Home > Articles >
The Brand Called You
The Brand Called You: A Branding Primer
Every company has a reputation. Everyone you meet will form an opinion about your
company, even if they have not done business with you yet. The challenge is to manage your
reputation so that the opinion that people have of you is positive. This is what creates a
Brands have a number of strategic functions, enabling you to:
- Differentiate yourself from your competition
- Position your focused message in the hearts and minds of your target customers
- Persist and be consistent in your marketing efforts
- Customize your services to reflect your personal brand
- Deliver your message clearly and quickly
- Project credibility
- Strike an emotional chord
- Create strong user loyalty
Small Business Web Branding
For small businesses, branding is not about slick advertisements. Small-business
branding is about getting your target market to see you as the preferred choice. Building
a slightly famous brand is not just about what you do; it's about what you do differently
from everyone else.
Building Your Brand
A brand is a promise of the value your clients will receive. In an amazingly complex
and competing world--where itís increasingly hard to know whatís real and whatís
not--having your customers not only acknowledge but support the promise of your brand is
the key to building a thriving business.
To become a brand, you've got to become relentlessly focused on what you do that adds
value. Do you deliver your work on time, every time? Do you anticipate and solve problems
before they become crises? Do your clients save money and headaches just by having you on
the team? Do you complete projects within the allotted budget?
Branding integrates customer service, sales promotion, public relations, direct mail,
newsletters, discounts, event sponsorship, word of mouth and other communications tactics
to present a unified message about the company, its products or services.
Your brand will integrate all your marketing around a core idea and vision. As a result,
you will find it easier to sell yourself, because your message will be uniform and
powerful. Every business needs to evaluate its brand identity against the following
Relevance to the Market
A brand must stand for something that is meaningful to members of a target market. Your
brand encompasses the total experience of doing business with you.
Consistency of Behavior
Customers must be able to depend on the brand to deliver the same experience every
time. Because your market experiences your values through your brand, the only way they
will truly become loyal to your brand is through your dedication and consistency.
A brand is not a logo or an advertising strategy. "The strength of any brand is in
the relationship it has between a company and its customers. The stronger the
relationship, the more business they will do, and the more likely it is that customers
will refer them to their friends and business associates.
Loyalty to the Customer Is Returned
The test of a brand is, in fact, the strength of loyalty it generates. If you have a
strong relationship with your target audience, then you have a strong brand and a strong
Reputation Is Priceless
The only way to be successful in business is by establishing a good reputation, and a
brand can help you do that. Your reputation works as your strongest marketer by
communicating the relationship you have with people who've done business with you, and
your target market in general.
Good brands stand the test of time. To develop a brand that will last a lifetime, go
beyond what you do right now. Think long term. Look at Coke, Ford and General Electric. No
matter what they sell or how they change over time, they can rely on their brand equity
build on a foundation of customer trust to take them deep into their customerís trust
quotient and keep them there.
If you establish a place of trust and relevance in prospects' minds, you're already in the
door. The more people believe in your brand, the more it will spread throughout your niche
market without your pushing. If your brand is clear, distinctive, and easily understood,
and expresses a unique, compelling benefit that people believe in, it will bring you all
the business you can handle.
This article was written by Steven Van Yoder, author of Get Slightly
Famous: Become a Celebrity in Your Field and Attract More Business with Less Effort. Visit
Steven's web site for more "slightly" famous marketing strategies at www.getslightlyfamous.com
Subscribe to our newsletter:
Your Email address:
given away to anybody. You can unsubscribe at any time.