Your brand is the core of your marketing, the central theme around your products and services. When it comes to your bottom line, your brand is not just the sizzle. It’s the steak.
I am working on a book launch for a book themed around the ancient Greek story of Mt. Sisyphus. If you’re not branded, you may feel like Sisyphus – the ancient Greek who was cursed to push a huge rock uphill only to have it roll back down to the bottom every time. Trying to promote your business without a brand can be a frustrating, fruitless task – one that gets you nothing but a sore back.
But the right branding can mean all the difference for you. After pushing your rock up the mountaintop, it can create a giant snowball of momentum for your business as it rolls down the other side.
Your brand is more than just a name and a logo. It’s your essence. It impacts every aspect of your buyer’s total experience with you, because it colors their perceptions. Your buyer’s perceptions color their relationship with you and ultimately whether or not they engage with their wallets.
So, are you branded? Is branding turning people on? Or is your lack of branding putting people off?
The problem is that most people are so busy going about their business they’re not thinking about how they’re coming across. They’re not branded. Yet all it takes is a simple choice to stay one step ahead of your competition.
Who Is Filling Your Cash Register?
Get to know the people in your marketplace, and get a clear idea about who you’re marketing to. You want your customers to spend money with you, and you know that means you have to make them feel confident about dealing with you. So find out who they are.
What do they want? What pain keeps them up at night? What rewards do they want the most? How can you add value to their experience?
When you send a clear message about your brand and the values you represent, your customers can feel comfortable entrusting you with their business. Using the right brand strategy, you can create a lasting impression and build a bond of trust.
Your website and social media accounts are sometimes the first place your customers will get to know you. From the fonts and color palette to the logo and tagline, your marketing materials should evoke a positive response with your target audiences.
You want your look and feel to set you apart, yet at the same time you want to create a natural fit within your marketplace. You also want your image to attract the kinds of people who can benefit from your offering. Here is 20-second branding exercise: close your eyes and picture the edgy and aggressive colors and fonts used by a wakeboard manufacturer. Next, visualize the elegant script font used to brand a prestigious jewelry company.
OK, now open your eyes and let’s give some thought to your company. Business cards, press kits, and print materials are tools used to reinforce your brand. Though the world is relentlessly driven to the digital realm, we are still living in a 3-D world. There are opportunities everywhere to take advantage of print media, from tradeshow brochures to buses.
Branding is a long term strategy for any business but should be implemented into your marketing and communications from the start.
If you own a small brick and mortar business in a small town or city, you can still follow branding strategies just as if you ran a national franchise or corporation.
There is no excuse for not using a branding strategy for your business. If you own a business, you need a solid and reliable brand.
Practical Steps to Finding the Right Branding Resources
It’s fine to talk about branding your company, but where do you start? If you’re looking for top quality logos, images and marketing materials, there is a wealth of services available to you at a fraction of the cost compared to what the big Branding Agencies bill their clients.
Freelance sites such as LogoContest or Fiverr offer a wealth of opportunities for getting the job done cheaply – if you know what you’re doing. The downside of throwing a virtual dart at your computer and randomly choosing a designer is that you never know what kind of results you’ll get. You may get lucky; then again, you may wind up with brand representation that does not connect with your audience. And that can be quite costly.
Getting a referral to a reliable contractor is another way to get branded. Take a look at the brands you know, like and trust, then see if you can discover their source or ad agency.
If this all sounds like Greek to you, schedule a meeting with a marketing pro- and you can finally push that big rock over the mountaintop and create an avalanche of new business.