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Make Yourself a Brand

One of the big obstacles that many businesses must overcome when considering branding is the tendency to resist becoming a brand.  Many businesses, especially smaller businesses, do not feel that they are a brand or a product.  In many cases, thinking of themselves as a “brand” makes these companies feel uncomfortable, as they associate branding with large corporations or with an impersonal approach.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Branding is simply a part of creating a service.  Branding is already in place once your business begins, as your customers and clients are already walking away with specific ideas and impressions about your business.  No matter what your business is, you can use a few simple techniques to shape these impressions before your customers even meet you.  This can actually help your customers, by helping them choose a business from the many options available.

Step One:  Create a Logo 

One of the simplest ways of starting to create a brand is by giving your customers something simple to remember your business by.  In many cases, this is a logo.  Create a small design that looks like the ideals you wish to represent and get this design impressed on your stationery, business cards, and web sites.  When you begin branding in earnest, your customers will grow to associate the logo with the feelings and ideas you want to inspire.

Make it memorable.  Make sure that your logo and business name are simple and unique enough to be remembered easily by your customers. 

Visuals and Words.  Make sure that your brand name and logo includes visuals and words.  The most famous brands us both a catchphrase and a visual to represent them.  With time, the logo can be used in lieu of the business name or the logo (consider Nike’s famous swoosh design), but using a motto, logo, and catchy business name together, especially at the beginning, can make your business more memorable from the start.

Step Two:  Use Your Brand

Once you have a brand image and logo, be sure to start implementing branding strategies.

•Use your brand logo on all correspondence and official company merchandise and papers so that the logo becomes firmly associated with the company.

•Trademark. Once you have carefully designed your logo and your brand name or motto, consider having it trademarked to ensure that competitors cannot use it.

Make your brand congruent.  All parts of your business should flow together and present the same image.  If they do not, then you are defeating your branding goals.  If you want to suggest that your real estate business will aggressively sell homes, then do not create a soft pastel logo. Make sure that your logo, motto, and business name fit together nicely and create a uniform picture of your business

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