Yesterday, I was asked to talk about small business branding to a group of business owners in Portland, Maine. The diverse group, called The Portland Resource Group, wanted to learn more about what branding is, why they should care about their company’s brand (or their personal brand) and how a strong brand identity can add value to their business.
What is branding?
There is no universal definition of branding. But some phrases you’ll hear when talking about branding is:
- a brand is the company’s essence or identity
- it is a promise to your customers
- it is your reputation
Regardless of how you define it, a strong brand identity helps you attract better clients who are willing to pay a premium for your product or service.
Have a strong brand becomes a promise to prospects that you, your company, your product or your service is worth paying additional money for.
Your customers, clients and prospects are willing to pay more because:
- you are the market leader
- you have a great reputation
- it gives them comfort and peace of mind
- your product or service has status
A few examples of brands who have been able to capitalize on this effect are: Tiffany Jewelry, Duracell and Energizer Batteries, Rolex Watches, etc.
Let’s take the example of Tiffany’s. They also have excellent craftsmanship and classic design. But much of their product is a commodity—silver, platinum, diamonds, etc. Yet people are willing to pay much, much more money to be able to present a Tiffany’s product in a Tiffany’s blue box. These people could choose a local retailer, a national chain or a wholesaler, but they are willing to pay a premium for the Tiffany brand.
See the presentation slides
Below is the rest of my presentation to the group. It covers:
- Why graphic design at the heart of branding
- Branding is more than just a logo
- Your Brand is a Combination of: The identity you build and the perception / messages that come from others
- Brand Equity Case Studies
Here are the links to the information listed at the end of the presentation
- White Paper: Graphic Design: The Crucial Step Toward Higher Brand Equity, Increased Revenues (Educational Endeavors Case Study) Download now.
- 8 Tips for a Comprehensive Brand Identity. Read the blog post here. To receive the printed book with case studies, please drop me an email.
- Survey & White Paper on Email Domain Names. This will be released next week. Follow this blog for the announcement.