Branding Expert for Small Business Owners

I’m often asked the following questions from potential customers: Why should we invest in our brand? Is a branding process worth it? Will it make a difference within our organization? What is the ROI of a branding initiative?

Before I answer these important questions, let’s clarify a few basics:

What is a brand?
Many people believe that a brand is a logo, tagline or a marketing campaign. This is a misconception. These items are actually elements of a brand. David Ogilvy (widely regarded as the father of advertising) famously defined a brand as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging and price, its history, its reputation and the way it’s advertised.” More recently, the definition has been expanded to your brand being whatever your customers say it is. In other words, your brand is your reputation in the marketplace.

What is a brand foundation?
Your brand foundation is made up of both verbal and visual assets. The verbal portion includes brand values, brand personality, brand messaging, ideal customer personas, brand positioning and value proposition statement(s). Not having these items established can cause your organization to spin its wheels with fragmented messaging, strain brand awareness and cause a loss of time, energy and money.

The brand style guide is the main visual asset of a firm’s brand foundation. It is a key document that provide standards on how to use your brand name, messaging, logo versioning, typefaces, colors and other design elements and applications. It ensures consistency and quality, maintaining brand representation in all formats.

Measuring Brand ROI
For benchmark purposes, you first need to establish your organization’s verbal and visual assets through a brand initiative. Then you can measure the effectiveness of a brand in several ways by looking at stakeholder surveys, new customer additions, sales, top talent acquisition and retention, referral numbers and leads generated following the launch of a brand initiative.

It’s important to note that many of these metrics are not measured immediately because branding is a long-term process and investment. It doesn’t happen overnight — think marathon, not sprint. You will know you are on the right track if your stakeholders are responding positively and your employees are living the new brand.

Takeaway
Your brand may not be listed on your balance sheet, but it’s the most valuable asset your organization has. Remember, your brand is your reputation in the marketplace. Without a strong reputation, you can’t attract and retain top employees, command premium prices for your services and experience sustainable growth.

Related: How Brand Strategy Helps CEOs Hire and Retain Their Top Employees

Additional Resources:
• Branding Process [Video]

How Damon Can Help:
Damon can help your firm launch a new brand, rebrand an existing organization, connect emotionally with buyers, build your reputation and increase your visibility in the marketplace. Ask about our Brand Accelerator Program and start building a strong brand that drives sustained growth.

Damon Andersen is a branding expert at Damon Andersen, LLC. Damon helps founders and CEOs of professional service firms attract and retain top talent. His proven and proprietary branding process helps firms clearly define their brand, differentiate themselves from their competition and help make an emotional connection with their target audience.