Small and Medium-Sized Business Tips On Raising Your Brand

I posted this article late last fall and today I think it needs repeating. Since posting, I’ve come to realize that small and medium-sized businesses have difficulty understanding the need of developing a recognizable brand. Why would Harry’s Garage in Green Bay or The Little Doz’ Inn in Appleton, WI need a brand? Because it pinpoints what you provide in images, words and actions. It helps your customers understand why and how you are different from your competition. It gives you a chance to stand out from the crowd. In today’s tough economy, how can that NOT be important?

Like Raising A Child, It Doesn’t Happen Overnight.

Building a brand is a little bit like raising a child. You start with a baby, an infant. You really might not feel much of an attachment right away, but slowly something magic starts to build. You feel something. You form that malleable little being into something that models yourself and those around you. You help define their morals, their judgement, their humor. It’s the same for a brand as it is with a child. Now, your child isn’t full-grown for many years, sometimes kids never grow up; the same with brands. Budget-wise you may spend a lot on both children and brands, but it is done slowly over time and just like with children you usually know pretty quickly when your money has been well spent. If you do it right, you’ll see it as the best money you’ve ever spent, giving you rewards far into the future.

Below is the original article from last fall, let me know what you think.

Wait! Don’t Forget Your Brand!

It’s hard to handle everything during the launch of a dynamic inbound marketing strategy, but don’t forget your brand along the way. It’s at the top of the marketing priority list of every successful business. Take Apple, for example. When a person buys an iPad or Mac they are buying the appeal, design and support of the Apple brand. They know it will be trendy and cutting edge. It will make them feel cool. That is the power of good brand creation and alignment.
future apple brand whorephoto © 2005 james keller | more info (via: Wylio)

Every marketing dollar you spend should support your brand. It’s how you stand out. It adds value to your product or company that can be measured in dollars. The brand is the story you tell people about what you provide. Below is a short overview on branding and some tips to be sure you don’t overlook your brand as you launch inbound marketing efforts.

A brand

• Expresses your company name and essence visually through a logo

• Extends throughout an organization’s communications and includes all functions of a company, product development through sales, as integral pieces of your brand

• Includes how customers perceive the company and the inherent value they place on your business

• Provides something that consistently draws attention and focus

• Is distinguished – your brand should give your audience something it wants but is not getting from your competitors

Defining your brand identity

• Determine your company’s positioning and core values

• Understand your strengths and weaknesses through honest analysis

• Know the why. Why will people want what your offer?

• Discovery — Getting to the brand’s essence takes introspection, participation and work.

Building brand equity requires a team that can create a consistent, predictable approach that stands out every time. No matter how brand efforts are scaled to fit the size and scope of the business, ignoring brand principles places businesses in peril and does not capitalize on its benefits. As a brand-experienced Inbound Marketing Coach, I would love the opportunity to help align your brand, while getting your inbound marketing efforts underway. Give me a call today!

Social Energizer’s purpose is to help companies develop lasting relationships with their customers and increase their visibility online.

In addition to building dynamic and affordable websites, we integrate inbound marketing techniques into each business’ current marketing plan and utilize digital channels and strategies like Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, and Web-integrated Email Campaigns.

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