When people think of branding, they often think of just a logo or business card. Or they think of the opposite extreme, such as Apple or Virgin, and so assume they will never have the budget to "brand effectively."
Although dazzling branding is more than just pretty pictures, it also is something that is easily attainable if businesspeople put the right thought and effort into it.
Dispelling five popular myths about branding is key to starting that process and transforming your business.
Myth No. 1: Branding Is Hard
Branding is not rocket science. It simply requires focused thought about what you want your business to stand for and to whom, and then a commitment to communicate that message through everything you do visually and experientially.
With my clients, I offer a 10-step process to building a firm brand strategy. But once it's built, you are never "done" nor do you ever stop being a steward for your brand once all the processes, websites, and logos are in place.
You need to constantly be vigilant and regularly do a "system check" on your materials, business practices, customer service, and messaging to ensure your brand is clear and consistent.
You also need to commit to living your values and ensuring that all your employees and partners can verbalize and live those values as well.
Maria Ross is a brand strategist, author, speaker, and the founder of Red Slice. She advises entrepreneurs, startups, and SMBs on how to create an irresistible brand. The second edition of her Branding Basics for Small Business: How to Create an Irresistible Brand on Any Budget launched April 1, 2014.
LinkedIn: Maria Ross