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Branding - Make Your Business Unforgettable
The branding of your business identity will increase public awareness of your company. By being "brand aware", you will provide a higher level of consistency and continuity in your advertising and marketing materials, and you will become more memorable in prospective clients' minds.

It is important to carry the same theme, message, and "feel" throughout all of your marketing and promotional materials so that your company is easily recognized. The goal of consistent branding of a market identity is to make your company and its products stand out from others, and are easily recognizable.

Make Your Visual Identity Unforgettable

Your marketing materials represent you and your company when you are not present. With an effective visual identity, every letter, business card, and brochure you present serves as a mini billboard for your company.

Do your marketing materials draw a second glance? Do they create interest that someone receiving them will be interested in reading further what you have to say or learning more about you? Your graphic image needs to be unique, attractive, and full of impact. Make it stand out from all the other symbols and designs in the marketplace. Be consistent in portrayal of your design throughout ALL of your marketing materials!

Collect some of your competitors' marketing materials and study them. What do you like or dislike about them? Are they interesting? Can you create a design that stands out from theirs?

What's Your Name?

Your company name is the centerpiece of the identity of your business. It is the first thing that you hope "pops" into peoples' minds when they need a product or service you provide. Avoid names that are:

Vague - like ABC Associates, Moonlighting, Inc. (what do they do?)

Similar - Joe's Restaurant, Mike's Restaurant (I forgot which one I liked!)

Forgettable - not easily recalled, such as Executron

Hard to spell or pronounce - Hors De'ouvres Catering (You try it!)

Sounds bad - Poo Poo Catering (No explanantion required!)

Your name needs to clearly identity what you do. If it does not, it has little marketing value. If people have to make notes on your business card, that's a sign that your business name and business cards do not clearly identify what you do.

Creating a Recognizable Company Identity

When creating a recognizable brand for your company, consider the following:

* Who are you trying to attract?

* What is your vision of how you want to be perceived?

*What do you want people to think of you?

* What five attributes best describe you?

* Do you have a tag line for your business that is benefit-driven, inspirational, and descriptive.

* Do your marketing materials convey the image you want them to? * What colors describe your company? (Green-ecological; Gold-finance; Blue-water, Red-high energy)

Be Unique

You can also differentiate your marketing materials from your competitors' in several ways. Some examples include:

* Classy - Present marketing materials in a custom- designed folder with gold leaf lettering rather than a plain two-pocket.

* Mini billboard - Don't waste valuable real estate! Print additional information on the backside of your business card. Or, use a custom-designed and sized card. Example: for a personal chef your business card can be the shape of a chef's coat.

* Substance - Use heavier, thicker paper instead of standard 60# weight.

* Stand out - Use a custom-designed envelope that is larger the standard to "stand out" in the mail stash.

* Presentation matters - Deliver materials, brochures, etc. in a box with a custom tag with your company name attached by a ribbon or cord. OR punch a hole in your business card and attach!

Remember...

Branding your business identity is a marketing tool that helps create a consistent and memorable image of your company.

Set yourself apart from the crowd and pay special attention to crafting the visual identity of your business. A graphic designer can assist you in developing a professional image, as well as assist you in working with a printer.

Copyright 2007, 2008 Bonita L. Richter and Profit Strategies.

by: Bonita L. Richter

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