As a business counselor for our local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and a small business mentor for the Service Corp of Retired Executives (SCORE), I have noticed an increase in the number of questions I get related to branding.
I usually begin any discussion about branding by asking my clients “What is branding?” What I often hear is a list of marketing-related things like logos, websites, and taglines which are the more visual or tangible elements that contribute to a brand. Of course, this is an incomplete definition of branding. Branding by my definition is “Creating a positive opinion in a person’s mind when hearing your name. Be it your name or your company’s name or its branded products.” Simply put, branding is your reputation.
The advantages of having a great brand reputation in your industry are numerous. It allows you to charge more, to spend less on advertising, it creates loyalty that you can leverage, and it creates gravity for customers, employees, and the media.