BRANDING TIPS FOR ENTREPRENEURS

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“Repetition” does indeed sell, but that includes consistency of both your branding message and your actual delivery of the goods or services, which –in a very large way– actually constitutes your brand!  

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Before you charge off to pizzazz up a brand, make sure you’re changes/alterations/upgrades aren’t destroying or undermining what your existing message and look have already achieved. Ask for feedback. Become a “mystery shopper” for your own business. Get an independent survey person to call customers and ask for their impressions.

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HOW you take care of your self, your family and friends, your employees and customers is your “brand” and it reflects more widely than you might imagine on how people view your business . . . It almost single-handedly determines their receptivity to the products, services, and ideas you offer, and the messages you put out!

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Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth!

Protect your brand like it was your baby, because it is! Be careful not to say anything that’s inconsistent with your branding message. Even one small slip-up can take down your whole company, even after years of doing things right. Stay alert! Don’t get hurt!

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You Are Your Brand!

Just a thought, but, you know, you never need any branding tips from any one if you simply conduct your business with the utmost integrity and reliability and responsiveness and knock ’em dead customer service with every encounter every day . . . regardless of who’s on the receiving end: people you like, people you don’t like, customers, employees, investors, lenders, advisors, suppliers, vendors, service providers, sales reps, others in your industry, your geographic and business communities, your family and friends. A tall order? How tall can you stand?

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Product/Service Branding “Prep Work”

First, brand Your SELF! In the end, people buy those who represent, own, run, manage the business before they actually buy the products and services offered. Very few customers purchase products or services from business representatives who they don’t trust or feel confident in. And even when they do, they rarely return. So earning a personal reputation for integrity takes you to the halfway mark of making product and service sales, and probably close to three-quarters of the way toward prompting repeat sales.

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Repetition Sells!

                                                                 

Ah, but “Repetition Sells!” doesn’t mean JUST saying the same thing over and over. It has as much to do with HOW you say what you say. Repetition of specific colors associated with your name/logo/brand/message, for instance, can have equal (sometimes even more) impact on your branding. That goes for the consistency of music, sound effects and voices used in your broadcast messages as well. Format, the media used, timing, integration with other branding pieces, are also all factors. Hey, if it was so easy as most people think, most people wouldn’t need professional support to get the job done . . . but the proof is that they do need it! Shop around carefully for that kind of help; it has to represent what YOU want!

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Even with a lousy-looking logo and a pathetic theme-line, IF you repeat them endlessly — again and again in every possible way and at every opportunity– you’ll get sales.

BUT if you have a great-looking logo and a spectacular theme-line, and you repeat those over and over, whenever and wherever possible, you’ll get substantially more sales because you will have built an image and reputation that people like, develop a loyalty for, and gravitate toward.

Paying for the professional edge is well worth the return on investment.

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BE VERY CAREFUL

. . . to not put all your marketing eggs

into one online basket.

To be effective, branding must be an ongoing synergistic activity that depends importantly on putting a consistent message out via as many means and methods and conduits as possible.

Locking your branding program solely into online pursuits is the small-minded action of small-minded web editors and designers, digital marketing managers, and others with limited scopes of marketing savvy and awareness.

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The secret to great branding is the same secret to keeping existing customers and cultivating new ones. It’s free. It’s simple. It needs to be the blanket under every product, every service, and every interface with every person every day. Figure it out yet? It’s consistency.

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Is your brand standing tall in troubled waters?

Your brand is all about HOW you stand where you stand, and how you represent your foundation and posture to the rest of the world. 

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It’s worth finding a true branding line wordsmith who can capture and deliver what your business is all about by packing it into 7 slam-bam words that plant your benefit seed squarely in the the greenhouse:

“That’s what Campbell’s Soup is…Mmm-Mmm, good!” 

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“The medium is the message”

–Marshall McLuhan 

In other words, HOW you say what you say

   is at least as important as WHAT you say!   

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What is Branding and How Important is it to Your Marketing Strategy? (By Laura Lake, About.com Guide) . . . Branding is not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but it is about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem.

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AVOID using all-inclusive words that send electrical jolts of exaggeration down audience spines. They cast a shadow of doubt on everything else your business represents. 

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      Reminded recently of a historic genius branding line that broke the 7-word rule and succeeded in making itself a household expression:

“PLOP-PLOP, FIZZ-FIZZ, Oh what a relief it is!”

           (What else could it be but . . . ALKA-SELTZER?)  

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Be sure your branding themeline avoids using “I” and “Me” and “My” and “We” and “Our” and “Ours” and “Us” —  Focus instead on “You,” “Your,” and “Yours”

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You don’t need a branding iron to communicate your integrity. How you deal with employees, customers, suppliers, and your community says it all.

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GO HERE NOW FOR TOP BRANDING LINE EXAMPLES!

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Don’t let outside “experts” (marketing and PR and ad agencies and consultants) sell you on what your brand should be or what your branding line should say. Only you can know that. Use these resources instead to best represent your ideas.

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When your brand stands for something important,

you must stand by your brand!

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BRANDERS BEWARE!  Your BRAND is your business character (and probably yours as well, especially true of small business). Is your brand strong enough to withstand an assault? You’ve heard of “character assassination”? Unfortunately, not everyone is collaborating these days, and competitors can still be vicious. The answer?

TENACIOUS AUTHENTICITY!

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Be careful not to underestimate the importance and value of color use, meaning, and consistency in your branding program — especially in online global applications where acceptable colors in one country can have devastating meaning in another.

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YOUR BRAND

. . . is more than a name, a logo, jingle, or theme-line.

These are just representations of how you do business.

HOW you do business is what constitutes your brand . . . do you deal with everyone openly and honestly? All the time? Does your business support the community that supports your business?

Are you constantly helping those around you to learn new systems and approaches, to be positive, to always regard your customers first and foremost?

Does your brand reflect your answers to these questions? 

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BRANDING: A mark made by burning a hot iron into the hides of ranch and farm livestock to designate ownership. Business similarities? Differences? Hmmm, note no mentions of pain!?

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Truth in Branding?

It’s all about HOW you do business,

about HOW you treat your customers, and employees, and suppliers, and neighbors, and communities.

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Anytime it’s possible to use a double entendre in your branding theme-line, that’s desirable; but make sure the alternate meanings aren’t ones that could be misread. Focus group testing is your best insurance!

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BRANDING that uses UNpredictable wording, pacing, tone of voice (or music or color) WORKS BEST!

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THINK OF YOUR BRAND AS A MIRROR REFLECTION TO THE WORLD OF YOUR REAL BUSINESS COMPETENCY, TRUSTWORTHINESS AND AUTHENTICITY.

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   3 Key Keys To Effective Branding:

  1. ASSOCIATION (conscious and unconscious)

  2. CONSISTENCY (of message, tone, color, product/service characteristics and values– delivering what you promise!

  3. REPETITION (of words, images, benefits, applications)

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ALWAYS LOOK FIRST FOR WAYS TO INCLUDE AND/OR “PLAY OFF OF” YOUR BUSINESS NAME IN YOUR BRANDING THEME-LINE BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS.

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The world’s most successful branding theme-lines

use seven words or less. Does yours?

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Your integrity and the way you do business

IS your brand!

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