Your Business By Callie Reagan
Branding is more than just a logo or color selections on your website. If we look back at cattle and other livestock brands it told us not only who the owner was, but often it told us the quality and philosophies or practices of the owner. It was an image or a symbol that meant something more. When you are branding your business, you need to think about it in the same way. We can all think of brands, they change the way we use words like asking for a Kleenex rather than a tissue. They inspire us to purchase because their products are popular or last a long time. The point is, we know a brand when we see one, but how do we go about creating one. This starts at the beginning, it starts with the business plan. Even if you are rebranding it starts with the business plan because the business plan is who you are, who you plan to be and what you stand for. If you donâ€™t have this step figured out, you make all the other ones harder and the opportunity for consistency goes down.
Consistency is your key to success when it comes to branding your business. Building a brand is also building your reliability and what you are known for. Do you want to be known as the company that consistently never calls someone back or do you want to be the one that always answers before the third ring with a very polished greeting? Brands can be positive and negative. Always strive to be consistent with the positive.
There are specific things that you need to do consistently to build your brand. Here are a few that top the list.
In your business and marketing plan, you should have identified your target audience. You should know their gender, age, where they live, what they like to buy, how many kids they have, and so on. This is important because if you are sending out a message you want the right people to be hearing you. Focus on who you want to be in front of, and be there. Where are they looking, reading and watching? Make sure that you know yourself and you know them.
Communication is important for any business. Itâ€™s the first and last impression and everything in between. Know what you are going to say and when you are going to say it. Have a plan on what to say when you are meeting people, do you have a cohesive and concise message that you are sharing? The other big thing is to decide on a schedule and stick to it. If you plan on a monthly email blast to all your clients, make sure that it's calendared and you are on time. Donâ€™t oscillate between having one every week then once a month to every other week. Be someone that they can count on. Schedule your social media, make sure that they can count on you being there.
Find your voice. Some companies thrive off the casual tone in their communications, others need authority, technical or friendly tones. It needs to fit your target audience. Knowing them will allow you to tailor your communication style to what they hear from you, where they hear it, and how it comes across.
406 Woman Vol.2 No.3 Business