Ruka Sanusi Offers Strategy For Brand Success During Economic Recession

To all intents and purposes, the local economy is in recession. The energy crisis led to a spate of woes in the manufacturing sector as cost of production increases; workers are laid off, and in almost every sector of the economy productivity and revenue have seen declines.

These are trying times. Businesses are being tested for resilience. But come what may, our businesses must go on. They may not thrive as they used to when the economy was more buoyant, but they must continue in earnest.

As I think about these times, two things come to my mind:

    **The need to build a strong brand so that you can have a sustainable and viable business in and out of a recession and
    **The need to continually prepare and plan to scale your business around the core business activity.

Building a Brand, Building a Business.

What is the difference between a brand and a business? To my mind a business is essentially an enterprise that creates an opportunity to trade and generate revenue. A brand is made up of intrinsic values, quality and characteristics that endear clients and aspirational clients to the business.

I always say, when starting a business, it is enormously crucial for you to focus on building your brand first, so that you can have a viable, sustainable business in the medium to long term. And building a brand is no child’s play. Invariably, a business brand is almost always made up of the personal and business values of the founder or CEO.

Especially for a small business, it is almost impossible to separate the personal brand of the CEO from the business brand. These become indistinguishable, given that the CEO is the face of the business, and most likely the primary client-facing representative of the business. For the business owner and CEO, this brings home the need to reflect on, define and articulate your personal and business values right from the outset. This delivers you your business brand. Understand and define what you are trying to achieve with your business and what values are aligned with that personal and business aspirations.

Then, commit to live those values through how you operate your business, how you choose and interact with clients, the quality of your services and products, how you recruit and engage with staff, how you present yourself to the world: presentation skills, oratory skills, networkability and personal style. When we focus on these from the outset, we endear clients, and essentially revenues, to our business, create brand loyalty, and, come what may, in and out of recession, we enjoy a level of brand loyalty.
Scaling Your Business

Most businesses start with one core idea, concept or initiative. Almost invariably there is always an opportunity to scale and expand that business. Think of a fashion brand that starts initially producing clothes, then start to produce and sell accessories, then later on goes into interiors, and maybe even then a lifestyle venture such as a restaurant. What enables such a business to do that successfully is the power of their brand. When a brand is strong, it has a following, and clients will seek out that brand for every aspect of their daily needs and wants that is served by the brand’s businesses.

Decide today to develop your personal and business values (your brand) to the level strong enough so that you positively influence the experience of current and prospective clients with your business, so that come what may, your business, through your brand, remains a viable and sustainable enterprise.

Author: Ruka Sanusi, CEO of Alldens Lane, a movement which provides female entrepreneurs in the small and growing business sector with business direction, balanced support and thought provoking business performance and growth analytics, from which they can grow and transform their businesses – and their lives.

This article originally appeared on TheSpirited Hub

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Henry Cobblah

Henry Cobblah is a Tech Developer, Entrepreneur, and a Journalist. With over 15 Years of experience in the digital media industry, he writes for over 7 media agencies and shows up for TV and Radio discussions on Technology, Sports and Startup Discussions.

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