase Sales Using Buyer Personas, Your Guide to Understanding and Targeting Your Ideal Customers

12. Attend a Trade Fair for Brand Building Inspiration

A lot of people don’t like trade fairs because they can be busy, tiring and of mixed quality. But a good trade fair always delivers some useful insights. You can evaluate the state of your industry, find out what your competitors are doing, meet customers and see the latest launches all under one roof in a fairly time-efficient context.

Even if you don’t want to exhibit, just attending your industry’s biggest trade fair is bound to give you some stimulus and inspiration for your brand development.

13. Put Your Brand Purpose Front and Centre to Help Your Brand Building

Brand purpose is a buzz topic – it’s always been important but is becoming even more critical because it’s statistically proven to drive growth and nurture customer loyalty – particularly in hostile trading environments. 

Making more of your own brand purpose helps burnish what your brand stands for – so helping it stand out from the crowd. In fact, Kantar research shows that brands with a purpose grow twice as fast as those without [3]. Consumer goods giant Unilever also says that its purpose-led brands are growing faster than those without a purpose [4]. In fact, 28 brands in its portfolio of 1,000 brands used by 2.5 Bn people globally generate 75% of its profits – and they are purpose driven brands.

Consider the case of Ninety, a purpose-led B2B consulting firm which serves the insurance sector. They describe themselves as purpose-led and their social vision is to generate over $1 billion for charitable grants and investment over thirty years. Staff profit sharing is from a pool where 90% has already gone to charity.

Related: Brand Profiling, How Brand Performance and Purpose Are Inextricably Linked

14. Brand Building – Take it Home 

Business people sometimes talk about walking a mile in your customer’s shoes as a way of seeing your brand more fully because it can help you empathise with your target market and so fit the brand closer to their needs and desires.

A simple way to do this is to use your own brands in your own life.

Related: Building a Brand with Big-Brand Know-How on a Shoestring and Doing More With Less

If you’d like to discover more about building and maintaining a thriving, high performing, highly profitable standout brand, then get in touch because we’d love to help you make your brand into a profit powerhouse.

  1. Schedule an appointment — we can meet in person or online
  2. Allow us to create a customised plan for you
  3. Let’s implement the plan together 
  4. Contact us [email protected] or ring +353 1 8322724 (GMT Dublin/London time 9:00 – 17:30 weekdays)

Lorraine Carter is a branding expert and international speaker delivering talks that inspire and motivate along with masterclasses and workshops that inform and support transformational outcomes fast, and consultancy expertise that solves problems — using agile branding strategy underpinned by professional big-brand know-how — so you can outshine, outperform and leave your competitors way behind.

She enables you to Be The One — your ideal customers’ favourite brand — commanding a premium with 7-figure growth.

15. Stop Brand Damaging Promotions, Start Brand Building

We all need to make a living, to thrive and not merely survive, so it’s understandable that sometimes you may do things that you aren’t that proud of – price discounts, tie-ups with other brands you don’t really match with, using claims for your brand that might not be completely accurate or a bit of a stretch. But these things conflict with your brand message and confuse customers about what your brand stands for – all of which undermines trust. Remember, when customers do not trust they do not buy so protect trust in your brand zealously.

If you can, put a stop to promotions that damage your brand. A key function of powerful branding strategy is it enables you to achieve premium pricing so if you use discount promotions and senseless price cuts you’ll undermine your brand positioning – not to mention the perceptions of your brand. Worse still, you’ll ‘train’ your customers to only buy when your brand is discounted.

The tech giant Apple provides an instructive case study on how brand building can help in the long-term. Its stores offer no price promotions ever, and zealously maintain Apple’s focus on brand building.

Related: How Apple Does It, Five Tips for Getting Your $1Tn Brand Personality Right

Branding in a Crisis


By entering your name and email address, you consent to receive the ebook and the Persona Design newsletter, from which you can unsubscribe at any time. We do our best to keep you inspired with insightful content and you can also review our Privacy Policy here and T&Cs here.

Questions to Consider

  1. Who would make a good ambassador for your brand and why?
  2. What’s your biggest success that you think could deliver even better results with the right marketing push?
  3. How do you find out and act on what customers think of your brand?
  4. How consistently do you think your brand execution matches your brand guidelines?
  5. Does your customer experience build your brand in the right way at every touchpoint? Does it stay true to your brand strategy?
  6. How is your brand purpose supporting your brand building?
  7. Would now be a good time for a brand audit health check so you can increase your profits?

Your Persona Client Satisfaction Guarantee

  1. When you work with us we’ll create a customised brand building plan and strategy with clear investment for you tailored to your specific requirements and preferences
  2. You’ll know each step of your brand building journey before we start because we’ll discuss it, document it and agree on it with you before work commences
  3. You’ll have timelines, key milestones and deliverables to evaluate and approve for each stage and part of your brand building process
  4. Because we know the unexpected sometimes happens we can make adjustments along the way if you need it and if something extra is requested we’ll ensure you’re fully appraised about what that entails before committing
  5. As we achieve pre-agreed objectives you’ll be able to evaluate your brand building work and strategy in progress, coupled with the outcomes to ensure return on investment

Get in touch today because we’d love to enable you to re-evaluate and build your standout, powerhouse brand so you can Be The One — increase your profits and leave your competitors way behind.

Email us [email protected] or ring us +35318322724 (GMT 9:00-17:30) and ask about our VIP Brand Strategy Re-Evaluation.