Everybody Has a Brand: What’s Yours?

Marketing experts talk about the need to develop your brand.  The process often sounds daunting, and you may wonder whether you should spend the time and money to brand your business.

Wonder no more.  You already have a brand.

Your brand may be “The Guys Who Do Lousy Work, Charge Too Much, And Won’t Return Your Phone Calls.”  Or it may be “Over Promise and Under Deliver.”  Or perhaps “We Can’t Think of a Single Reason Why You Should Give Us Your Money, But We Really Hope You Will.”

But, you may say, no sane business owner would choose those brands for her business.  And you would be right.  But I have done business with companies that operate under these three brands, and so have you.  You may even have done business with a company whose brand is not nearly as flattering as these three.

Everybody has a brand.  Your brand is not what you want it to be, but rather what your customers and prospective customers perceive it is.  If you want people to perceive your brand in flattering terms you need to give them a compelling reason to say something flattering.  Consider the following questions:

  • Do clients feel welcome when they arrive at your office?
  • How long does it take you to return telephone calls?
  • Do your offices convey warmth and professionalism?
  • Do your dressing and grooming habits strengthen your perceived competence?
  • Can you communicate the benefits of your services in a way that is meaningful for your clients?
  • How well do you walk the walk and not just talk the talk?
  • Do your clients sleep well at night because you are working for them?
  • How diligent are you after you make the sale?
  • Do you listen more than you talk?
  • What are you doing to help your clients become more successful?

We love the graphics and marketing materials that our friends at Tactix Creative are helping my law firm develop.  The marketing materials help bolster our image of competence and professionalism, and convey our message in a compelling way.  But make no mistake:  Dazzling graphics and catchy slogans help reinforce your brand, they do not create your brand.  Remember the old saying, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.”  If your performance does not match the quality of your award-winning marketing materials, your business will suffer.

How do you develop the brand that you want?  Always do the right thing, especially when it is difficult to do so.  Never compromise your integrity.  Treat your clients with kindness, courtesy, and respect.  Be honorable in your dealings with others.  Hire people who are smarter and more talented than you are, and create an environment in which they can develop their skills.  Make and keep commitments.  Accept responsibility for and promptly fix any mistakes you make.  Deal fairly with your employees.  Help others achieve their personal goals.

Bring your actions in line with your stated beliefs, and your business will boom.

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