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You might need branding if...

B. Newman

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
From the March 2004 issue of Entrepreneur magazine cover story on Branding (of course some of these won't apply.)

You Might Need Branding If...

A big, well-known competitor moves onto your turf. The Home Depot moves into town. How will you differentiate your small hardware company? It's the question that's killed Main Streets all over America. Figure out the one thing that sets you apart from this business behemoth, and center your marketing around it. (Hint: It probably won't be price.)


Your products or services are very similar in features, benefits and price to the competition's. The more interchangeable your offerings are with the next guy, the more you need a "hook" to get people into your store. Is your hook great customer service? Free Wi-Fi access? A complimentary doughnut with purchase? Find it, and tout it.


You're expanding into new towns where people don't know your company. Your local customers know you already, but people in other towns don't have a clue what you're selling. This is a good time to educate them about your purpose and mission.


Employees don't have a consistent way of dealing with customers. Are employees all over the map in the way they approach, help and resolve customer questions and problems? A strategy can provide consistency and build your brand.


Customers can't sum up your product or service in one word. Great brands can be summarized in a word or two. Nike? Running shoes. Microsoft? Software. FedEx? Overnight delivery. Ask your customers to summarize your product or service in one or two words. If they can't do it, you need to work on the messages you're sending in the marketplace.


Read the whole article at:
http://www.entrepreneur.com/Magazines/Copy_of_MA_SegArticle/0,4453,314185,00.html

Betty
 
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The King

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
That's interesting, Betty, and I'll take a look at the whole article a little later.

I guess, for a one-person shop, the owner/operator/framer/designer becomes the brand. My customers know they're always going to be dealing with me (or the Gone Fishing sign in the door.) If they like that, they'll keep coming back. If they don't, they won't.

It's just during the past few years that I've started wearing a name tag and putting my name on everything that's printed in or for my shop. My new dust cover labels have my name, as well as my shop's.

Now if I can just keep my name out of those nasty police reports in the paper . . .
 

McPhoto

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Branding might be a necessary evil - however in most "generic" businesses it is sometimes difficult to NOT use what you do as part of your business "nom de plume"
Part of the article mentioned "Ecoluxe"? Would you have known that it was a "high-end organic dry-cleaning company"? Of course not! However, the owner spent $60,000 to educate her consumers - Maybe I'm short-sighted (or old fashioned) but I'll take "Acme picture frames" (beep-beep) any day over some non-descriptive "branding" And I can think of a lot of better uses for 60K :eek:
 

AWG

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Very interesting, Betty. I think one of the most important things in your quote might be overlooked:
(Hint: It probably won't be price.)
Ron's right - you/we are the brand for a single-person shop. Everything you do or say needs to consistently reflect your "brand".

Shoes? Nike. Software? Microsoft
Custom Framing in Charlotte? Applewood Gallery.

One day....

Tony
 

Bob Shirk MCPF

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
AWG,
What you are referring to is "top of mind".
 

Dermot

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Betty

I thought you might like this little snippet.
http://www.forbes.com/2004/03/11/cx_dd_mibp_0315leverpoll.html

William Lever 1851-1925 Founder of Unilever

This British grocer put individual hunks of soap in pretty wrappers and named them Sunlight. Before then, shoppers would buy soap by asking store owners to cut up long bars into smaller blocks. When copycats imitated William Lever's immensely successful ploy, he began branding Sunlight as the soap of the working woman, claiming, among other things, that it helped them preserve their youth. It was one of the first brands in the modern marketing sense. Though a tech juggernaut like Apple Computer wants us believe that it thinks differently, its marketing strategy was cooked up a century ago by a British grocer.
 

CharlesL

PFG, Picture Framing God
Or if you have a bunch of these:


Sorry, Betty. I just couldn't resist...

Now, back to Betty's serious thread, already in progress.
 

B. Newman

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
None of those in East Tennessee, Charles. We have black baldys on our farm.

And our kids look so much like us, that a Texan friend of ours said, "no need to brand those boys - just cut 'em loose!"


betty
 
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