Tackle It Tuesday – in the Weekly Productivity Program, Tuesdays are dedicated to Tackling those dreaded daunting tasks. The ones you look at and go Oh Man That Is Hard, A Pain, Overwhelming – all of those might be true but it needs to get done – So Tackle It Tuesday is the day you do it! Completing a task you dread will liven things up and energize you!
Keeping Your Message Consistent and Having Clear Recognizable Branding
What is branding?
Entrepreneur Magazine writes the definition of branding is: The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products
When you decided to go into business you had an idea of a name and what you were going to set out to do. You probably came up with a tag line and a short speech telling who you are and what you do – you might not have known that was the start of you branding your business. Branding includes color choices, visual aids like business cards, your website and even your attitude. Is your branding message consistent everywhere people see you or your business represented?
If you are a new start up small business, a new home based business or even a new network marketer think about all the pieces that go into branding YOUR business to be recognized anywhere! The brand should include not only a piece of what your business is but a piece of YOU.
If you are a network marketer or direct seller, my advice is to brand YOU and not the business – the home company has done that for you. In the sea of businesses you need to be certain YOU stand out for who and what you are to attract people to want to do business with you Create your branding around you being an expert. Branding YOU instead of your product or company allows you the freedom to maybe change products/companies if that one is not a good match and not have YOU loose your following.
If you are a business that has been around for a year or more, take a look at your branding – is it consistent? Have you changed it more than once since you opened shop? Sometimes from the time we open our businesses to the time it is settled in the branding might organically morph into something stronger and sometimes we create images, messages and attitudes that fit the situations at hand. Growing with your branding is great, switching it up is not.
Check out branding of the Top Dogs…
When you look around town or watch TV branding is EVERYWHERE! Coffee shops, retail stores, fast food
restaurants, vehicles, entertainment networks and the list goes on! Colors, shapes, tag lines we all know them by sight and sound – heck our kids hum commercial jingles in the car! (you don’t even have to see or hear the whole thing to know what it is) Branding creates a sense of familiarity – people do business with those they know and like!
Take a moment and review all of the elements to your business, is your brand consistent? Is it still the message that best represents your business? Check out your business cards, does it include your picture? The correct contact information? Is your place of business in order? Do you represent the color scheme in your marketing materials? Do you have a website, and if so does it match your business cards and place of business look? Do you send out email marketing messages, is your branding represented there? You want people to recognize your on site and sound!
Always remember your presence is your brand as well. This will include those who work for you and your family. People watch people, if you do business and are “visible” in a close knit town or social media, remember you are doing business all of the time! Two close friends of mine, one Casey Eberhart – he is known to be positive ALL OF THE TIME, he is a speaker and a networking guru – his favorite word is AWESOME! I am sure he has bad days but I can assure you no one outside of his trusted circle will ever know. I am sure he wakes up not wanting to speak a day or two but no one in the audience will ever know! He is human, things happen. Second is Judith Cassis, she is professional to the oomph degree, a business woman that always thinks of others, a speaker and a networking guru as well – you will never see her in a situation that would have her treat, act, or represent herself in any out of character manner. Of course she has bad days but she too, unless you were in that inner circle and even that is “iffy”, will never show it out around town. This is complete branding! They live their branding daily, people know every time when running into these two individuals who and what they will encounter.
Branding is even in the team/employees/volunteers you might have. Are they answering the phone representing your business message (attitude wise). Do they offer customer service that follows suit with your message? Do they dress the part? Even a virtual assistant is part of your brand, they might not work IN your office but they do deal with the outside people looking in. Having your team/employees/volunteers on the same branding page as you and your company is a MUST – be sure you set the example for one – show the branding in you. Be sure instruct how branding follows through in their touch with customers/clients. Be sure their emails carry your branding message as well with an eSignature – they send out emails to clients too!
Branding is SOOO important – this could be considered the good will portion of your business.
It is the promises of what people will receive from your company along with how they will receive it. Your branding has nothing to do with the amount of “assets” you own in the company but more so the “attitude” of your company.
I have to repeat myself, people do business with those they consider a friend, those they feel they know and like – branding is a huge part of this. Review your branding message. Maybe get a close group of friends together to be your focus group (2 or 3 people) and have them review your branding from all aspects it appears – do not explain to them what anything means and have them tell you what message they get from your branding efforts. Suggestions on how to do this:
- Branding: ask them to visit your website
- Branding: give them a business card
- Branding: send them the latest copy of your newsletter
- Branding: send them an email (maybe with the instructions on what and how you want them to review your stuff
- Branding: have them call into your office and check on the team’s reactions (do not tell your team)
- Branding: have them stop by your office and check on the team’s interaction (do not tell your team)
- Branding: invite them to evaluate you as well
Ask them to write up an evaluation, no hard feelings! See what they have experienced through their eyes. Did they come out with the message you are hoping to be sending? If yes AWESOME, if not ask for some suggestions (you don’ t have to follow them but guidance is great) on what they feel can be improved. Do this as a round robin and work on each others businesses – everyone needs great branding!
Tomorrow we are going to discuss websites and blogging with branding and your message!