Ask companies like McDonald’s or Starbucks how important their brand is to the success of their business. I don’t mean how important it is to have a cool recognizable logo (although that’s one good place to start). I mean how important it is to create an image for the company itself, an image that is shown through your logo and everything else you do or project to the public.
Creating this image and showing it to the world is called branding. Branding creates a strong connection between your customers and your business. It is showing a universal truth about your company. Large companies have specialists in house who work to create a brand that correctly identifies and projects that company’s image. Small companies can work with specialists at branding firms to do the same. But the work doesn’t end with the mere creation of the brand. After you have created a strong brand for your company, you need to ensure you capitalize on that brand by creating a branding system (the communicating part) to send your message. Once you communicate it effectively, your brand becomes the most powerful asset your business owns.
In creating a brand strategy you should look at three different time positions. First look at the NOW. What is your business image today and what kinds of things can you do with your brand to see an immediate impact? What niche does your business fill and your brand emphasize that you need to highlight?
Next, look on the SHORT TERM. What should you do with your branding tools over the next 24 months to maximize long term visibility for your business? What is your competition doing that you need to be aware of?
Lastly, look at LONG TERM strategy. Develop long term goals for using your brand. What can you do so that over time you are “the company” (or brand) in your community whenever someone thinks about your niche.
By creating your brand, analyzing your competitors, realizing your niche and planning your business’ branding goals and objectives based on that niche, only then can you come up with a brand strategy that optimizes your investment dollars and all your marketing efforts…and capitalize on the asset that is your brand.
From West Coast waves in Washington, to Southern charm in Georgia, to Rocky Mountain Highs in Utah and Montana, David has lived all over this great land. He now makes his home in beautiful, green St Cloud, MN (where the fishing is great) with his wife and 9 children (although only 7 are still at home). David has extensive experience in account management and sales. He works as Operations Manager and Account Representative with ZUZUGroup Branding and Design, a small creative branding firm in Central Minnesota committed to helping businesses and nonprofit organizations create their own brand power.