“Ford Tough”, “Chevy Strong” and State Farm being “Like a Good Neighbor” are all brands that millions of dollars have been spent to develop. Of course, we don’t have millions to spend but that is no excuse for not paying attention to or caring what our brand is saying to the public. Again, I go back to my initial questions. How is your company brand perceived in the community or is it perceived at all? The later is probably much worse.
I read a comment of a young man, who was lamenting about businesses that talk about building their brand. His point was that you can’t “design” your brand. Instead, who you really are “is” your brand. He is absolutely right. If you don’t care about your product or customer then it doesn’t matter how much money you spend telling them otherwise, your brand will be defined for you. But this is not what you believe in.
I am sure that you are proud of your company. If you are doing your best to meet the needs and expectations of your customers, you should be proud. Now you should tell them about how good you are. This is “branding”.
If you feel that your product or service does not meet what you want your brand to be, then you need to fix these deficiencies. Your brand acts like a shortened version of your mission statement. It is who you are.
So how do you go about building and communicating your brand to the public? Well, there are three things that you need focus on to stand tall in the crowd.
- Build your brand and build it with pride. Demonstrate who you are inside. How hard you work and how strong your abilities are. And don’t forget about how your company is perceived to the community outside of your customer base.
- Develop your portfolio so that it shows your brand in its best light.
- Get your brand out there to be seen by those who count.
To build a brand that you can be proud of is not that hard to do. You just need to demonstrate that you are focused and dedicated to working hard to satisfy the needs of your customers. If you are a restaurant, you provide good quality food at a reasonable price. If you are more of an upscale restaurant, perhaps you pride yourself in delivering good quality food in an atmosphere that is unmatched in town. If you are a retail store or provide a service your pride could be in the quality of product, an atmosphere of customer service, or desire to help your customers get the “exact” product that meets their needs.
Developing a portfolio is something to which most businesses give little thought. A portfolio is normally perceived as something an artist or designer uses to present examples of their work. I am suggesting that every business needs to do the same thing. Examples of your work and examples of your business philosophies are items to have in your portfolio. You need a platform by which you can be presented to a prospective customer, from which they can gain a better understanding as to who you are. This is the way you stand out.
And then there are the ways that you get your brand out there in the world and in front of the right people. There are so many tools available now that there are no excuses for not taking advantage of them.
I hope you understand the importance of this and I am planning a discussion of each of the three focus areas in the upcoming posts. Let’s start a discussion about how it might apply to you. Leave a comment and we will all talk about it.
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