Branding your business is an important part of standing out from the crowd in the direct sales industry. By branding yourself alongside your direct sales company, your customers will consistently come back to you again and again!
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What is Branding?
Branding is more than just the logo on your business cards and your business name. It is your IDENTITY.
An effective brand tells the world who you are, what you do, and how you do it. It is also something that can be easily recognized and therefore referred.
When a product is successfully branded, people automatically link the name or image with the product and vice versa.
You need to build a strong business brand to be recognized and trusted to deliver high quality.
How many times have you chosen one product at the grocery store over the other because it is more recognized or a trusted brand?
Why do I need to brand my business?
The main reason for creating your own brand is to differentiate yourself from your competition. New party plan consultants are a dime a dozen. So are home-based businesses.
You need to constantly be looking for ways to set yourself apart from your competition. Your brand can do that for you.
A brand also has many trust building characteristics — by having business materials that look professional, you're basically reassuring your potential customers that you're not planning to take their money and run off.
In other words, a brand identity makes your business look established and stable, and less risky to do business with.
How do I brand my business?
Write a Mission Statement. What is the mission of your business? Obviously, you're in business to make a profit.
But making a profit is a byproduct of a successful business.
Focus instead on how you choose to achieve that profit. What are your core values?
A good place to begin thinking about your mission is to put yourself in your customers shoes. Put yourself in their target market.
Let's say your business is skin care. If you're in the market for a new skin care regime, what things are important to you?
Different people will be looking for different benefits, but you can bet that they want something simple, effective, and affordable.
What about add-on features such as anti-aging, bronzing or brightening and what-not?
These things will be highly important to some and less important to others.
So focus on the benefits that are likely to be highly relevant to the majority of your target market.
When you create your brand, you need to keep the WHO, WHAT, and HOW firmly in mind but also use the brand to establish your relevance to your target market and build credibility with that market.
Create a Business Name.
Yes, we all have our Corporate business names, but as we talked about before – this is about differentiating you from all other Consultants.
Your Business Name can have your Company’s name in it (i.e. 365NightsOfPassion) or not (i.e. MidSouthSwirl)
Whatever name you choose for your business you want it to be short, memorable, “catchy”, easy to SPELL, and creates an image or feeling in your mind.
Also, make sure your name isn’t already in use! When someone types your company name into a search engine, you shouldn't have to compete with other businesses of the same name to get page views.
Create a logo for Your Brand.
Your logo is not your brand, but your logo should allow your brand to be instantly recognized by those familiar with it. To this extent, your logo helps create and reinforce brand awareness.
The logo you create should be able to be used consistently in a variety of different media. It should be suitable for letterhead and business cards, as well as for your website and signage (if any).
Everything you produce needs to use the same, consistent style so that, over time, your logo becomes synonymous with your brand.
Instant recognition is what you're going for here, so don't dilute it by using several different logos for different purposes.
Consistently Use your Company Name, Logo, and Tag Line.
To establish brand awareness, this branding needs to be used consistently and frequently in everything your produce, whether that be letters to clients, business cards, brochures, advertising, promotion, on your website, or on your Marketing Tools.
And don't forget to be consistent in your use of color schemes. These can be powerful brand reinforcements.
Begin marketing and promoting your Brand RIGHT AWAY.
Once you've created your brand, you need to market and promote it, in addition to your products and services. This is how you establish your credibility and relevance to your target market.
You can see why your brand needs to be suggestive of your mission statement.
A properly descriptive brand and high brand awareness amongst your target market will allow you to more easily introduce a wider range of products and services when they're developed without having to start by again selling who you are, what you do and how you do it first. (i.e. new Holiday Line, Valentine’s/Spring Line, etc)
Your brand has already presold YOU. Your job is now to sell your products and services.
Create a demand for your Brand. Your product’s performance, your customer service, follow-through, and your communication add up to a brand experience.
Great experiences turn your brand into a magnet for new and repeat business. Buyers will seek you out, tell their friends, and remain loyal. Your brand can make the buyer’s choice easy.
That is the power of Branding!
How do I REALLY get my Brand recognized?
Here are several hands-on branding strategies for you to apply to your own Web site, using your business name and your own name:
Repetition – This is very important: keep all of your design elements the same on all of your marketing and business tools.
This includes Business Cards, Gardening Tools, Stickers, Car magnets and decals, Party Packs, Mailings, Websites, Blogs, Social Media tools, etc.
Newsletter – Use your mailing list to push your domain name and tagline. Create a header that contains your domain name and your tagline and logo. Use this same header in all issues of your newsletter.
Domain Name – Use your domain name as your brand. Put it on all of your stationery (letterhead, business cards, postcards, statements, etc.).
To see if your brand’s domain name is available you can search for free at TheOneStopBlogShop.com.
Email Signature – Implement your Brand into your signature file, so with every email that you send, your visitors will be further exposed to your brand.
Also, any forum that allows signatures – be sure to have your brand, tagline, and URL.
Thank you pages – If you have online forms (for visitors to contact you, request more information, subscribe to your newsletter etc.), you most likely have a “thank you” page where you thank visitors for using your form. This is an excellent place to position your logo and slogan.
Ebooks or eReports- Create free books on subjects of interest to your visitors and allow them to redistribute to their own visitors.
Brand your ebook with your logo, domain name and slogan on every page of the ebook (also consider including your own name).
Publish FREE ARTICLES – You are an expert in your field – share what you know with as many people as possible, and help get your name “out there.”
With thousands of new Web sites and ezines popping up online every month, there is a huge demand for high-quality content. You can provide articles for other webmasters/editors to publish on their Web sites/ezines.
At the end of your article put your name and a link to your Web site. This is free publicity at its best – not only will you get traffic back to your Web site; you'll also add credibility to your name.
With all the talk about branding and creating an image for yourself and your business, consider how you’re representing yourself on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.
This also applies to a BLOG you establish, either a personal one available to the public, or a business blog.
When I see all the personal information people write there on social media and photos they post, I wonder if they realize how they appear to others. Be aware those words and photos could follow you for years.
Ask yourself: Do your words and photos portray you as want the public to view you as a business person?
If you have a home business, what you write about your personal lives reflects on your business.
Be aware of your language, and what kind of impression you are putting out into the
You’re building your image wherever you are, in whatever you do, whether it’s in your hometown or online. Consider how you want to represent yourself and your company.
A Couple Final Thoughts
1. Stick with a slogan, logo, and theme. Don't keep changing things around. Remember, branding involves MEMORY. You want people to remember you and your site. Don't make them work for it.
2. Hold contests for free giveaways. We all live our life to some degree on hope. By holding a contest, with no strings attached, people will flock to sign up and at the same time will be exposed to your business name and logo.
3. Newspaper and magazine advertisements can be used to create a brand. Each is always looking for fresh new content.
If you are truly standing out from the competition, even with just a new angle on an old product, exposure in newspapers and magazines will really help lock your business into the minds of consumers.
4. Customer Service is an enormous part of Branding as well. Only work with people who can get on board with your brand, and make sure that each person understands his or her part in building it.
Once a customer is ignored or treated poorly on the phone or at a party, you've lost not only that person but everyone else that hears about the unfortunate experience.
Remember that word-of-mouth can help, but it can also hurt. Get rid of team members who won't cooperate–even if they're related to you!
5. Keep promises you make. See that your customers aren't disappointed with what they find once your advertising gets them through the door.
Make it easy for them to make purchases and returns. They should leave SMILING.
If you commit to a joint venture with another business, school or a group of any kind, keep up your end of the deal.
Use a BLOG to gain major exposure and brand yourself. With a WordPress, for instance, you can customize the entire site and design it around your brand, product, and personality.
Blogging is the best marketing tool available online right now, and the easiest to use.
Branding will not necessarily happen overnight. The reality of the matter is that it takes time, creativity, and perseverance. But the payoffs can be huge.
At the beginning of your business ventures, come up with a plan. THINK BIG. Think about how your business will grow, new markets you may be able to target, and what you would like people to remember when they hear your name or see your logo.
Then fit all of these things in a little at a time.