In a sense some people see branding your business as the same as marketing your business; however they are NOT. Branding is the “what” and marketing is the “how.” Let me explain.
Branding is the public perception of your product or the service you offer. It is your reputation. Marketing is how you get the word out about what your business can offer and how it can solve a problem to your potential customers.
Some of the ingredients to your brand should consist of your (1) Promise – what you are offering your clients when they do business with you. (2) Personality and tone – the feel that other customers will get from you when they do business with you. (3) Purpose – what is the need you fulfill for your customers.
What comes to mind when others see your business? What feel does a person get when they do business with you? That becomes your brand. It is other people’s perception. Let me give you an example: Chick fil A is a fast food restaurant just like McDonald’s, Popeye’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Wendy’s. However, when Chick fil A came on the scene, they branded themselves as a leader in customer service among fast food restaurants. They are known not only for good food but excellent customer service and fast service and fresh food. No matter how many cars you see in the parking lot, you are sure to get out in a timely manner.
Panda Express is another fast food chain that did not want to look like other Chinese take-outs. They branded themselves to be a step above other places. When you visit Panda Express, you can see the food in front of you, always fresh and clean as well as fast. Remember there are a lot of companies that do the same thing, but my question is what makes yours stand out?
Businesses were created to solve problems and marketing is your unique way of informing the public that you exist. Below is a partial list of ways that you can let your customers know you exist.
- Paid advertising (print & broadcast)
- Public relations (unpaid media)
- Social media
- Networking events
- Online (SEO, google ads, blogs)
- Mobile apps
- Speaking engagements
- Direct mail
- Word of mouth
- Printed materials (flyers, business cards, brochures)
- Car magnets
- Chamber of commerce
- And more
Make sure that whatever you put out represents the level of customer that you want to attract. Most importantly, make sure you are able to perform at the level you are attracting.
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