The former president of North American operations at Starbucks Coffee, John B. Richards has been instrumental in structuring and scaling up many organizations at which he has been employed. Some of his accomplishments include building brands through service, such as with Four Seasons Hotels. During John B. Richards’ tenure as CMO and EVP of operations, the hotel’s portfolio was extended from eight to 42 hotels and from three to 22 countries. With this expansion, the brand-awareness of the hotel group rose from 20 to 80 percent, surpassing that of Ritz-Carlton as a premier luxury chain.
Building a brand involves a process of creating awareness through adopting strategies that boost the value of the company to consumers. Branding is establishing the identity of a product. It could be the name, icon, design, or a combination of these that separates the product from others like it. Hence, the brand is the symbol of the product or the company, and is an integral part of business development.
The brand is also about the features or services that make people choose one company over another. This is determined by the impression that the company makes on customers. One study claims that about 60 percent of customers generally choose to pay more for a better experience, even in a negative economy. Therefore, developing a good strategy for branding is one of the most important decisions in any business.