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Marketing and Branding is SO High School – 6 Tips for Building Your Brand
If you build an easily-recognized brand that's respected by others, you'll be on your way to business success. If you fail at branding, you risk offending prospects or driving customers to other vendors. Following these 6 tips for branding will help you to build a brand that fits your business but also meets the needs of your target market.
#1 – Think Things Through
When you're building your brand, be sure to think things through at each stage of the process. If you have a logo designed or a tagline developed, have people outside of your circle of influence review them and give you their honest feedback. If you ask for advice from close colleagues and friends, they might hold back on criticism to spare your feelings. Asking for advice from people outside of your immediate circle means you'll get honest feedback and find out if your logo and tagline don't make sense, offend others, or don't fit in with your business.
#2 – Don't Make Things Too Hard
When you're developing your brand, you don't want to make your target audience think too hard about what you're trying to say. Developing clever logos, taglines, and other items can be a great way to show your creativity and let people know they're dealing with a real person behind the business. But if you try to be too clever, you run the risk of being unclear at best and offending people at worst. Be clear about what you want your target audience to take away from all of your branding materials.
#3 – Be Different!
When you're competing with thousands of businesses offering the same products or services, having unimaginative branding materials is not the way to make yourself stand out from the crowd. There are many ways to be different from your competitors, from providing outstanding customer service to following up with customers long after their purchases. As long as you stay ethical and do what's in the best interests of your business and your customers, being different is a great way to stay competitive in a growing and changing marketplace.
#4 – Stay Ethical
In a world where the news is filled with stories about unethical companies, staying ethical is an important part of building a respected brand. Don't trick your customers by using deceptive advertising or promising results you can't deliver. This may work in the beginning, but you'll be found out and those who have been deceived will be quick to spread the word to others in your target market. Maintain the highest level of ethics and you'll be able to remain competitive while still serving the needs of your customers.
#5 – Find a Way to Be Worthy of Being Talked About
When you're building a brand, you want your company to be talked about by people in your target audience. However, it needs to be positive talk. Find ways to become worthy of being talked about in a positive way. Whether you sponsor a Little League team, donate to charity, or provide exceptional service, you can differentiate yourself and build credibility while people spread the word about your business.
#6 – Copying was Bad in High School: It's Also Bad for Branding
Whatever you do, don't copy your competitors when you're building your brand. The idea behind branding is to build a business that is recognizable, yet easily differentiated from competitors. What's worked for one company may not work for another, so copying your competitors may not bring you success. Come up with your own ideas and work with people you trust to stay creative an innovative throughout the branding process.
If you want to develop your business and reach your target audience, you need to use these branding rules to differentiate yourself from your competitors. When used correctly, these rules can make all the difference in terms of your success and profits.
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About the Author: John Herman, partner at Succeeding Steps LLC (http://www.succeedingsteps.com), has been showing online entrepreneurs how to succeed in business for nearly ten years. John uses his extensive experience in print and online publications, media, and marketing to develop innovative solutions to the issues Internet business owners face each and every day. John understands every aspect of running a business and uses his talents to develop branding, marketing, and online business strategies. As a consultant, John also helps entrepreneurs learn to succeed through the use of creative online marketing techniques.