In the marketplace, the best does not always win. Sometimes it is the fastest, the cheapest, the most available… what customers want. Do you know what people want? Do you know how they want it?

A winning brand is one that understands its ecosystem and is shaped to meet the demands of that ecosystem. Here are five pillars that ensure that your brand delivers on the expectations of stakeholders in the marketplace:

  1. Vision – aims and aspirations

The first building block of a winning brand is the objective that inspires the person or the entity. If you want your brand to prevail, you must have a clear picture of what you want to achieve. Apart from what you want to achieve, you must also be certain of how you want people to relate to your brand.

Vision will form the basis of how you position your company or your person. It shapes what you do and how you do it. It inspires your deliverables. It is what you sell to your stakeholders.

You want to win? Start with a vision.

  1. Values – philosophy and priorities

Values portray what you consider essential, urgent or unimportant. Values determine what you say “yes” or “no” to. Your brand cannot win unless you are able to identify or define the values that are crucial for the vision you have.

They serve as the filtering board for decisions and choices you make. A person who does not clearly define their values cannot consistently court the respect and loyalty of their key stakeholders. Companies that do not consistently hold on to their values cannot consistently satisfy their customers.

You want to win? Define your values and stay with them.

  1. Verve – capabilities and conduct

Verve is vision and values in action. Vision and values are invisible unless you act on them. Customers, colleagues, bosses, investors and shareholders cannot authenticate your vision and values unless you put them into action.

To win with your brand, you must align your actions with your aspirations and philosophy. Don’t declare a vision you cannot execute. If you do that, you will suffer from serious credibility deficit.

Let your conduct be guided by your vision and your values. When you are crafting your vision, make sure you adopt a vision that you can competently execute.

You want to win? Get verve.

  1. Voice – rumors and reports

In the game of branding, what people say about you is a big deal. When people have a great experience with you, they are likely to say remarkable things about you. If the experience people have with you is bad, be assured that they will share the news of that experience with more than a dozen people.

If you want to build a brand that wins, be deliberate about how you interact with others. That is how you control what they say about you. Always have it at the back of your mind that people will talk about every experience they have with you, especially negative experiences. Word-of-mouth communication plays a major role in the leverage your brand has in the market place.

You want to win? Take care of rumors and reports.

  1. Visibility – physique and presence

Apart from your vision, values and what people say about you, there are things people will see about you. Your authenticity with your stakeholders will be influenced by the things they see about you.

If you have a laudable vision, noble values and favorable reports, yet poor visibility, your brand will be obscure. An obscure brand will certainly not be a winner in the market.

You want to win? Be seen well.

At the end of the day, a winning brand is a brand that wins. Get all the five pillars to work together and you will be on your way to winning ways.

By Terry Mante

The author serves as CEO of Personal Development Network (PEDNET),  a nonprofit human capital development social enterprise that is committed to renewing paradigms and inspiring people to develop their leadership potential. In addition to over 200 incisive and inspiring articles, Terry is the respected author of six personal development books namely Winning with Confidence, Attitude is Everything, What you Don’t Know is a Big Deal, All-round Communication, Life Sense and Money Grows on Trees.

Website: www.terrymante.org