Branding Ideas℠

Defining Your Brand defines the verb “brand” as the following: 1) to label or mark with or as if with a brand; 2) to mark with disgrace or infamy; stigmatize; 3) to impress indelibly; 4) to promote as a brand name. No business wants to be branded with disgrace or infamy, but oftentimes re-branding can reverse damage sustained by a poorly conceived product or corporate scandal. Other times, not so much: Publicly humiliated companies like AIG and KBR have attempted but failed, thus far, to change their names completely in an effort to re-brand themselves in the public eye. There’s a lot more to branding than simply changing your name or coming up with a logo and slapping it on a magnet, pen or coaster. Branding your business effectively is essential to long-term success. It means defining the quality and reliability of your product. It means establishing your company’s point of view. The cornerstone of any branding campaign should be a clear understanding of who you are, what you stand for, and where you’re going. And the smaller your business, the more important branding can be. Here are a few guidelines to help define (or redefine) your brand:

1. Focus on your strengths. All businesses have weaknesses. The job of a great branding campaign is to play up your strengths.

2. Distinguish your product or business from your competitors. Why should customers come to you instead of the guy down the road?

3. Clearly define your goal. If you don’t know what you stand for or where you’re going, how will prospective clients?

4. Be consistent. This is key to effective branding.

5. Lastly, be unique. Find a way to use your branding to make an indelible, long-lasting impression that’s unique to your product or business and helps distinguish it from competitors.

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