There is a spectrum of opinions when it comes to “brand,” which leads to a lot of money being spent on what companies consider “branding.” Branding is mostly identified with a product, but is also tied to the value of an organization or service.
For example, cattle are literally branded with their ranch symbol, which communicates the ranch’s identity and quality. Companies are no different. When managing brands, whether it is for product, company or service, companies build awareness and assurance that the products they carry offer quality and reliability through their “brand.”
Your brand is everything around your company. This goes well beyond finding the right image or logo. It’s what’s behind the image that counts as well. A brand is tangible, just like you. Branding for a product is comparable to branding your service. You still need to convey your identity while establishing a presence in the consumer’s mind and attract and keep customers.
From an article published in ELECTRICAL WHOLESALING magazine called, Your Very Own Brand, here are three steps for successful branding:
Educate Your Customers
Much of the quality you provide for every transaction to your customers is hidden. Your job is to educate them. Reveal your quality. Do your customers know the quality of the products you sell? Whatever you do to train them will pay off dividends in the long run.
For example, a gentleman walks into a rug store to buy a throw rug for the front door. A man in a suit approaches him and begins to ‘educate’ the gentleman about all the different types of rugs. For twenty minutes the salesman had store employees pulling rugs off the racks and spreading them out on the floor for them to see and feel. The salesman weaved stories of where the rugs were made and how they were made. “You don’t have to do that,” the gentleman urged. “I am only looking for a throw rug.” The salesman replied, “That’s okay. It’s my pleasure.”
The salesman smiled when he was finished and the gentleman quietly deliberated. He then bought a much larger rug than he intended. The salesman’s education paid off, as he was selling by educating.
Look For Branding Opportunities Everywhere
There are opportunities to brand your business everywhere. It’s not just about changing your logo. It’s about looking for opportunities to be of value; to showcase the quality of what you have to offer.
Here’s how one entrepreneur missed a valuable branding opportunity:
There was a coffee shop outside of the security area in an airport. The owner of the coffee shop sat behind the counter watching the line move inch-by-inch. He was disappointed that no one would leave the 40-60 minute line to purchase coffee because they did not want to lose their place. He missed a golden opportunity!
Bring the product to them. Do you think people would have purchased coffee and paid a premium to have the coffee delivered to them in the line? Exactly. The coffee shop owner sat blaming security for his lost business instead of identifying the opportunity right in front of him.
Use Project Photos and Case Histories
Persuade customers to do business with you by showing them what you can do. Your customers want to know one thing: will they be happy doing business with you? Prove it by exhibiting photos and stories of successful projects to both those you know and first time customers. By being able to visualize and identify with work your company has completed, clients will be more apt to trust in what you can do.
With every transaction or correspondence, you create your company’s brand. You either reinforce your brand and reputation or you do harm to it. You must brand yourself everyday by who you are and what you offer. It’s not just about your logo. Your brand is about what’s behind that image and how others perceive you, your value, and the quality of what you do.