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Branding Basics: Set Yourself Apart from the Start

Thursday, December 12th, 2013 by Erin Peters

Any business owner will tell you that in order to build awareness, connection, and trust, it requires consistent interactions. Your brand is no exception. thumb---branding

A brand is a multidimensional medium that can be your greatest differentiator and competitive edge. Branding is fundamental. Your brand is your promise to your customer. What you communicate visually and verbally are part of your brand strategy. Branding promotes recognition.

A company’s brand can be key to its success.

So, where do you start?

1.    Do Your Research: Who is most likely to buy your product? Set a specific, actionable goal. Include a clear vision statement that outlines an aspirational view of the impact you plan to make on the business world.

2.    Claim Your Name: Distribution channels are also part of your brand strategy. This means the URL, the Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social channel URL’s, as well. Go to GoDaddy.com and make a list, because your favorite may not be available in all channels.

3.    Make it Simple: The name should be short and memorable. What are the core features and benefits of your products or services? Define why your customers should buy your product and identify with your brand.  Answer what can be easily seen and measured: price, quality, service and features. Simplicity is the cornerstone of a good brand. Colors and language should all be considered from everything to logo design to the content on the website.Business Branding Infographic

4.    Differentiate Yourself: No one likes a copycat. You want to set yourself apart from competitors. Branding should explain, in tone and visuals, how you’re different from them. Make sure you’ve got something interesting, relevant, and memorable to say.

5.    Use Emotion: Consider a spokesperson. Potential customers will typically connect with a person more so than with a brand. Take Flo from Progressive or the gecko from Geico. A good brand connects with people at an emotional level.

6.    Be Consistent: A company should have a consistent look-and-feel.  Create consistent and engaging content in order to educate people about your brand and products so they get to know you, like you and trust you.

7.    Market Yourself: It’s not enough to claim your name anymore. Engage in social media and be a part of the conversation. Here, you can use emotion and humanize your brand. This also means fully integrating social media onto your site. You’ll look savvy and increase connectivity at the same time.  And who doesn’t like a company that’s in the know?

8.    Monitor Your Reputation: Start by setting up a Google Alert, which allow users to select keywords to track and to receive e-mail updates whenever they appear on the Web. And services like Viralheat detect whether a post is positive, negative, or neutral. If you don’t have time, consider hiring a digital marketing agency.

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, because it’s a company’s face to the world. It requires passion, vision and courage.  And smart branding allowed the company to clearly communicate a change in direction or new era for the company, while continuing to build its reputation.

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