Saturday, August 14, 2010

Top 4 Reasons to Brand Your Business

By Anne Bachrach

Business branding is an imperative part of creating and growing a successful business. Understanding how to brand your business effectively is just as important as providing top quality client service or pricing your products and services appropriately. Below is a list of the Top 4 Reasons to Brand Your Business.

Memorable: When you effectively brand your business, you become more memorable. No longer will you have to worry about losing business to your competitor because clients will be able to distinctively remember you rather than the "other guy." Clients are more likely to refer you to everyone they know or become a repeat client when they identify with your brand.

Instead of choosing an all black logo, consider using a bright logo to brand your business. Why? Because a brighter logo is far more memorable than an all black logo and will visually set you apart from your competitors. Are you more likely to remember the computer person with the colorful green logo or the computer person with an all black logo? Chances are, subconsciously, the colorful logo will always be the one to stand out.

Slogan Slinging: Creating a memorable slogan is an important part of branding your business. Choosing the right slogan has the power to catch the attention of clients and prospects. You will want a slogan that is descriptive, catchy and personable; yet industry specific. For example, if you're a writer, a slick choice for a slogan might be "The Right Writer." If you're an interior designer, "Changing lives, one room at a time" may be an appropriate slogan. Incorporate your slogan into the tagline of your logo, website design, business cards and all other marketing materials. When people hear your slogan, they will instantly be reminded of your brand.

A slogan not only creates the sense of an established business, it can also be used to further propel your status by being used when introducing you in interviews, magazine features, public speaking engagements and radio and TV advertisements. Use your slogan at every opportunity! At networking events, introduce yourself as John Smith, "The Right Writer." Continued plugging of your slogan will only help push your business forward and build momentum. You can then use that momentum to capture more clients and revenue.

Perceived Increased Value: When you have successfully branded your business, consumers are often willing to pay more for your products or services because your business is perceived as a status symbol. Even if you're selling similar or the very same products as your competitors, consumers may be willing to pay a premium to purchase the product from you just to be able to sling a shopping bag with your logo around their arms.

You can create an increased perception of value to your business by associating your business with other high status companies, individuals, or local events. Consider sponsoring a fashion show of an up-and-coming local designer or making a generous contribution to a high-status event in your area, such as a black-tie charity ball. Ideally, you'd be able to get a high-status celebrity, model, or even a local celebrity to appear in an ad for your business. Though it may present a challenge, it is business branding at its best because increasing the perceived value of your business will directly put money into your pocket.

Decreased Marketing Expenses: Once your business becomes a household name, you'll enjoy the benefits of decreased marketing expenses. When your brand is recognized as a well-known and high-quality product or service, that perception will provide momentum on marketing efforts. While no business can go without marketing, you may be able to slightly decrease your marketing budget while still enjoying steady revenue.

Learning how to brand your business is the key to building a successful business that rides the momentum wave. When you successfully brand your business, you will realize substantial rewards such as "buzz worthy" public attention that will most likely lead to increased exposure, business growth, and a raving fan base. It is easier to partner with companies who are familiar with your brand and reputation.

So how do you build a brand for your business? While you can do-it-yourself, it would be in the best interest of your business to hire a professional branding firm to create a comprehensive package that conveys an accurate message, along with a catchy logo and slogan that captures the mission and personality of your business. While the expense may be something you had not previously considered, it usually pays off BIG in the long run. Leverage the experience of an expert to help you grow your business.