Brand Building 101

Building your brand into a brand leader isn't easy. There are 2 areas that can really help you grow your brand, passion and consistency. Passion is incredibly important. You have to understand that even if you are a start up or a one-man operation, or are well on your way, you are still a brand. You have to care passionately about the way your brand is nurtured, developed and presented to your target audience. Everything that leaves your building, every impression that your staff and your company make, is lasting. Take advantage of this opportunity to get your customers and potential customers to remember you in the way that you want them too!

Passion is something that you have to feel deep down inside; you have to be driven by the belief that your brand should be the #1 in its category. I can't give you the passion, but I will ask you to think about this! For example, one of the greatest investors of all time is Warren Buffet. Mr. Buffet invests only in brands, or products that he really understands. He once wrote in one of his annual reports "A brand is like a moat around your business". This point is significant! A brand can protect you against competitive attacks, it can protect you from market fluctuations, it can protect you from having to get into a price war, and it can protect your premium price positioning. When all things are equal, consumers will usually buy the brand leader!

Consistency is probably the easiest part of the marketing communications to control, but frankly most companies fail in this area. What you should do is ensure that everything that comes out of your company looks like it should. Every piece of communication should be part of a "look" that you have agreed on. I really do not care what it is; it should always look like it's part of a family, part of an ongoing series of communications. There should be no difference. If it's a letter, they should all look the same. No different typefaces, different margins etc. This is an area that should not be a request in your company; it should be a mandate.

To measure how strong your brand is copy and paste: ( Then click "Take the brand strength test". This is a short survey that measures the strength of any company's brand. It's a great tool to see where you are today.

Scott White is President of Brand Identity Guru (, a leading brand consulting and market research firm located in Easton, Massachusetts, USA, near Boston.

Brand Identity Guru specializes in creating corporate and product brands that increase sales, market share, customer loyalty, and brand valuation. Over the course of his 15-year branding career, Scott White has worked in a wide variety of industries: high-tech, manufacturing, computer hardware and software, telecommunications, banking, restaurants, fashion, healthcare, Internet, retail, and service businesses, as well as numerous non-profit organizations.

Brand Identity Guru clients include: Sun Life Financial, Coca Cola, HP, Sun, Nordstrom, American Federal Mortgage, Simon (America's largest shopping mall manager) and many others, including numerous emerging growth companies.

Scott White is a very enthusiastic speaker and has the gift of being able to explain the principles of branding in a compelling and entertaining manner so that people at all levels can understand.

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