Branding Is More than Marketing, Especially Today
Have you noticed how much faster everything seems to be moving – it’s not just the holidays, either. It’s everything. We have to work faster, think faster and make decisions faster – or at least it seems that way. And, in my opinion, after coaching so many business owners and professionals, we need to adapt, work differently and more efficiently. And, most importantly, we have to think differently.
What do I mean?
Well, let’s just take one example to illustrate what I mean and how I think you can make a change that really makes a difference for you.
- Branding – then and NOW
- In the past, branding has meant:
- A visual representation of our business – like a LOGO. An image or picture that make people think of us.
- A tagline – a saying that reminds the public of us – think “Good to the last drop!” or “finger-lickin’ good”
- Specific colors – IBM blue, McDonald’s gold and Target red
Many of those branding elements were used to recall a business to the mind of the consumer. That’s great – but it’s only the start. There is so much more needed to convert that initial thought into a buying customer. And with the pace accelerated in today’s world, who has the time to capture the customer with all those next steps? Not many businesses.
That’s why the idea of branding has a new meaning and use for all of us.
Branding is more today
Branding today encompasses everything about our company. When our customers see that LOGO or hear that tagline, our “message” must come along with it. For instance, they need to think:
- Our message – what we can do for them: our products and services
- Our values – how they will be treated: with respect, honesty and fairness
- Our promise – they will get a reliable product, good service, and fair value for their dollar
I know you’re thinking: “OK, but how do I make THAT happen? I have limited time, control and budget.”
Even though I know you want a 3-step process to get it in place, I can’t give you that. What I can give you is this:
Build relationships using the basics.
Business relationships don’t just exist between peers and colleagues. The most important relationship is the one you have with your clients and prospects. And the basics of building and maintaining those relationships are respect, trust, reliability and honesty – just like it has always been. They are the foundation of past business and for all future business.
Like I tell my Grow Your Business Coaching clients, you have to realize that you can’t build tight, intimate relationships with everyone. And you don’t have to. However, if you create relationships that are centered on those four elements, you will have relationships that result in loyalty and long-term connections.
When anyone hears your name, sees your logo or hears of your product, your brand will shine because there is substance behind the image or words.
It takes conscious effort every day to work and live a certain way – based on the foundation of values you hold dear to your core. That’s your brand – and it will shine through quickly and efficiently – and that means in tune with the pace of the world no matter what speed it’s spinning.
To your success!