How To Take Your Brand Seriously

How customers look at your brand sets the wheels in motion whether they will purchase from you or not. What are they thinking? Are they getting what you stand for? Is your image and brand promise resonating with them? How is your positioning affecting how a customer reacts? Here are some observations that might help you understand how even the little things can be taking opportunity out of reach:

1) Amateur Logos
Designed as art not a communications tool. Why is it you can tell the national brands from the local brands just by the design of a logo? The designer takes a world view. They take into a count the use and audience and deliver consistently.

2) eMail
Maybe it’s just me, but I find it very hard to take a brand seriously when their emails use gmail not their domain. I’m told that they’re worried about spam. Get over it and start pushing your brand. [email protected] says so much more than [email protected]

3) Authenticity
You might say you’re a coach, a mentor a leader but you’re not acting like one. As a matter of fact so many in this category don’t take their own advice. I know many in my region who profess to be management consultants but who have never had any reasonable level of success. Their advising out of someone else’s book. Be authentic – be yourself. I knew a person who sold CRM software but never used the system they were selling. Authentic?

4) Consistency of Everything
If I can take myself as an example. From the first point of contact through delivery and follow-up, my image and message are absolutely consistent. If we were to meet, you’d see me in my trade mark black and logged shirt. I’m approachable and willing to give free advice on the spot. When you ask for my card it too carries my brand colours. The same goes for my brochures, marketing materials, website, blog, social sites etc. Everywhere you check me out your sense of my brand will grow. The consistency develops trust. I appear to walk the walk. That is important. If given the chance to perform it is my opportunity to carry on this consistency of brand.

5) Invest in Yourself
This one kills me. I’m amazed how many business people tell me reasons why they can’t or won’t invest in themselves. Everything is on the cheap, looking for grandiose results. Only this week, I had a marketing person from a local Chrysler dealership proudly show me the flyer their 9 year old daughter designed and they were sending it out to win business. It was cute, but incredulous that they would even consider it. If they fail to get the result, my guess is they will fault everything BUT that 9 year old effort.

Another example is training. I was told by a business person that nobody would attend an all day session with an expert simply because the cost was $650 including lunch. Too rich. Really!? 7 hours of instruction for under $100. an hour. If this doesn’t convince, how about that it’s a right off. At tax time you mean you’d rather give $650 to the government for nothing rather than invest in yourself? The real opportunity is that for a handful of cash you will get real advice that makes you more money and perceivably much more than the training cost.

To have your brand taken seriously you must take yourself seriously. If you’re not worth the effort your brand has no foundation. Would you buy from a brand like yourself? If you even had to think about that question, tells me that you’ve got work to do.

Ed Roach

For more than 30 years, I have worked with hundreds of successful small businesses by helping them develop unique brand positioning strategies that differentiates them from their competition. I appreciate working with companies who see the value of going beyond mere slogans and have a desire to sell from compelling positions. I consult predominantly with businesses facilitating my proprietary branding process. This branding process effectively focuses a company's brand delivering a positioning strategy that can be taken to their marketplace.

I have international speaking experience and am the author of "101 Branding Tips," Practical advice for your brand that you can use today. I'm also a "expert panellist" with Bob Proctor (from The Secret)'s Matrixx Events in Toronto.

I have been interviewed in all media and I also blog extensively and uses the digital realm on the web to connect and promote my services world-wide.

I have international speaking experience including a recent event in Prague, in the Czech Republic and is the author of "101 Branding Tips," Practical advice for your brand that you can use today, the book is available on Amazon.com and the Amazon Kindle store.

My clients are from Canada, The United States, Ukraine, India, United Arab Emirates and Tanzania.

I recently facilitated a workshop in San Diego aimed at teaching Graphic Design companies how to build brands for their customers.

Comments

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  3. Very good tips I agree at all with you. It is important to be “official” in every part of your business.
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  7. Some companies’ tend to not even know their demographic aiming their brand around willy nilly. 
     
    Define the demographic before creating the brand and reaffirm the value CONSISTENTLY.
     
    I also agree people should invest in themselves but there are a lot of bad teachers/tutors and instructors out there plus I feel you can’t judge that $650 is an acceptable amount for everybody, it’s certainly relative.

    •  @Erik Resume Good comments Erik. The willy nilly targeting you speak of is also defined as the shot gun method. Not the most cost effective- that’s for sure.
       
      The $650 expert I allude to is a known body. What inspired the mention in my article was the focus on the fee, not the focus on the value and opportunities it would bring. Always a reason why something can’t be done rather than finding a way. I find a lot of businesses who whine about flat business, but don’t see fit to do anything about it. 
       
      Come tax time, they whine about paying when some of that could have been off-set with a little self-investment. They way i look at that is pay yourself now or Uncle Sam later.

  8.  @chrislie1126 Chris is this a reply or an ad?
     

  9.  @Klausius08 ZEEZEN says their jewelry is beautiful but the images are only basic photos. Not elegant shots of people enjoying the product. They discuss the mineral more than the joy of ownership. Titanium is their differentiator but I don’t get the value against gold and silver. 
     
    They’ve got to build a better brand story to encourage desire. they also should invest in quality photography to show the art and romance. I don’t think their brand looks high-end. I don’t mind the name though. If you know these people, tell them to up their game.

    • Klausius08 says:

       @Ed Roach i do thank you very much for this honest straight answer, in fact the company is going to improve their pictures. Marketing is more like selling a dream and your comment points that out very clear. 

      •  @Klausius08 Selling the dream is the way to put it – yes. It’s the old “what’s in it for me?” – putting yourself in the consumer’s mind. The brand is about resonating.