Business Solutions for Winter 2023

6 W I N T E R 2 0 2 3 Good branding helps define your company and includes elements such as name, logo, tagline, fonts, color schemes, and graphics. The marketplace is full of instantly recognizable brands with which customers create an emotional bond—from Nike to McDonald’s to Apple. Is your company’s brand as clear and powerful as it could be? To help determine whether you need to take a fresh look at your branding, ask yourself these questions: • Do your customers and your employees tend to misinterpret your mission or the benefits of your products or services? • If you put all your marketing materials side by side, does each one look different from the other? • Does your team disagree about who your customers should be and what needs you should be meeting for them? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then it may be time for a change. If you’re considering developing a new brand or enhancing the one you have, it’s a good idea to consult a local marketing agency or a small business development center. When you do, be prepared to answer questions like these: • What are the unique selling points of your products or services? Think about what truly makes you different as compared with your competitors. It can be just about any benefit—such as a better price, superior quality, or outstanding customer service. • What is your company’s mission? A mission statement is important since it helps educate potential customers about your business and defines employee expectations. It can also help you decide on a succinct tagline to represent your company. • How do you want customers to perceive your company? This encourages a discussion of your company’s personality. For instance, you may want your business to be seen as fun, innovative, socially responsible, experienced, or especially attentive to customer needs. • Who are your customers? You and your marketing firm need to have a clear picture of your current and prospective customers including demographics, needs, habits, and desires. Research can help you understand your customers better and help you avoid making incorrect assumptions. The information generated by these questions will help lay the foundation for building a brand that has meaning for your target audience. Once your branding is established, remember to consistently use its elements on your business documents, advertising and marketing materials, signage, website, and social media. This is how strong brands get stronger over time. Does your brand need work? How do you begin? Building Your Brand