Are You Building a Brand or Just Building a Business?

from Greg Pitstick, SmartGuideToMarketing.com

I want you to take a moment and imagine something with me. Let’s suppose that Coca-Cola constantly changes their logo. Every time you see a commercial or print ad, Coca-Cola has a different logo. Sometimes it’s blue, sometimes it’s red. Let’s also assume that they keep changing their pricing. Sometimes you can buy a six pack for $5 while other times it’s $11. After a while, do you think that you would still be loyal to this brand?

This might seem like a silly example, but there is a point to be made here. So often, I see business owners who are doing mediocre branding at best. Either they aren’t branding themselves at all, or they are inconsistent with their efforts. They have one logo that is on their website and maybe a totally different logo on their business cards. They don’t have a tag line, mission statement or consistent way of communicating with customers and prospects.

Small-business owners are especially prone to inconsistent branding. Sometimes, they don’t do any branding and all. They have a $10 logo designed by someone and never really use it for anything other than their website. The goal of branding is to make your name so associated with your logo that people know it before you even say who you are.

Think about all of the famous logos they you know without even seeing the name.

Examples would be Nike and Target.

You would know these symbols without being told the name of the company.

The question is whether or not you are actually trying to brand yourself and your business in the same way?

There is a difference between branding and simply building your business.

If you take time to brand yourself and your business, you will develop a longer-term strategy for your marketing plan. Instead of repeating the same steps over and over, your brand can begin to take shape and direct the consistency of your marketing.

If you think about the larger brands that we all know and purchase from every day, you can plainly see that they don’t have to constantly remind you who they are. Yes, they will run advertisements as a way of keeping their name in the front of your mind; however, they don’t have to reeducate the consumer over and over about what they do and what they offer.

This is a very important concept to master. You want to become an influential thought leader in your particular industry. You don’t want to have to reeducate people on who you are. Instead, you just want to keep your particular brand in the forefront of their mind when they need something related to your business.

So how do you build your brand? Branding is about more than just having a logo. It’s about having a well thought out marketing plan that involves social media campaigns, advertising and online marketing.

Everything should be branded with your logo so that when people see it, they know exactly who you are. You may even want to come up with press releases or even publicity stunts to firmly brand yourself in the minds of prospects and customers.

In the end, branding comes about because of the relationships that you build with prospects and clients.

Marketing is now a relationship-based proposition – It’s no longer about a one-way conversation but rather multipoint conversations across many different venues.

As you talk to your prospects and customers in a variety of different areas, you will begin to brand yourself as being the most helpful business in your industry.

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