The StartupNation Blog Trends, tips and real-life anecdotes from industry experts

Is Your Brand Ready For Fame?

In the late 60′s Andy Warhol proclaimed his belief that everyone was destined for at least 15 minutes of fame.  While the definition of “fame” may be up for interpretation, the prediction does hold some truth.  It also begs a question for companies.  Will your brand be ready?  If yes, your 15 minutes could easily translate into a lifetime of fame for you and your company.  If not, your company may just as easily fade into the shadows of media’s clutter.  To ensure your brand’s fame lasts a lifetime, follow these tips to a picture perfect media close-up.

Glamajama Logo as Andy Warhol Pop Art

Tip:  Understand What Branding IS (and isn’t)

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Branding isn’t just your logo or fancy company letterhead.  Branding goes much deeper.  Understanding this is the crucial first step to becoming memorable in your customers’ minds.  Ultimately, branding is how THEY feel about your company, NOT what YOU want them to feel.  Brand Identity, on the other hand, is the logo and fancy company letterhead.  Be aware of the difference.

Tip:  Anything Can Be a Brand

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your product or service can’t be branded.  The truth is that anything can be branded.  For example, let’s take a look at water.  Water is a naturally occurring resource and even it has hundreds, if not thousands, of different brands available.  If water can do it, your tax filing service can as well.  Find what makes your product or services different and share it with the world through branding.

Tip:  Branding Isn’t Just For Blue Chips

Branding is an integral marketing tool for all companies.  This includes start-ups, established companies, and especially companies attempting a comeback.  Whether you are big or small, branding should be a top priority.  Branding helps you break free from a cluttered marketplace by encouraging brand awareness, recognition, and ideally preference.  Successfully completing this cycle will take your product from the store shelf to the checkout lane.

Tip: Effective Branding = Additional Revenue Streams

A successful branding program can lead to opportunities for additional revenue streams.  One of the most popular examples of this is licensing.  Licensing is the leasing of a trademarked brand identity to another company for the purpose of creating additional products or services.  The brand owner then receives a royalty, or percentage of sales, in exchange for the brand usage.  This strategy has been highly effective for brands such as Harley Davidson, Marvel Comics, and Disney.  Why not add your name to the list?

Tip:  Consistency Is the Key

Once you’ve taken the time to develop all the critical pieces of the brand identity puzzle, including the name, logos, and tagline, ensure that the new message is consistent.  This means including this core brand identity information in all company websites, newsletters, press releases, and even internal marketing materials.  The goal is to have your customers hear the same brand message regardless of how they interact with your company.  Ensure that all of your team members understand and truly believe in the company’s brand identity.  Customers are smart and will sense a non-believer.  And if your employees don’t believe the brand, neither will your customers.

If you’re not already convinced that an effective branding strategy is critical, please consider this.  It is estimated that the average American is inundated with over 3,000 advertising messages each day.  The human mind can only accept and process about 100 of these messages daily.  Effective branding is the only chance your company has to stand out during this advertising overload.  The sooner you understand and embrace this process, the better your chances for becoming one of the lucky 100.

I’d love to hear your comments below!  Also, please follow me on www.twitter.com/glamajama to hear more!

About the Author: Heather Schuck

Heather Schuck is a passionate entrepreneur who lives up to her "Lil' Firecracker" nickname. While she may joke about her "fun sized" 5'1″ petite frame or her nationally celebrated 4th of July birthday, she's serious about bootstrapping, inspiring mom entrepreneurs, [...]

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