What is branding? It is only one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small. It is a promise to your clients about who your company is and what they stand for. Branding is meant to identify services and deliver a message that a business or product is the best option for a current or potential client. In the ultra competitive business world it is important for you to stand out above all the rest and branding is the best place to start.
Branding starts with your company name, logo and the major products/services you want to be known for. Let’s take a look at some companies that have established their brand within each of these aspects.
- Name – Lets look at Roto-Rooter®. When I was in the plumbing business people would call me and ask “do you have a Roto-Rooter® machine?”. It was not that Roto-Rooter® had a special machine, it was that they were a well known, established company who had a trusted brand that clients knew and respected.
- Logo – Have you ever noticed that Target’s logo IS a target? How genius is that? That’s an example of your logo representing your brand. They came up with the concept and now you can simply see the logo and know it is associated with Target. Once your logo has been established place it everywhere. Make it known!
- Product /Services: When thinking about McDonalds you immediately associate the golden arches with their name. You also probably think about the Big Mac. This is the perfect example of product branding. Coke is another example of product branding. You often hear people refer to ‘soda’ as ‘Coke’. The brand name has become synonymous with the product.
These are all great examples of how companies that have established their brand, utilizing audience acknowledgement, to continually grow.
The objective of having an established brand is to have your clients’ think of you first when they are in need of the products and services you provide. If clients recognize a brand that they have used in the past and remember being pleased with it, then they are more likely to choose that service company again. A great example of this is when you are driving down the interstate and looking for somewhere to stop and eat. If you drive past an unknown restaurant like JR’s BBQ you are less likely to stop than if you drove by a Cracker Barrel or Red Lobster. This applies just the same in the service company industry as well. If you recognize a company name you are more likely to call them for the service than a company you have never heard of. The key to this is that you have to live your brand. You can say your brand stands for honesty, integrity, and fairness and then not represent that to your clients, which will eventually dilute your brand.
Zappos, an online apparel retailer, is a prime example of this concept. Their slogan is “Powered by Service®”. And they live by it. Any time you order a product from them you can expect to receive the package the following day. That’s almost unheard. That service paired with free returns offers clients a “no hassle” shopping experience. The customer service they provide keeps their clients coming back. Be true to your brand because branding creates trust. If you live up to this standard, your brand will help grow your business exponentially.
Branding is not something only large companies such as Coke, McDonalds or Zappos should worry about. It is just as important, if not more important, for smaller business to ensure a strong brand by focusing on the above-mentioned aspects of their business. When getting ready to pass the torch the value is not only to you, but the person that the torch is being passed too. A well-branded company will have a better chance of continuing to grow under new management. It is always important to think about the future of the business.
The companies that are growing the fastest, small and large have one thing in common. They have established themselves as a leader in their industry by creating a strong brand. It is important to remember you can get ahead of your competition through branding. Branding your business adds more value to your client and to your employees.