Jump on the Brand Wagon

There seems to be a misconception about what encompasses a 'brand'. When asked, "Do you have a brand?" or "Do you know what your brand is?", most clients respond with "Yes, we have a logo" or "We have a tagline." A brand is much more than cosmetic. Having a true brand means encompassing the entire 'being' of a company. Branding covers the entire customer experience (Yes, logos are still extremely important, as they represent the core of the business).  From the moment they call or step into your office until the final sign-off. It is a reflection of what you want your custoemrs to think and feel at the mention of your name.

So what is a brand and how do I get me one of those?

A brand should reach across every internal aspect of your business; from sales to customer service to HR and, of course, marketing. It should also touch every customer-facing aspect; from everything in print, in script, in design, in person to atmosphere & processes and even, in some instances, sounds and smells.

Whew. Don't mean to stress you out, so here is some advice on establishing your brand.

1. Be specific on what you do.

2. Be specific on your target audience.

3. What are your target audiences' problems and how to you solve them? (Being specific, of course).

4. How is your customer's experience different/unique from your competition?

5. How are your skills better, more unique from your competition?

6. Think about some big brands; Target, Apple, McDonalds. How do they make you feel? What expectations do you hold for each experience with them? Jot down a few words to describe them and your experiences with them. Now do the same, but from your customer's view.

I always use a local restaurant group as an example. I can recognize their ads quickly based upon the colors and fonts they use. But when it comes to overall brand of the group; authentic ethnic food, fresh & local ingredients, modern designs, consistent & friendly service and a very good value. And that is at every single restaurant the own.

Still stuck in the mud? Try analyzing your competition. Find out what they are doing well and not-so-well. Do it better. And market that.  Next, ask your customers their opinion and to evaluate your products. That will be an interesting, honest experience.

If you still have sweat on your brows, it may be time to call in a professional!