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Marketing: Your Brand Is About More Than Just Good Looks
by Dean Mercado
First letís clear up a common misconception of what a ďBrandĒ really is. A brand is more than just your companyís name or logo. Itís more than just a particular type of product you offer such as Q-tips brand of cotton swabs. Itís more than just the look of the packaging of your product. In a nutshell your ĒBrandĒ is the culmination of everything your prospectís 5 senses can pick up on about you.
Itís the image you present at all times. From the companyís logo and color scheme all the way to the manner in which your employees dress.
Itís what your prospect hears from and about you. From what they hear about you in the media to how your customer service team handles incoming complaints.
Itís the feeling your prospect gets in all their dealings with you. From their satisfied or unsatisfied interaction with you to the relationship building activities you carry out.
Itís the pleasant or unpleasant scents that get associated with you covering everywhere from the scent of your product or facility, to even your employees.
And lastly itís also the tastes that get associated with you. From the taste of your product (if itís a product meant to be tasted) to the quality of coffee or tea you serve.
As you are probably beginning to see the picture I am painting for you, your brand encompasses everything about you. Hence you can see why itís important to always put your best foot forward.
Letís take this one step further. Even more important than being perfect in your eyes, is being consistent in the prospectís eyes.
Consistency is the key to branding. It is terrible branding practice and just plain unacceptable to offer great service one day, and bad service the next. You are better off being consistently mediocre. Then at least the customer knows what to expect and is generally more satisfied. Another example of bad branding is having a different look and feel for your website as compared to your other marketing collateral (e.g. business cards, brochures, etc.). Ultimately, your prospect should be able to recognize you at a quick glance Ė just by colors, design style, logo, etc.
For instance, letís take the fast food retailer McDonalds. They have done a spectacular job at branding. Their food tastes consistently the same no matter which location you eat at Ė essentially around the world. What you see, hear, feel, smell, and taste are pretty much consistent and acceptable across the board.
Bottom line, branding is essential to establishing your identity in the marketplace and consistency is the key to effective doing that. Prospects want consistency! Consistency breeds comfort and comfort is an aspect of relationship building - a key marketing strategy.
© 2005 Online Marketing Muscle -- All Rights Reserved.
About the Author: Dean Mercado is an Internet marketing coach, strategist, author, and speaker. Dean and his company Online Marketing Muscle help entrepreneurial professionals leverage the power of Internet marketing to turn their businesses into money magnets. Visit Online Marketing Muscle for many more Internet marketing tips.