Define Your Brand

Define Your Brand

451637827_culig_istock_thinkstock-ba28e662I wrote a variation of this blog for the Veterinary Practice News website several months ago. I think the information is worth repeating – not only for veterinarians but for any business wanting to leave its mark.

Do you remember the days of the “Old West” when there were range wars over who owned the cattle? Do you remember when desperados were “strung up” for stealing cows and horses?

If so, you can probably remember how “branding” became the management solution to fights over owners’ rights. Cattle owners created a unique emblem or logo representing their ranch and burned that sign into the hides of their cattle. This way, everyone knew who owned the cattle. The cattle were identified with particular ranches. Each had its own brand.

Today, owners put their brands on their products, not only to claim ownership but also for brand distinction and for sales and marketing purposes. Millions of advertising dollars are spent on consultants helping businesses create brand recognition. Sometimes its relates to the name of the product or line of products; sometimes they are looking for an image and colors to represent the products and advertising to announce the brand. Think of the “apple” to represent Macintosh computers, iPhones, and their various accessories.

Branding becomes especially important when products look very much alike. When the new line of cars, for example, is introduced in the new year, I can’t always distinguish one brand from the other. Manufacturers help me by adding an emblem, such as the picture of a Jaguar or Olympic rings. The images along with their words help to send a message such as “the symbol of quality” or the “key to excellence.” Sometimes I am influenced by the accompanying slogan, such as “Things go better with ____,” or this beverage brings “the pause that refreshes.”

It’s not just cars. With all the mergers and buyouts, I can’t always tell one cable company from the other. The same goes for products, such as coffee, medications, or soft drinks that look exactly alike but have different attributes. As I become familiar with the product and its claim, I will pay more for the brand associated with an image that is of value to me.

Branding Becomes Important.

Branding creates identity and a new vocabulary. I frequently say, I’ll have a “coke” or a “Pepsi” instead of a soft drink. Or, I need a “Kleenex” more than a tissue. Your clients don’t just go to “the vet.” They go to ”YOUR NAME.” YOUR NAME becomes familiar.

Branding distinguishes one product from another through symbols and labels, and we look for the business that makes their brand more prestigious or treasured. YOUR NAME becomes associated with particular qualities that you define in your mission and values statements.

Branding can create brand loyalty. Shoppers of all kinds enjoy familiarity. When your clients identify YOUR NAME with the quality they seek, they will return.

If I’ve convinced you that branding is important to enhancing your image (and drawing business), then I suggest you watch for my next blog where I’ll list six suggestions to help you define your brand.

That’s all for today.

Carolyn

P.S. As always, I’d love to her your comments.

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