from Small Business Branding.com 1/07 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
What is a Brand? It’s the name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s product distinct from those of other sellers. A brand can become the most valuable asset of a company. (ie, Coca-Cola is the #1 recognized brand around the world)
Think branding is only for large multi-national corporations? Think again. Here are some easy tips you can use to grow your “brand” with your customers.
1. Your LOGO really doesn’t matter that much. Would you choose MSN as your search engine over Google because of their Logo? No, having a nice professional Logo is great, but it very rarely increases sales. I’m all for a professional Logo, but don’t think you need to spend a fortune on it. It’s more important to include your Logo on every piece of communication. Put it on business cards, letterhead, envelopes, invoices, yellow page ads, building signage, newsletters, etc.
2. Have a professional Website. It’s not just good enough to just have a quality website. You must reflect your brand image. If you want to be known as a professional, the last thing you want is a poorly-designed Website. It doesn’t reflect well on you. Everyone uses the web today to check out your product, services, company. If someone recommends your service, you can almost guarantee that they will go Online to look for you. Your Website design should be updated at least every two years to stay current.
3. Blogs are good. They help your business on multiple levels. First off, valuable content on a consistent basis will make you look like an expert. People are looking for experts, not apprentices. The software that powers Blogs has multiple advantages. It’s very easy to publish. It’s a database driven environment where style is separate from content, so you will not need to go back to your web design agency for every little change. And use of tags and sitemaps make basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)easy. But the real reason Blogs are great is that they enable conversation. Two-way dialog is much more valuable than a company that just dumps messaging & collateral materials on their customers.
4. Multi-Media Marketing tools. A Blog should not be your sole marketing strategy. You should have a comprehensive multi-media Marketing Plan to get your “value proposition” in front of your target audience. This can take many forms. You can launch a direct mail campaign, Email campaign, host a webinar, sponsor a local event, attend a trade show, attend networking events, cold call prospects, win awards, etc. There are a thousand different ways for you to be noticed. You have to find the best combination of methods for your strategic goals. Data shows that people need to be exposed to a brand at least seven times before they buy. If you simply do one touch and stop, you’re wasting valuable budget dollars and probably wondering why your efforts are not successful.
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