Marketing is hard work.
Marketing never ends.
Marketing requires a consistent attention to detail.
Unfortunately marketing is also the last thing that most business owners want to do. In fact, the majority of business owners put marketing right up there with getting a root canal. That being said you are marketing your business. Whether or not you’re doing it well remains to be seen.
Everything is Marketing
Pretty much everything you do from the colors in your waiting room to the way in which your staff answers the phone to the name you chose when you first opened your doors falls under marketing.
You are in a constant struggle to attract what seems to be an ever shrinking pool of customers. So, if everything you do is marketing than you need to make sure that you make the most out of every opportunity you have.
What is your brand? How would you define yourself to someone who has no idea what you do or what you sell? Someone it helps to start with friends and family who have a general idea of what you do. Ask them to to define what your company does, the products it sells and the image it projects. You may be pleasantly (or unpleasantly) surprised at the public perception of your business.
What is your visual identity? Realize that you have one. You either have a visual identity that’s cohesive and pleasing to the eye… or you don’t.
Where Do I Start?
Here’s a template to help get you started. The template is meant to act as a”branding” guide. The more guidelines you have regarding your brand the better. A branding guide does take time to compile, but it will typically save time over the long haul. Every time you or someone else creates a marketing piece for you they inevitably have questions that would be answered by a brand guide.
Do I Need a Branding Guideline
Does any of this really matter? Some would argue yes, having a brand is the difference between success and failure. Others would argue that it provides little to no value. I would guess that the truth as most truths do lies somewhere between the two extremes. A better question to ask might be this, in an extremely competitive marketplace, why wouldn’t you want to gain every competitive advantage possible, big or small?