A few thoughts on branding…

The Dynamic Marketing offices have been so busy that it seems Q3 came and went in a flash.

With Q4 coming in hot, there’s only a few months left to plan your marketing and advertising initiatives for 2018. But like we always say, once Thanksgiving hits, the year is basically over because the holidays are incredibly distracting for most.

While you still have T-minus 4 months to get your T’s crossed and your I’s dotted, here’s a quick note about branding…

I’ve read countless definitions of what branding is but it wasn’t until my second year in TV advertising that the real definition of branding became clear.

Branding isn’t magic or rocket science. It’s just simple math. Branding isn’t about invoking emotions or customer recall. Branding is just another term for a reputation that can be tainted by other people.

When you are a sole proprietor, you are not a brand. You represent yourself. No one can soil your reputation but you. Now, if your business grows and you become a company/corporation with others working for you, your reputation can be ruined by those people. They represent your brand.

Think about it like this… American Airlines is a huge organization with a nationwide reputation. The recent incident where the physician refused to give up his seat and was assaulted, was caused by only a few employees out of thousands upon thousands employed by AA. It doesn’t take much for your brand reputation to take a hit when incidents like this occur, and they happen all the time in various forms.

This is why hiring the right people, and doing your best to keep your staff happy and involved is so important in sustaining a positive reputation, a positive brand.

Aside from those that represent your company, in order to build a brand, you must go through the long process of strategically using advertising to educate the market’s expectations, and then offer services and products that meet those expectations.

Building a brand, in the traditional sense, means using images, video, words, music, and stories to create a promise so alluring that when it’s delivered via your products or services, your customers can’t imagine what they ever did without without that product/service.

When your products and services meet the market’s expectations, your reputation grows positively. Fail to meet your customer’s expectations and…well… you get it.

Here are a few great brands today that have delivered on their promises and have built amazing reputations (brands).

AirBNB: “Belong Anywhere” — They realized that it’s more than just renting houses. A home is where you belong, and when you stay in an AirBNB you belong wherever it is you happen to be.

Facebook: “To give people the power to share and to make the world more open and connected.”

Build A Bear: “To bring the Teddy Bear, and American pastime, to life. To bring to mind warm thoughts about our childhood, friendship, trust, comfort and love.”

Amazon: “To be earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover just about anything they want to buy online.”

Positive brand reputation= promise + delivery. It’s not magic, just math :)

Make sure that you and your staff are delivering on your promises and your brand/reputation will be in good shape. When planning for 2018, revisit your brand statements and vision to make sure it is in line with your goals. We have the opportunity to start fresh and improve with every coming year. How can you strengthen your brand in 2018?

If you have any questions about branding, contact our marketing experts. We help countless small business owners grow their businesses through marketing, outreach, branding. We’d love to chat with you.