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Mark Ellis column: Make sure your brand is defined accurately

11:19 PM, Mar. 24, 2013  |  Comments
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There are several definitions for the word "brand." Here are just a few:

Brand: NOUN 1. commerce product or manufacturer: a name, usually a trademark, of a product or manufacturer, or the product identified by this name "What brand of shampoo do you use?"

2.
Recognizable type of something: a distinctive type of something "An unusual brand of humor"

3. agriculture mark burned on animal: a mark burned into the hide of a range animal to identify it as the property of a particular ranch, farm, or owner See also branding iron. "The Triple S is the brand on all our steers."

4. history mark on criminal or enslaved person: formerly, a mark made on the skin of a criminal or a slave, especially to identify the owner

5.
Sign or mark of disgrace: a sign or mark of disgrace, infamy, or notoriety. "He bore the brand of disloyalty."

6.
Burned or burning piece of wood: a piece of wood that is burned or smoldering (archaic)

7.
Torch: a flaming torch (literary)

If you're in the business world, you may better relate for the first two definitions. Definitions three through seven seem a bit silly. But if you're not working your brand properly, the definitions three through seven could be your negative brand or mark for your products or services.

It used to be said that sales and marketing is the brand; however, sale and marketing should be considered the "living proof" of your brand.

The brand doesn't necessarily mean what product(s) or service(s) you offer; rather the way you and your colleagues represent your brand. Your products and services may be similar to what competitors offer including being close in price. The difference is the "brand experience" your customers receive from you that separate you from your competitors.

If all things are equal where would you want to invest your purchase? Would you purchase from a person or business where customer service is merely words or actions or from a person or business that truly makes you feel good regarding your decision to purchase from them? The latter should be your brand experience.

Brand is how you and colleagues speak about your product(s) and service(s) from a feature and benefit platform to the consumer. Simply stated, it's more about them than it is you. Every person employed by you should know not only what you offer but believe you offer it in a way that is better for the customer than your competition does.

Brand is how your place of business reflects your brand. Even if it is a phone business, does your customer believe you have their wants and needs put in front of you getting a quick sales.

Investment of consistent time and money into your branding including internal training and monitoring will go a long way in keeping you in the top two of definitions of branding.

- Mark Ellis owns Ellis Marketing and may be reached at pcbusiness@ postcrescent.com.

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