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Building your brand: Message effectively

What is your brand? It’s the identity of your business. It is your values, your unique characteristics and what you do. Here are some things that can help you market your brand to your customers and others:

Think of your brand as a person.

To be successful in branding your business, you must think of your brand as a person. When you mention the character of a person, what words do you use? It’s the same with your business. What is its character? Is what you do and say portraying the character of your business?

Be consistent.

Your customers count on your brand, so make sure you are consistent in how you display and project it. Always display quality in the look and feel of anything you market. Also, remember to project the tone you desire in everything that touches the media – and in how you and your employees treat customers.

Stay relevant.

Your brand must be relevant to the customer. Specifically, your brand must be competitive, credible and current, or you’ll lose the customer’s interest. You can’t just slap a logo on everything you do and think people will come to you for business. You must be out there — selling your brand, giving your customers confidence to look to you in the future. And, when the market changes, you need to find your place in the new market.

Be innovative and bold.

Part of the beauty of your brand is its uniqueness in the marketplace. So sell that! 

And remain flexible by continually meeting (and exceeding) the needs of your customers. Stay away from doing things as “you’ve always done them.” That may work for a while, but you need to stay fluid in an ever-changing market.

Your brand distinguishes you from other businesses in your community and in your industry. Consistently seek feedback from your customers to make sure your brand is doing what it says it will do. Remember that everything you and your employees do should reflect your brand, so pay attention regularly to what you promise, what you do and what your business looks like in the marketplace — and don’t be afraid to adjust when necessary.

Author Shaun Carson is vice president and marketing manager for Heritage Bank NW, having joined the Olympia-headquartered financial institution in 2009. He earned a B.A. from Washington State University in 2002 and has also attended ABA School of Bank Marketing and Management.

This article is featured in the 2017 Small Business Resource Guide, a free publication from Business Examiner Media.