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How to Make Branding Pay Off For You

By: Ed Roach

 

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The goal of this article is to explain why focusing your corporate brand is a wise business decision. Let’s get an understanding of what your brand actually is out of the way first. 

 
It is not simply your logo and marketing materials. These elements as well as your overall advertising are included within your brand image, which is a part of your overall brand.
 
Your brand is your company’s reputation. It incorporates every touch point from within your company and outside of your company. It is how the principals, shareholders, customers, suppliers, and employees interact with the company. If you are the head of a company, keep in mind that every action taken in the running of that company has a positive or negative effect on the brand.
 
Companies may want to focus their brand to accomplish many different goals. If you are looking to find deficiencies and enjoy a cost savings, consistency is going to become an important word for you. Look around your company, and see if your brand logo is the same in every application. It must have a consistent application if you want the world around you to identify your company with a common message, a common color, and a consistent design. Any deviation confuses viewers and sends a negative message. Control your brand image ruthlessly. Sloppy brand presentation reflects that negativity to your audience. This costs you money.
 
In your advertising and sales approaches, inconsistent messages confuse your audience. This confusion has an impact on the success of these activities. On your next walk around the company, ask random employees you encounter, What do we do here at “Your company?” You may be surprised to discover that everyone has a different explanation for what the company does. In many cases the answers are simply way out of date and in no way reflect the current corporate environment. This inconsistency costs you money because this is the message that is going out into the community.
 
Depending on what message is being expressed, it has an effect on recruiting talent. If what a potential key employee learns of the company doesn’t truly reflect what the company represents, then that individual will be disappointed by off-brand thinking and, as a result, offer their skill-sets to a competitor. This represents lost opportunity—lost income. 
 
It’s all due to a brand that isn’t being managed. It reflects a brand that allows the marketplace and your competitors (by extension) define who you are—good or bad. This is not a great place to be.
 
Every company that incorporates ISO in it’s operations would appreciate the benefits of focusing their brand properly, because of validations of discoveries and implementations. Focusing your brand compliments the philosophy of ISO. Deficiencies are the pariah of both disciplines.
 
In good times and bad, focusing your brand is an advantage you should investigate. Branding differentiates your company as a strategy. It looks at mining your company’s opportunities and concentrating on what “actually” makes your company different than the competition. Branding’s goal is not mere advertising spin but a tangible differentiation that was borne from what makes your company great. Once this uniqueness is launched it will invigorate sales giving them a real world and tangible story to tell. They will no longer have to quote the advertising but will instead have a compelling offer to present to potential customers. This excitement translates into money for you. 
 
Employee and suppliers will have a better idea of what is expected of them. Their understanding of the brand story will be consistent. Future product offerings can be based on a strong brand perspective. A good case in point would be Apple and it’s line of products. Their every business decision is consistent with brand, and it is reflected in profits and customer loyalty. Branding can ease you out of commodity hell. When customers love you, they are more willing to buy from you—even if it costs a little more. Don’t believe it? Ask sales if they have EVER won a job where your numbers were higher, or price wasn’t part of the equation. Their answer will be yes and your unique selling point is somewhere in that relationship.  
 
One day you may want to retire or expand. Potential investors are more likely to look favorably on your brand if it is a leader in its category rather than a follower. Overall, brand strength results in an exciting new direction for the company and a revitalized attitudes among it’s many stake holders. Isn’t it about time you investigated managing your corporate brand wisely and join the ranks of companies who sell relationships to customers instead of products? If you see money on the table in any part of this article then I think you get it.
 
It’s time to get out there and shake things up again.
 
Published: September 4, 2013
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Ed Roach

For more than 25 years, Ed Roach has worked with hundreds of successful small businesses by helping them develop unique brand positioning strategies that differentiate them from their competition. Ed appreciates working with companies who see the value of going beyond mere slogans and have a desire to sell from compelling positions, and consults predominantly with businesses facilitating his proprietary process, "Brand Navigator." This branding process effectively focuses a company's brand, delivering a positioning strategy that can be taken to their marketplace. He is the author of "101 Branding Tips," a book of practical advice for your brand that you can use today.

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