When people see or hear the name of your company, they have an immediate reaction. Is it the one you want? Do they think, “that’s the best company for <your specialty>”? Do they think “that’s kind of like <your competitor>”? Do they think, “Who??”
There’s a name for the way people think about a company. It’s called branding. Brand is the sum of all the things that affect the way people think about your company. You can and should have some control over your brand. It’s YOUR company. The things you say and the way you present your company affect the impressions people have of it. If you’ve ever prepared for a date or a job interview, you’re familiar with the concept.
Branding is honorable
I’ve known entrepreneurs who are tops in their field but shy away from branding. They hear “branding” and they think of slick ads that promise more than the product delivers. Let’s be clear. Branding is simply the face your company shows to the world. Branding is not sleazy. Lies are sleazy.
Show people, honestly, what you are about. When customer experience matches customer expectations, you get good word-of-mouth advertising.
What about word of mouth?
What others say about you is part of your brand. You don’t control it directly, but you influence it every time you interact with a customer or potential customer. Is your website a pleasure to use? What does your voicemail message sound like? (Call yourself and listen to it. I’ll wait.) Do you exude quiet confidence when you talk about your work?
Think about the brand you want to develop. You have something to offer that nobody else provides, something valuable. What is it? How do you want people to see you? Or to put it another way, what promises do you want your company to live up to every day?
Now think of everything a customer sees or hears from you. How can each of those things reflect your brand? You might want to work with a graphic designer to pick colors and design elements that reinforce your message. And then there is the message itself.
When Jim Howe went into real estate, I knew that one of his strengths would be that he really listens to people, internalizes their priorities, and becomes their advocate. He’s also very good at researching the value of things, and at negotiating. I created his tag line, “Attuned with your needs, in tune with the market,” to sum up his brand.
I’d love to help you work on your brand. Call me at 425.681.9767 or email me, and we can get started.