During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a rancher would mark his cattle with a brand. This brand, depicting an image unique to his ranch, distinguished his cattle from another's in the event of a broken fence. Branding, in today's modern marketing world operates much the same way. It seeks to distinguish a product or service from the competition and create a lasting impression in a prospect's mind.
Pay dear attention to your branding programs from the outset, because they work to strengthen the "link of trust" between your company and its buyers.
Shaping Your Brand Image
To start, consider first the personality of your company. Is it sexy or sweet? Tough or tender? Is it more like John Wayne? George Clooney? Andy Griffith?
And if you think all this is hooey, consider these questions: Do Marlboros really taste better than other cigarettes? Is H&R Block superior to the tax accountant down the street? No, but a big reason these companies are leaders is because they have successfully built a personality around their brands.
Name: the First Step
How different would you be if your name were Clem or Matilda? Your company name sets a tone for your brand, right from the start. Names can be generated from invented words (Xerox), initials (IBM) and founder's names (Johnson & Johnson). Some of the best names, though, communicate a benefit (U-Haul or Budget Car Rental).
Logo: Your Company's Symbol
Take the first step (it's free).
You may also like:
- How to Achieve Cultural Velocity (And Why You Need to): Jonah Berger and Stefan Burford on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
- Secrets to Finding the Perfect Name for Your Brand: Jeremy Miller of 'Sticky Branding' on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
- The 10 Most Valuable Global Brands
- Nine Criteria for an Ironclad Brand Strategy: Lindsay Pedersen on Marketing Smarts [Podcast]
- Brand Marketing vs. Performance Marketing: Finding the Right Balance