As a marketing professional, I spend quite a bit of time talking about that compelling, but overused word, “branding” with my clients and team members. We’re not talking about branding like those of us with West Texas ranching families remember…but the word that causes otherwise normal business owners to contact us (often hysterically) and say “BUT I HAVE TO HAVE A BRAND” (and by the way, I need it tomorrow).
We agree that a fantastic branding strategy can change everything about your business, but we also know that creating a phenomenal brand requires much more than most people anticipate. The logo, look, website, and business cards are certainly components of a brand. But a brand is impossible to create without a clear understanding of your target market, ideal clients’ desires, your competitive advantage, and the reason why clients buy your products or services in the first place. This is the part that is most critical, and is the part that many businesses forget to consider when creating those visual things that have become known as the “brand”.
If we define branding as permanently marking you in the mind of consumers, then we must consider immediately: how do you want to be marked? (You don’t want your cattle marked just like the guy who owns the next ranch over…they must stand out, be seen easily, and be recognizable to others who run across them.) Your business brand is exactly like this: your image must communicate a message that stands out, can be easily seen and understood, and is recognizable to those who want to buy or refer you to someone who does.
So think about it…how do you want to leave your mark?