Thursday, December 8, 2011

How To Release Your Brand

So many businesses around us pay very little attention to their brands. Some are under the illusion that to have a brand is a question of choice. As some have said to me, "Ed, I'm not ready for a brand just yet. I'll let you know when I am." What they fail to understand is that they have a brand, whether they want one of not. From the very first hour a person decides to put out their shingle, their brand also begins its journey. In straight terms a brand could be replaced by the word - reputation. Everything that your brand touches and everything that touches your brand affects it. Some allow their brands to grow and morph on its own - in other words do nothing and ignore their brand. Failing to define your brand leaves one uncomfortable reality - it allows your competition to define it for you. Once that happens it is very expensive to claw it back and change the negative perception of your marketplace. This is critically true if your competition is perceived to be the leader in your category.

Are you allowing your brand the freedom to flourish? Without a strategy in place, your brand is not properly positioned to take the high ground. To be the leader it rightfully deserves you have to takes steps to cut your brand free. Look for the restrained brand behind barriers such as:

• Weak uninspiring slogans
• Tired or unprofessional logos
• No brand values to speak of
• Multiple logos
• No local profile
• Just like everybody else marketing
• Uninspired sales staff
• Off brand employees
• Drowning in the sea of sameness
• You're competing on price

To breadth fresh life into your tired brand, you have to get out there on-line and off. Make your presence known. Start building your expert profile. It's time to come out from behind the mediocrity. It can't be business as usual anymore. As the head of your brand you have to start showing your passion and spreading it among all stakeholders which include clients, employees and suppliers. Your positive attitude would be a terrific start. Nothing motivates a brand better than a passionate leader. People take notice and look for cues to react. There is nothing more satisfying than having your leads react the way you intended. When stakeholders get the message and deliver their business to your doorstep, your brand has succeeded in leaping the hurdles. 

The one important message here is that once the brand strategy is in place, you have to continually nurture it. It can't be allowed to grow on its own, it has to be guided. Getting it right is key to your brand's success. There is no easy strategy, it has to be constant, consistent and contagious. 

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