Brand Who? Brand You!

ClintH · April 7, 2003 9:58 am

Branding is the topic of this month's marketing discussion. We're going to look at some ways you can create a recognizable, successful brand name for your business. While this article is somewhat short, I believe it will effectively teach you how to get started on your own branding campaign. What Is a Brand? What is Branding? Is it a logo? Is it a slogan? Something intangible? It's all of that, and more. Branding tells who you are, what you do, it sums up your company in a heartbeat. It is how you are perceived by your customers. It's a combination of visual aspects such as your logo, slogan, color scheme, web site design, autosignature, as well as the intangibles (but very real) things like customer service, your professional manner of communication, and your product's perceived value (more about this later). Branding is also differentiating yourself from your competition, showing others that you have "what it takes" and are a top-notch vendor. Showing them that your brand is better, and by golly, it will benefit them to have it. It also does some of the work for you, once established; imagine not having to explain to your prospect who you are, what you do, and why they should buy from you - your instantly recognizable brand takes care of THAT little demon for you, saving you HOURS of time in your "identity marketing" - so you can spend time focusing on sales rather than giving your history. Your reputation will precede you. How To Create A Brand To get started branding, write a Mission Statement. It doesn't have to be a tome, but it needs to cover everything you intend to do to make your company stand out. Such as "We, Company X, want to be the Number One source for Item X." While this sounds generic, it is a very good start. But expand on it - explain (in short, concise statements) HOW you will do it. Stellar customer service? A certain "ingredient" in your products? A certain, consistent feature? What will you do to become the famous "Brand X"? Next, decide what it is, exactly, that you are branding. Is it your commitment to your customers, a specific quality standard, or both? List your business' key features and benefits, and what sets you apart from your competitors. Third, identify your market, just like you would in your business plan. Coin a phrase or name, it doesn't have to be a "real" word - get creative! "Posertrax" wasn't a word until I made it one. :) Create a slogan or tagline that sums up your specialty. "Music & Sound FX for Posimators" is mine. Finally, create a logo for your brand. While the logo itself is not your brand, it should be memorable, something that you can impress upon your prospects. It should instantly associate your brand to those familiar with it. Give it impact. It should NOT be complex, and should be able to be used consistently on all of your print and digital communications - pay attention to colors and gradients, lettering. Don't make it too hard to read if you include text. How To Use A Brand Consistent and repeated use of your brand will burn it into the hearts and minds of your audience. To do this, put your tagline, logo, and company name together. You can also use your URL if you wish (and if it's something short and catchy). Let's call this your "Brand Identifier". Use it in everything you create - websites, brochures, business cards, flyers, ads, newsletters. You get the idea. Doing this will reinforce your brand. It's been said that once something is seen an average of seven times by a person, they will remember it. In marketing and promoting your brand, you must find a way to get repeated exposure (without spamming, now!) of your Brand Identifier. There are a few good ways to do this on Renderosity. One is to create Free Stuff, and incorporate your Brand Identifier into your thumbnail, read me file, and other elements that are in your item. This will help you later should you decide to sell products. You can also create a banner ad if you are a Marketplace Merchant. Use your Identifier in this also. The best placement for your Brand Identifier is at the top of your product thumbnail. (Going back to a convention in the music industry where the band's name was at the top of the album so as to be seen easily in the store's record bins). Then below that, you've got your product name and image. Make sure that the logo is the same size and placement on all your thumbnails. Make a Master Template in Photoshop or other image editor that supports layers. Make the Brand Identifier the top layer, so that it can be seen above the graphics when flattened. Non-graphical ways to use your brand are in your forum posts. Use your autosignature (or sig file) with every post you make. A sig file is just a few lines with your name, company name if any, tagline, and web site URL. For example: Donnie Christianson Posertrax Music & Sound FX for Posimators www.posertrax.com Simple and to the point, but it sums up what I do without being intrusive advertising. Providing the URL nearly guarantees a curious reader will click on it, and thus be exposed to your well-put-together branding on your site. You can also add a secondary slogan. I use one at the end of my product descriptions and promotions rather than my sig file. This is strictly a personal preference, so use whichever method feels comfortable to you. My secondary slogan is "All movies need sound - make yours with Posertrax!". I use it to close every advertisement or new product announcement. Once your brand is established, that same perception rolls over to any new products or service you introduce to the market. "Oh, here the new Widget from Company X! And it's just as cool as their other stuff!" Good branding will add that perceived value to you and your products. To maintain your brand, you must live up to that perception - don't just blow hot air - back it up. Providing what you promise, and in fact, delivering more, will establish you as "Brand X" in your niche market. A successful brand name has done its job of introducing you to the prospect. It has already presold you. Now you can concentrate on expanding your products and closing sales. Go forth and Brand! --silver Donnie Christianson's monthly marketing column gives you tips, techniques, and insight into the business end of the Marketplace. Donnie is the author of Marketing for Merchants, an ebook that will teach you how to create and market a successful product to the Poser Community. Vist silvers: MarketPlace Store Home Page Art Gallery

Article Comments


andix ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 01 April 2003

Informative and well explained as always. Great series, always helpful. so how's this sound... 3dmodelz, Where 3d = Differant, Distinct, Diverse been using it for a little while now, but never really thought of it as branding. Many thanks, Andrew 3dmodelz

davidm ( posted at 12:00AM Wed, 02 April 2003

Another great article full of valuable information and insights. Thanks Donnie! :-)

syndroid ( posted at 12:00AM Tue, 08 April 2003

Ummm...do not forget to position your brand correctly. make sure you can live up to your proposition or you'll be branding for nothing.


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