What is branding and do you need to brand your business?
What is a brand?
The word “brand” comes for the Norse word meaning to burn. Branding, as a marker of ownership dates back to 1100 BC.
The word “brand” became popularized, in America, from the cattle ranching industry. If you owned cows, you had to be able to identify them from everyone else’s cows. The cattle ranchers of old, would get their branding iron out and burn the cattle rancher’s identifying mark into the cows hide. It was crude, painful, for the cows, but it was effective.
If the cows from two different ranches came together it was very easy to tell one from another. Just look for the brand and you could tell them apart.
A brand is a way for people to tell the difference between one thing and another, similar, thing.
A definition of branding
Entrepreneur.com defines branding like this:
The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products
I don’t think that the definition should stop there. Branding can also come from a slogan or from the public’s perception of your product or service.
If I said “Just Do It,” what brand do you think of? There aren’t too many people who haven’t heard the Nike slogan.
If the public’s perception of your business is a negative one you might end up with the brand like Whole Foods. Whole Foods is a grocery store where you can buy more natural and organic food products. I’ve never shopped at a Whole Foods before but, the public calls them, “Whole Paychecks.” This is due to the higher prices for food there.
Once the public makes up its mind, good luck changing it.
What is personal branding?
If you are reading this article, then you probably don’t own a multimillion dollar business. It’s probably just little ol’ you, trying to start or run a small business. Do you really need to brand yourself?
I think that you should do personal branding. Personal branding will help differentiate you from all of the other “little ol’ yous” out there.
This is different from branding a business. A business can spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to brand itself.
Like a business branding itself, you are also trying to build name recognition. A business will have a logo. The logo will be the “face” of the business. You don’t have to have a logo, because you actually have a face that is different from everyone else’s face. You will use your face or a likeness of it in place of a logo.
Over time, a business will build a reputation. You, too, will build a reputation, in your industry. This is, ultimately, what you will be known for. Protect your reputation, at all cost!
Should you have a slogan? Most businesses have a slogan. I think you should have one as well. You need to tell the world what it is that you “do” better than anyone else. What is the greatest value that you can provide someone?
Coca-Cola’s slogan is “It’s the real thing.” That tells you nothing about the product or what it can do for you.
How about “The quicker picker upper?” That’s Bounty paper towel’s slogan.
That’s more of you should be striving for.
What is branding strategy?
Your branding strategy is just how you plan on getting the prospects in your niche to recognize you, as you.
Since “you” starts with your name and your face, you need to get your name and your face in front of the eyes of you target market. You should have a central location where people can go to see all of the things that you can do for them.
Having a blog is a great place to show off your talents. Not only in the articles that you will be writing, but also in pictures, videos and testimonials.
A blog is a place where you can say, “this is who I am, this is what I do and these are some of the people that I have done it for.”
Once you have a blog, you can go to all of the places that the people in your target market hang out and let them know that you can do for them whatever it is you do and they can find out more about all of it on your blog.
As you build your business, your reputation will be forming. Eventually, your target market should know who you are and what you do.
What is branding?
It is the quickest way to let the world know who you are and what it is that you can do for them!
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