Are You Really Thinking About Your Brand?

Branding is the process of differentiating your company from all other companies in the industry. Branding takes into account the "look and feel" of your office, you and your staff, your materials, and every other detail that gives your customers clues as to who you are and what you value. The following are strategies that go into building your own solid brand so your existing customers, as as well as prospective ones, are attracted and loyal to you and your brand.

Is your company unique and special? Everyone believes that they are members of a truly unique company or organization, but how do you convey that to your existing customers and to potential new customers?

Branding is an opportunity to create a name, term, symbol, or design that identifies and defines your company and will differentiate your company from all others.

The American Marketing Association 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." But branding is actually more than that. It's everything you do to attract and maintain customers. Branding is a way of appealing emotionally to and attracting the type of customer you want, and one who chooses you over your competition. Your brand is who you are, what you do, and your leading attribute in the eyes of your preferred target market.

Branding is more critical than marketing or sales. Branding involves influencing and changing the way people think. Branding appeals to desire and touches emotions. The goal is to emotionally predispose potential customers into entering into a relationship with you because they believe you are the best choice for them.

With more information at their fingertips, today's consumers are too sophisticated and skeptical to be "sold." They want to arrive at their own decision on their own terms. Branding helps them get there. Branding "pre-sells" your expertise, or you, before the customers even meet you.

Just as successful companies have a mission statement that serves as motivation to the staff and a guarantee to the customers, a brand is your opportunity to declare your promise to your customers about the outstanding service that you will provide them.

Here are several tips to think about:
  • Be sure your customers know the things that make you unique, such as advanced engineering support, manufacturing capability or local inventory.
  • Tell your customers what you offer that most of your competitors don't.
  • Do things differently to standout.
  • Clearly convey your uniqueness and differentiation in your marketing tools.
  • Specialize.
  • Be where your prospective customers are by having offices in various parts of the territory or region where your preferred customers are located.
  • Build rapport and trust with every customer.
  • Stay in contact with your customers throughout the year. Send them a company newsletter, new product announcements, press releases, maybe even birthday cards!