How to build a meaningful brand for long-term success

Three tips on how to differentiate your brand from the competition

This year, American Express celebrates its 160th year in Canada.

A lot has changed in those 160 years, but since the beginning, we knew that exceptional customer service would define us as a brand and has helped set us apart from our competitors.

In the grocery industry, how can retailers develop a unique brand that resonates with customers and differentiates them from competitors?

Identify what sets you apart. The quarterly American Express Small Business Monitor reveals that over one third (36%) of small business owners (SBOs) struggle to identify what makes their business different from competitors. Maybe you have a butcher that sources the best cuts of meat, carry a wide selection of specialty foods or sell everyday items at low prices.  Knowing what you do well and delivering that to your customers will help to define you.

Understand your customers. In the grocery sector this might mean meeting a demand for fresh, local produce or expanding inventory to satisfy Canada’s multicultural population. When we first came to Canada, our main service was freight forwarding but we quickly diversified and evolved our services. So recognizing the changing needs of your customers will allow you to evolve but stay true to your brand.

Stay consistent. The Monitor also shows that 71% of SBOs say brand experience is the most important part of their business’ overall brand. The key to delivering a strong brand experience is to be consistent in your delivery and focus on quality. Whether it’s the user experience on your website or social channels, the level of knowledge of your staff, or the friendly atmosphere of your store, creating a great customer experience relies on maintaining consistently strong service at all points of customer interaction.

Once you identify what sets you apart and fully understand your customer needs, you’re in a better position to embed your own philosophy across all touch points within your own organization.

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