Branding Your Business

Written by Elena Fawkner

Branding Your Business

© 2002 Elena Fawkner

If you think only big corporate names need to think about things like brand names, think again. Your brand says a lot about you and your business, and that's as true for a one person home- based operation as it is for a multinational conglomerate. In this article we look at how creating a strong brand for your business can help you set yourself apart fromrepparttar pack and layrepparttar 117448 right foundation forrepparttar 117449 future growth of your business.


Your brand is more than justrepparttar 117450 logo on your letterhead and business cards or your business name. It is your corporate identity. An effective brand tellsrepparttar 117451 world who you are, what you do and how you do it, while atrepparttar 117452 same time establishing your relevance to, and credibility with, your prospective customers.

Your brand is also something more ethereal. It is how your business is perceived by its customers. If your brand has a high perceived value, you enjoy many advantages over your competition, especially when it comes to pricing. Why do you think people are prepared to pay stupid money for items of clothing withrepparttar 117453 initials "CK" on them? Perceived value. Perceived value as a result of very effective brand promotion resulting in very high brand awareness.

Now, I'm not saying we all need to rush out and start creating brands that are going to be recognizedrepparttar 117454 world over. Most of us simply don't haverepparttar 117455 time or other resources necessary. What I am suggesting, however, is that it is possible for your brand to dominate your niche.


=> Differentiation

We touched on this inrepparttar 117456 previous section when we looked at what a brand is and how it can be used to increaserepparttar 117457 perceived value of your products and services. The main reason for creating your own brand is to differentiate yourself from your competition. New websites are a dime a dozen. So are home-based businesses. You need to constantly be looking for ways to set yourself apart from your competition. Your brand can do that for you.

=> More Effective, Efficient Marketing

Another good reason for creating your own brand is to make your sales force (even if that's a sales force of one - you) more effective and efficient.

Imagine if you didn't have to spendrepparttar 117458 first 50% of your time with a new prospect explaining who you are, what you do and how you do it. What if your brand had already communicated that for you? You can spend 100% of your time focusing on sales rather than educating your prospects about your business

Another benefit of branding is thatrepparttar 117459 efforts you expend increasing your brand awareness through promoting and marketing your brand to your target market automatically transfers to your products and services. So, even when you're advertising your brand, you're indirectly also marketing your products and services.


OK, so you're convinced you need to create your own brand. Where on earth do you start?

We saw earlier that your brand needs to say who you are, what you do and how you do it. It needs to do all these things atrepparttar 117460 same time as establishing your relevance to, and building credibilty with, your prospective customers. Needless to say, it is absolutely essential, if you are to build your own brand, that *you yourself* have a firm grasp of who you are, what you do and how you do it. If not, you're going to haverepparttar 117461 devil's own time getting that message across to anyone else, let alone establishing your relevance and credibility.

=> Write A Mission Statement

So, let's start by creating a mission statement. What isrepparttar 117462 mission of your business? Obviously you're in business to make a profit. But making a profit is a byproduct of a successful business. Focus instead on how you choose to achieve that profit. What are your core values?

A good place to begin thinking about your mission is to put yourself inrepparttar 117463 shoes of your customers. Put yourself in their target market. Let's say your business is web hosting. If you're inrepparttar 117464 market for a web host, what things are important to you? Different people will be looking for different benefits but you can bet that they want their website to be accessible to site visitors so reliability will be high on their list. Price is also likely to be high onrepparttar 117465 list as is 24/7 technical support. What about add-on features such as unlimited email aliases, cgi support and what-not? These things will be highly important to some and less important to others. So focus onrepparttar 117466 benefits that are likely to be highly relevant torepparttar 117467 majority of your target market. Let's settle for our purposes on reliability, price and technical support.

Your mission statement might read something like this: "I strive to earn a fair return on my investment of time and money by providing affordable webhosting with guaranteed 99% uptime and 24/7 telephone technical support". That's a pretty general statement and if you decide to focus on a particular niche ofrepparttar 117468 webhosting market, such as small business, you may want to more narrowly focus on that group in your mission statement.

You At A Dead End? Look Deeply Into My Eyes!

Written by Richard Vegas

The president of a large North Eastern company, doing business internationally, was visiting his California division. While he was there, he saw a very large photograph of, of all people, himself, hanging onrepparttar wall.

He was inrepparttar 117447 office of his Vice President's private secretary. He said to her, Linda, that's a very large picture you have of my mug for this size room isn't it?

Linda said you know what I do when I have a problem? He said yea, you throw darts at it. Don't you? She smiled and said no, here's what I do. Then she demonstrated by propping her elbows on her desk, placing her chin in her cupped hands, and looking up at that picture said, Boss, whatrepparttar 117448 heck would you do to solve this?

What Kinds of Images do you visualize?

Linda used a very powerful motivator to help solve her problems. She identified with a successful image. This sort of visualization can breakrepparttar 117449 cycle of self-defeat and bad habits those years of struggles have set up with-in a personality.

Linda went on to testify, I find it extremely helpful to identify with a successful and positive image that inspires me to makerepparttar 117450 right decisions. She said, sometimes it's a slogan, a picture, or any symbol that has deep meaning to me.

What do your images say to you?

Some people may find what Linda does humorous. But,repparttar 117451 results of her actions are startling. Do you have a picture or symbol in your home or office that could give yourepparttar 117452 right answer for an important decision?

It might be a picture of a father, mother, husband, wife, Benjamin Franklin, maybe Benedict Arnold, nah….I'm kidding about that. I sure hope you don't visualize Benedict Arnold. :>) Why it could be a picture of a long deceased grand parent. Just anything that has deep meaning to you.


Make sure it conjures up deep POSITIVE emotions onrepparttar 117453 inside of you. This is nothing to play around with. Ifrepparttar 117454 image gives you that warm fuzzy feeling inside then you're onrepparttar 117455 right track. If it makes you start looking for places to hide more bodies, then all bets is off.

When it's Time to Speak…….Shut Up!!

What will your image say to you? Will you Listen? There is only one way to find out. The next time you are faced with a serious problem or have to make a major decision, ask your image a question. Then LISTEN…duh…ding-a-ling.

What you hear could berepparttar 117456 most important advice you could get. When that deep stirring in your gut says, this isrepparttar 117457 way, do this, do that, then you have foundrepparttar 117458 breakthrough you're looking for. Be patient, get quiet and listen. If you're not hearing anything, I can almost guarantee you you're not quiet. There is still too much turmoil onrepparttar 117459 inside of you.

Another point you need to recognize is your situation is going to change whether you takerepparttar 117460 initiative to change it positively or not. But, usingrepparttar 117461 concept of talking to your motivational images and listening, you haverepparttar 117462 power to determine its direction. Ah….. I like that. You bet.

Cont'd on page 2 ==> © 2005
Terms of Use