Branding Your Business Boldly
How strong is your branding?
This is a critical question for every business owner to ask—early and often throughout the business planning cycle. For it is branding that your customers will remember when you are not around and if you want to have that customer use your products or services again, you must have a lasting impact.
The most streamlined way to brand your business boldly is to identify your brand identity or promise and then set a specific plan for ways to express that promise clearly. By understanding what your brand stands for, you will naturally find ways to broadcast your brand to your target audience.
First, let’s talk about the brand identity and/ or promise. Some companies focus on the brand identity and some focus on the brand promise. If you are more brand identity-oriented, think of your brand as a person. If your brand were a person, how would you describe that person? Adjectives like innovative, helpful, friendly, solution-oriented, smart, cutting-edge or conservative may jump to mind. Hone in on your top descriptors and that defines your brand identity. If you are more brand promise-oriented, then you will want to identify exactly what it is that customers will get from working with you. How will you make them feel? What problems do you solve? Try to go beyond the rational service or product that you offer and pinpoint the emotional needs that you meet. This can be formulated into a brand promise.
Once you have identified what you want to convey about your brand, you must set about to convey that brand essence clearly in a million different ways. You cannot wait for your customers to find you. Reach out to them and interact with them in as many different ways as possible. Express your brand boldly! Think of all the ways you can express your brand character to your target audience.
Understand that branding is about nuance. A good brand manager will care about every detail of their brand communication. The packaging, the website, the salesperson’s personal appearance—all these details influence the customer’s overall impression of the brand. If your company has sales people that give proposals in the form of presentations to prospective clients, then take the time to give attention to each aspect of the presentation—from start to finish. In developing the content, be concise but thorough. Put forth the extra effort to ensure that the presentation is strong graphically, has a compelling message and is speaking directly to the target customer. Practice the presentation so that it can be delivered with ease. Then make sure that the leave-behind deck is printed on high-quality business paper with a strong cover stock to leave a lasting and positive impression. Your clients are busy people who may need to circle back to your proposal later. You will want that second impression to be just as strong as the first!
By focusing on the details of how your brand is communicated, you can ensure a lasting brand impression that will turn into business profits down the road.
What branding initiatives have worked for you either personally or professionally?
Rahna Barthelmess is a branding strategist and author of the soon-to-be released personal branding bible Turbo-Charge Your Career. You can find out more about branding and personal branding at http://Branding Your Business Boldly