marketing+sales: Your Brand of Communications
So the question is not if you have a brand or not—all organizations have a brand. Instead the question is: What do you do with your brand? In short, your brand is not defined by what you say it is but by what others say it is.
So here are five things the promotional products and print industry should consider when it comes to "branding."
1. Refrain from saying, "Promotional products and printing are still relevant." Of course they are. The market has simply changed. I argue that such products are more useful than ever—and I spend a lot of time in the social-media and new-media world.
2. Don't get caught up with referring to yourself as a "marketing or communications solutions" company. This should be what you do—not what you are.
3. Don't become overwhelmed with social and emerging media. Note, it is all about the psychology, not the technology. These simply are new ways to communicate and, if used correctly, are an asset—not a threat. They are one tool in your marketing mix—not the only tool.
4. Determine what it is you are best at, embrace it and then build and promote your brand around it. Print it, email it, tweet it, etc. But always be authentic in your communications.
5. Remember: Your brand is that "extra value" you provide and the reason a customer stays with you over similar competition/offerings in the market.
When pondering your brand, you must first determine what it is all about. Obtain feedback from those around you as a first step. Be sure to obtain this 360-degree-feedback from those close to you as well as those who are more removed from you.
Once you know what your brand is you can determine the ways you want to grow, change, re-frame, promote and/or strengthen your current brand position. So, how do you define your brand? Does it matter? You bet. We all have a brand, and there is no better time than now to address it.