The following material comes from the forthcoming eBook, Marketing Essentials for Growing Businesses. To get this eBook for free when it comes out, register by clicking here.
So far in this book, we’ve talked about the importance of deciding your product, mission, vision, and values. After establishing the foundations of your company with these, putting your company’s image out there is your next priority. To do this, you’ll need a slogan and a logo, which we’ll get to, but let’s start with branding in general.
Branding is the bridge between your identity and how the public views you. Branding is simply the visual and auditory perception of your company. That’s it! It’s the face of your franchise that reveals your existing foundations. Everyone has a brand, that’s why we talk about creating a brand, which is the first piece of making your public image.
Why Branding: A Brief History
A brief history of branding puts this discussion into perspective. Modern day branding started with cattle ranchers who would literally “brand” their livestock with a unique symbol to easily identify one set of animals from another. When ranchers charged them from the pastures of Colorado to the markets in Chicago, everyone’s cattle would get mixed up to be separated later based on their “brand”.
After some time, some ranches built a better reputation based on the quality of their cattle because of their branding. Certain brands stood out above the rest—not just because of the identification, but because the quality of the product (in this case livestock) associated with that brand.
Fast forward until today. The same principle applies—a quality product is the foundation, but your branding helps customers identify that foundation.
Creating Your Unique Brand
So how do you create a great brand? Here’s a few ideas that have worked for us. Building a brand requires three important factors to consider depending on your market and product.
- – Time: exposing your brand over a long period of time
- – Repetition: making your brand known on regular and repeated intervals
- – Individuality: having a unique identity, especially compared to your competition
For companies with new products that haven’t been seen before, individuality is key. But if you’re competing with Tide over laundry detergent, you’re not the first to do this, and individuality is not the most important in that case.
It takes time, repetition, and a unique identity to build your brand. Customers will have to see your name over a sustained period of time.
With these three components in mind, you’ll need to start thinking about how you want to convey your company to the world. Shopping around for the right brand is kind of like dating, oddly enough. People are looking for the right fit, aren’t they? In dating, we all have our own personal brand. That’s why I suggest that you think about the questions that need to be answered on a typical dating site questionnaire:
- – Who are you?
- – What do you do?
- – What do others say about you?
Now imagine your name as a brand. How do you want others to answer these questions when someone says your name? The same concept applies to branding. These questions identify what we’ve already covered—your foundations of mission, vision, and values.
Branding is your chance to get others interested in your company. Hopefully, in both your dating relationship profile and your branding, you’re attracting attention.
As always, we’re glad to help you as you consider how to brand your company. Give us a call! The number is (615) 462-5383.