More on Branding

Five More Strategies You Can Use to Define Your BrandBranding

As we discussed in our last blog, the process of defining your brand is important for a new business crafting its mission and vision. It is also relevant for one that is revising its direction. This is the case in a merger or decision to take on a new service, or when wanting to redefine services. It is also a process that can be useful to assess how well you are aligned with your mission and vision. Has your culture “slipped” away from its promises?

Whether defining, redefining or aligning, we have ten strategies for you to consider. In our last blog we began a discussion of these strategies – outlining five. In this blog, we will outline the remaining five.

If you want examples and details, see our article, entitled, “Are You a Breed Apart?” in the April issue of TRENDS magazine published by the American Animal Hospital Association.

For now, try these remaining five strategies:

6. Change the shape of the battle.

That’s the advice of Malcolm Gladwell in his 2013 book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. He says that it’s a losing proposition to play by the same rules as the established brand. If they are the largest, do not try to be larger. Be different.

7.Know your clients.

How well do you know your clients? You can gather a lot of feedback from regular interactions and comments and questions on your social media accounts. You can also prepare a formal survey to find out what your clients value and what they would like to see changed.

8. Look at other industries.

Marty Becker, tells the story of insights he had when he first started his veterinary career. Having studied the 7-11 franchise in business school, he noted that they focused on convenient locations, convenient hours and convenient one-stop shopping. He said, “That’s for me. That’s the way I want to position my veterinary practice.”

9. “Imagine a need and create.”

Be future-oriented. Anticipate and imagine what might be next. Wasn’t this the genius of Steve Jobs? He imagined needs to communicate and compute in ways that we had never noticed, and then he created devices to meet those needs.

10. Communicate your brand.

What will you call your practice? How will you tell your clients and potential clients what you are doing and how you are delivering your services? You have to choose the right words and colors that carry the meanings you intend. You’ll need to choose consistent font styles and images and tag lines that will stay with people.

Live the Brand

Clearly defining your brand or redefining it can take time away from other work. It will pay off, however, in getting everyone on track and enabling you to communicate clearly to your market. Remember that your brand is more than your visuals, slogans or colors. As Becker says, do not end up with “slogans on walls but not in the halls.” Live your brand. Demonstrate your values every day. Let your culture shine.

That’s it for today.

Let us know how you have branded your business.

~ Carolyn and John

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