Branding is often mistaken for name recognition, and blown off by most companies as a waste of money and time, but really branding means so much more than simple recognition of name and should be addressed in your marketing planning. I think the true definition of a brand is your company’s business strategy and the culture in which you promote your competitive advantages.
One of the important marketing tasks your company should address and readdress as you grow is your brand – how can you consistently and effectively promote your advantages and build your brand? Here are 8 quick tips to think about when going through that important exercise:
1. What do people think about your competition? You think you can do it better of course but what does the market think?
2. What is your biggest market differentiator? You need to know what to lead with.
3. What does each of your market segments really want? Your brand strategy can be different by segment. Don’t try to cram everything for every market in one message.
4. Is there a common buying pattern in each of your market segments or a mindset toward what you are offering? If so, what is it?
5. What type of experience do clients get when they sign with you? What type experience do you want them to have?
6. Are the messages you send to the market predictable, consistent and cohesive – presenting your company in the same manner, every time? People have very short memories and repetition is king.
7. Do you gather and measure feedback on lost as well as sold accounts? Why were you chosen or not chosen is important in building your position? Take this data and use it to build on what you do have and figure out what to do about what you don’t.
8. Does your company keep its promise? Keeping the promise you communicate is more important than any other media of communication.