Branding: It isn’t Just for Major Corporations and Products
Why you need it and how to you make it happen..
Branding is not just for big business, but can certainly create big business if done right.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.
Often when we think of the word “branding” we think of high profile, big name products and services. Google, Victoria’s Secret, Bank of America, Apple and the like. However, branding extends to individuals, municipalities and small business, as well. The number one goal in any branding campaign is to be sure that when the consumer needs your products and services, they think of you first, regardless of whether you are a Fortune 500 company or an individual entrepreneur making his way, and mark, in the world.
So what solidifies a brand? There are a number of things, ranging from printing to marketing and advertising, to public relations and beyond.
Logo: A logo is a recognizable and distinctive graphic design, stylized name, unique symbol or other device for identifying an organization, business or individual. Logos are affixed, included, or printed on advertising, buildings, communications, literature, products, stationary and vehicles. Not just for companies and corporations, logos can represent individuals, as well, and any entrepreneur who is representing himself and his service should have a logo that represents his name.
Tag Line or USP: A tag line or USP (Unique Sales Proposition), sometimes called a “brand-byte” is that short sentence that follows the logo that, in just a few short words, says so much. Your USP tells your potential customers what you can do for them that is different or better than what anyone else can. Some famous USPs that you might find recognizable are, “don’t leave home without it”, “just do it” and “Built for the road ahead”; those are already taken, and no doubt you recognize them, but the sentiments of each, though not intended for our purpose, should speak to you nonetheless. Get busy with your branding!
Printing & Promotional Products: Business cards, company letter head and promotional products like imprinted pens and more are all great, and necessary, items to help brand you, your business or your products and services. When you place your logo, USP, contact information, website and message on items that come into your prospects and clients hands, you put your brand in front of them so that you will be remembered when they need what you have to offer.
Products & Services: Your products and services speak volumes when it comes to building your brand, which is why it is absolutely imperative that you deliver high quality every time.
Customer Relations: You might have the greatest product or service on the planet and spend a ton of cash on marketing and advertising but if you don’t follow up with good customer service and relations, you might as well hang up your hat because the follow through is what often counts most. People like to feel taken care of and they like to know you care. No matter what your product or services is, chances are that something could go wrong; how you handle it will determine whether or not the client buys from you again as well as what gets passed along by word of mouth about your business.
Public Relations: Getting involved in community projects, donating to charity, joining in on the conversation at the level of social media and taking the time to be of service, pay it forward, give back and share all make a tremendous difference in your public image and, quite often, can be that tiny little nudge that causes someone to choose to do business with you or go elsewhere. In addition to that, regardless of your political affiliations, values or beliefs, you should always strive to remain inclusive and neutral, which will make you and your company more accessible to everyone.