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What is Branding?

What is Branding?

Branding is big business but it is important for all sized businesses. Some brands are so strong they have become verbs: Google, Skype, Photoshop. Some brands are so effective the brand has become the generic product category: Vaseline, Q-Tip, Xerox. Band-Aid.

You want to be sure your brand is created intentionally and not accidentally. If you are using social media to promote your business, your brand must be clear, consistent, logical and focused. The last thing you want to create is confusion in the marketplace.

Brands help create emotional connections with customers. People do business with people they know, like and trust. Your brand should reflect the unique values your product, service and/or people bring to the company. What do customers think of when they think of your brand? If you do not know, ask your core customers. How do they see your brand? How did you earn their loyalty? What is their emotional connection to your brand? What one word would they use to describe your brand? If your customers are not aligned in your one word, you have work to do.

It takes work to be able to get customers to say: Volvo is safety, American Express is privileged, Apple is innovative, Disney is magical. Your key word can help you in how customers and prospects can find you in web searches. It is critical that all your messages reflect the reality of your brand.

You and your customers need to be able to answer the questions: What is your brand positioning? What is your brand personality? What is your brand promise?

Brand is more than logo, tagline or symbols. Brand is feelings, experiences, relationships, images and guarantees. Brand exists in the mind of the customer. Brand can evolve over time.

Your brand is the sum total of everything you do. It is what you promise to deliver to customers. It is what the customer experiences in doing business with you. It is every touch point between the business and the customer.

It is critical to deliver on your brand promise in every customer interaction and live the brand attributes in every customer touch point.

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