Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Branding Your Business

The buzz word “branding” is heard so often we tend to glaze over its importance. Branding is more than your logo, your business tag line, or your colors. Although all vital pieces to the puzzle, your brand is your business’s unique identity – what sets you apart from your competition. This is critical to success to drive business to your doors, increase customer loyalty, and ultimately create a sustainable business model.

Don’t know where to start?  Follow the “3 Easy C’s” to building your own brand!

This is where you tell your story about why you started the business or how you got involved with your product and service. Share your passion, your family heritage, or your entrepreneurial inspiration.  The key is to tell your story from the perspective of your customers keeping in mind what is important to them. This process highlights your unique selling proposition such as your business is technically proficient, or you invest in education to stay on trends, you are the expert in  an area, you are the caring consultants, or you’re the one stop shop. This is the magic message of your brand.

This is a fancy way of saying collect this story into systematic grouping so it is easy for others to “get it”. The first step is your logo. This should reflect your story your story and image.  If you differentiator is your on point with the latest trends then bold, bright, incorporating the latest look is for you. If you are the calming consultants who walk clients through the spa experience more demure colors and soothing flowing font would work well.  Along with your logo create a concise tag line to tie into your brand message. Following our examples something like “Rock the latest looks at Lisa’s Salon” or “Indulge your Senses with Full Body Relaxation”. Use your unique selling points and your brand story as your inspiration. If you are stuck, hire the experts or work with a local business school to help create your brand look and feel.

Now your mission is to communicate your brand in all areas that touch you client. Add you logo, tag line, colors and core brand story to all your marketing channels. This includes your business/appointment cards, letterhead, website, business decor, and packaging. Consistent and continual placement reinforces your brand and ultimately increase loyalty and sales. 

Need proof that building your brand builds your business? Look to some of the strongest brands across the world McDonald's or Tide detergent. They are successful because they offer product consumers want or need, they have a strong brand story that people related to, and they differentiate themselves in their markets. Your brand is the essence of your business. Take time to create a brand that reflects your story, make it easy to get the message, and then communicate it always and often!

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