Branding Your Business
Neil Bromage has run his own small business and is a freelance business writer working on a range of newspapers including The Times, Sunday Times, Telegraph and Financial Mail on Sunday. This book is based on a wide range of columns and Q&As written and answered by Neil for Business Link over a number of years. He is based near Preston, Lancs.
If you think only big corporations need to think about brand names, think again. Your brand says a lot about you and your business, and that’s as true for a one-person, home-based operation as it is for a multinational conglomerate.
Your brand is more than just the logo on your letterhead and business cards. It’s your corporate identity. An effective brand tells the world who you are, what you do and how you do it, while at the same time establishing your relevance to and credibility with your prospective customers.
If your brand has a high perceived value, you enjoy many advantages over your competition, especially when it comes to pricing. For instance, people are prepared to pay more for items with recognised brands on them – this is perceived value as a result of effective brand promotion resulting in very high brand awareness.
When your brand is well known in this way it creates further awareness of your unique selling proposition within your market place. This can help to make your sales force (even if that’s a sales force of one – you) more effective and efficient. Imagine if you didn’t have to spend the first 50% of your time with a new prospect explaining who you are, what you do and how you do it because your brand had already communicated that for you.
When you create your brand, you need to keep the who, what and how firmly in mind but also use the brand to establish your relevance to your target market and build credibility with that market. Start by creating a mission statement. What is the mission of your business? What are your core values? When you know these you can begin thinking about creating a brand that reinforces and supports your aims.