You may have the best product or service, but if customers don’t know who you are or what you stand for, you’re lost. Here’s where branding comes in. Branding is the process of promoting your company name and/or products by various means. It enables the public to recognize you. Branding isn’t a one-time activity; it’s something you must continually work at.
You want to gain brand recognition so the public can easily spot and remember you. This is done through a memorable name, logo, slogan, and other elements that reinforce your company brand. For example, the brand for my company is identified by a trademarked name, a two-color scheme, and a “BI” logo.
Creating a branding plan
Your branding plan should include:
- Nailing down your brand identity. What do you want your brand to mean? Adopt a color or colors that help to define your brand, a logo that’s recognizable and easily identified with your company, and perhaps a slogan or tag line (e.g., Nike’s Just Do It).
- Maintaining a branding campaign. This is a multi-faceted endeavor, involving strategy and implementation. For example, you want a great sign for your business that clearly displays your brand. Obviously, the sign is featured on your door front, storefront, or other facility. But also have portable signs available for other activities, such as trade shows and appearances at local events. Viking Tapes suggests that these signs be securely posted using the appropriate type of tape; 3m dual lock tape from Viking Tapes is suitable for this purpose. (Use a video to be sure you use the tape correctly to secure the sign.)
- Promoting your brand. Beyond your signage, business cards, and other clear indices of your brand, you need to get your brand out into the world. For example, sponsorship of local charity events or children’s sports activities are a great way to create goodwill for your brand.
- Protecting your brand. Your brand … your good name … is vital to your company’s revenue. As Warren Buffett said: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Don’t let serious company mistakes triggering bad publicity or erroneous comments on social media ruin what you’ve done to create a valuable brand. Be vigilant in tracking the mention of your company and be proactive in protecting your brand.
- Budgeting for branding. The process of branding isn’t cheap. Costs may include professional fees for expert branding advice, give-away items embossed with your name and logo, paid placements on social media sites, and more.
- Reinforcing your brand identity. Big companies are regularly in the public eye, and you can be too. Think Apple and its partially eaten fruit, think IBM’s Big Blue, think McDonald’s golden arches, think Disney’s The Happiest Place on Earth. You can review the Forbes’ list of the world’s most valuable brands for 2019.
Branding is all about consistency and repetition. The more you can do to keep your name (favorably) in the public eye, the stronger your brand recognition will be.
This post was created in collaboration with Viking Tapes. All opinions expressed in this post are my own and not those of Viking Tapes.