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Archive for the Branding Category

Be OGLED … Not Just goOGLED

Be OGLED ... Not Just goOGLED

We Google everything. And, I’m sure one of your goals is to get more people to google your company. But, what comes next? Are they clicking on to their next search … or are they ogling you? An ogle is better than a Google!

ogle
[oh-guh l]

verb (used with object), ogled, ogling.
1. to look at amorously, flirtatiously, or impertinently.
2. to eye; look or stare at.

verb (used without object), ogled, ogling.
3. to look amorously, flirtatiously, or impertinently.
4. to look or stare.

noun
5. an amorous, flirtatious, or impertinent glance or stare.

People are judging you. Appearance does matter. First impressions are lasting.

So, why are you ignoring the first impression people get of your company. Logos can speak volumes. They can provide a quick first impression of your company, your professionalism and your commitment to your business. A logo can differentiate you from the competition, raise your image and better represent who you are.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and create your logo. Just keep these great tips in mind. In the long run, you’ll go beyond the Google … and be be ogled. goOGLE

How to Design a Logo
How to Design a Logo

Your Brand Exists In Spite of You.

Your Brand Exists In Spite of You.

What is a brandBrand(ing) is a pretty simple concept.  So, why do so many people muck it up?  Too many people just don’t understand what a brand (or branding) is.  In a recent meeting with a local business I asked what they thought their brand represented.  The answer: “We’re just a small company.  Branding is for big corporations.”  I know there are many people who feel the same way and I have 6 words for them – Not true.  Not true.  Not true.

Your brand exists in spite of you.  Your brand exists whether you advertise or not.  It’s your choice whether or not to harness the power of your brand … or whether to let your brand manage you.  I’d take the first coption.

 

So, What is a Brand?

Here are the big 5 guidelines of what a brand is.

  1. Your brand is the truth of your business (or yourself).  It’s the essence of who you are in relation to you customers.
  2. Your brand can be aspirational … but don’t wander too far from your truth.  You won’t fool anyone if you claim customer satisfaction as your strength if you don’t respond to customers … and occasionally hang up on their phone calls.
  3. The essence of your brand has to have meaning to your customers.  Do your customers care if your hair salon is technologically savvy?
  4. You don’t get to choose whether you’re going to brand your business.  It’ll happen with or without your flowery taglines, advertising, Facebook posts and tweets.
  5. Great brands are not defined by a tagline or advertising.  It is defined by what you do, who you (really are) and how you respond to your customers’ needs and wants.  Your tagline, advertising, etc. helps you to communicate your brand.

 

What’s the Difference between a Brand and Branding?

Here’s a very short list of branding examples.  Branding are the actions that have the potential to define and/or communicate your brand to the public.  But, remember that, without defining your brand that communication loses (almost all) value.  Go back to Rule #1 – Your brand is the truth of your business.

A tagline

Advertising

Facebook page

Twitter account

Website

Promotions

Merchandising

Pricing

Products

Services

Logo

 

How Do I Define my Brand?

Define your market, your customers, and the unique need that you (can) own.  Think about what your unique competitive advantage might be.  Volvo owns “safe cars”.  Apple owns “simple, accessible technology”.

Think about what truly matters to your customers.  Get a big sheet of paper and write down answers to these questions:

  • How do you address your customer needs better or differently than your competitors?
  • What are your customers concerns, needs and wants?
  • What do they expect from your business?
  • What are your biggest customer complaints and compliments?

Now look at your answers and look for some big trends.  If most of your customers constantly complain about not being able to reach you by phone then your issue isn’t just answering the phone – it’s customer service or accessibility that you need to respond to.  The bottom line is figuring out the unique truths of your business that will help you to consistently exceed customer expectations.

 

(Em)power Your Brand.

Once defined, your brand needs to live.  Promote consistently.  Reflect the brand in all that you do.  And, when competition intrudes on your brand, make it better.  Brands must evolve over time to maintain their edge.  Think about Apple.  Their branding, as demonstrated by their products and services, are constantly evolving as others intrude on their space.  You need to work on constantly strengthening and evolving your brand.

The 4 C’s of Branding

BrandingBrands aren’t just for big business.  Many small and mid-sized business seem to feel that branding is not for them.  I hear the arguments now.  “My company has a name and that’s what people remember.”  There’s a big difference between a brand and a brand name.  Coca-Cola is a brand name … not a brand.   And, then there’s the claim that “We have a logo!!!”   Keep in mind that your logo is merely a symbol.  What does your company name and your logo mean to your market?  Those associations are the core of your brand.

 

What is Branding

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or B2B. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does “branding” mean? How does it affect a small business like yours? … Put simply, your “brand” is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name.  It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual (e.g. It comes in a robin’s-egg-blue box), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic).  Your brand name exists objectively; people can see it.  It’s fixed.  But your brand exists only in someone’s mind. Source: Forbes

… your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.  Click here to view original web page at www.entrepreneur.com

You’ve probably been to a zillion big parties.  Do you remember everyone’s name? Of course not.  But you do remember the names of a few.  Odds are, they all fall into 3 groups.

  1. Do you remember the names of everyone who looked at you, nodded and walked away?  Probably not.
  2. Do you remember the names of people who were really funny, extraordinarily smart or helped you out?  Certainly!  Would you want to spend time wtih them again?  Of course you would.  Would you speak highly of them to your friends?  Sure you would.
  3. Do you remember the people who were mean, nasty, self -centered and supercilious? You probably do.  Would you talk about them kindly?  Want to spend more time with them?  Of course not.

That’s part of the power of a brand.  The folks in the first group were just faces in the crowd.  You don’t remember them because there’s nothing memorable about your interaction with them. The folks in the last group were memorable, but not for good reason.  Who wants to associate with mean, nasty, supercilious (love that word) people.  They created a negative ‘brand’ for themselves.  It’s the middle group we’re drawn to.   We like people are are funny, smart, engaging.  We like people who help us.  In turn, we want to see them again … and again… and again.

 

The 4 C’s of Branding

I’ll go into greater detail on how you might go about developing your brand in a future article.  For now, here are the 4 C’s of branding.

CREATE a brand that ties into the needs and wants of your customers while reflecting the truth of who you really are as a company.  Creating a ‘pie in the sky’ brand means nothing if you can’t live up to the brand you created.  You’ll need to live and breathe your brand in all you do.  Don’t claim that your company is the most customer friendly, innovative business in the market if you really aren’t.  Customers will soon figure it out and your efforts to brand your business will be useless.

CULTIVATE your brand throughout your company.  If innovation is part of your brand platform, then you need to own it and innovate!

COMMUNICATE your brand vigorously and consistently.

CHANGE your branding if need be.  Over time, most things might need to be tweaked.  Businesses are dynamic and markets ever-changing.

 

Define Your Brand = Change Your Business

When your brand marries the truth of who you are with customer needs and wants, you create value.  And that value your customers need and the value of your brand becomes stronger.  Customers will remember your (brand) name and have an indelible impression of who you are.  Defining, developing and communicating your brand will focus all of your business activities, enabling you to prioritize projects and programs.   It will increase your return on marketing investment and will, over time, help to keep the customers you have and bring in new ones.

 

Good luck.   Here are a few more articles on branding to get those creative juices going.

Branding From Costco – Aisle 12

5 Ways Your Brand is Like a Virus

Brand Yourself

5 Ways Your Brand Is Like a Virus

5 Ways Your Brand Is Like a Virus

brand virus

Your brand is like a super-virus.

  1. It exists whether you want it to or not.
  2. It evolves with every interaction you have with the world.
  3. It can spread like wildfire.
  4. You can’t change it’s status with meaningless words.
  5. Once it’s embedded, it’s tough to get rid of.

 

When I mention BP, what do you think about?  Their brand story has been narrated by their actions, not their words.  Over time, over a long time, the image will change.

bp logo spill

 

Crafting a meaningful story that reflects the truth of your organization is the best revenge.  Your brand is a reflection of  your truth.  Create a story that’s based on truth and meaningful to your customers.  Then live that story every day.

 

If you need help creating a branding strategy for your business, we can help.  Market-Inc. is a marketing consultant focused on creating strategic plans – – and we can help you execute that plan if you like. 

  • Naked Branding Could Change The World

    Naked Branding Could Change The World

    Most companies have two brands.  One is the (cool) brand you promote.  And the other is the brand you live and breathe everyday.  Social media provides a great opportunity to provide brand transparency and help to create authenticity in branding.  At that point, companies can have one brand.  They can stop telling everyone how wonderful they are and  start BEING wonderful.

    The Naked Brand documentary  talks about the amazing potential of this new advertising and branding model and a video sampling of the film appears below.

    “Corporations have incredible influence on the world we live in and that’s given them free reign to pollute, collude and mislead us, but advances in technology are rapidly making them accountable not just to shareholders, but to everyone. The Naked Brand is a story about how corporations can help save the planet one small step at a time. It’s an introduction to a bright new future where companies tell the truth and work hard to create better products and a better planet.”

    The Naked Brand. Simply genius.

    Watch the brief video here. It’ll inspire you!

    The Naked Brand – Official Trailer from The Naked Brand on Vimeo.

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