I borrowed graphic from Marty Neumeier from Patrick Colling's Brand Architect blog. You can view Neumeier's PDF ebook which includes this formula here.
Marty Neumeier has a simple equation for successful branding
T = r + d
Trust equals reliability plus delight
This formula is the essence of successful brand building.
Great branding is not about logos, advertising campaigns, your website, or anything like that, except to a truly tiny degree. (These things are important when you have a really big business, but the time and energy you spend on the "reliability" and "delight" with your current and previous clients should be an order of magnitude greater than the time you spend on your typical "branding" efforts.)
So, to build a great brand:
- Return your calls promptly;
- Deliver "wow" service to your clients;
- Keep your job sites clean every day (and when you are done for the day, especially);
- Contribute to your community in meaningful ways (the community of your clients, of course);
- Respect privacy (if you really wish to canvass, telemarket, or use bulk email, consider the risks before moving forward);
- Treat your employees with respect, as you expect them to treat their clients and peers with respect;
- Send thank you notes;
- Go the extra mile to be thoughtful;
- Have fun with your work (if you do, your clients will sense your passion).