Commentary & Analysis
Marketing Your Services: Creating a Brand Identity
By Rosemarie Monaco The principles behind effective marketing and brand identity are the same whether your revenues are several billion or less than a million.
By WhatTheyThink Staff
Published: March 9, 2005
By Rosemarie Monaco The principles behind effective marketing and brand identity are the same whether your revenues are several billion or less than a million. They simply happens on a different scale. March 9, 2005 -- Creating an effective identity is an important element of marketing. Certainly, have to know what you do and how well you do it before you can market it. But a truly effective identity reflects much more than the basics. In addition to telling your target audiences what you do, it should also project your philosophy and your vision. And your identity needs to be flexible enough to evolve with market needs. Perhaps the best example of all is IBM. Most people forget that the name means International Business Machines. Long ago IBM’s marketers turned an acronym into an identity that stands for the most current form of business communications. Today the company offers a wide variety of enterprise solutions as well as computers. The company is also visionary and practical enough to know when to shed an ailing division. But no one had to tell you all these things for the name IBM to mean all these things. Whether it conjures up a positive or negative association for you, you cannot deny that IBM still represents a powerhouse in the field of business processes and communications. That was no accident. It is the result of ongoing effective marketing. Don’t think that IBM is an inequitable comparison to your business. The principles behind effective marketing and brand identity are the same whether your revenues are several billion or less than a million. They simply happens on a different scale. First Things First Branding is not a difficult process, but it is complex. It requires an integrated communications program. Advertising, direct marketing and public relations are key to communicating your message and establishing a brand identity. But before you do any of that you need to decide what you want your public to think of when they see your company name and logo. Even if you are not in a position to implement an integrated marketing campaign, you can still start the process by presenting your company in the proper light. The first step is to come up with a name and a look that reflects your new positioning. The first step is to come up with a name and a look that reflects your new positioning. Let’s say that after looking analyzing your business, you have determined that the way to differentiate yourself in the market it to offer prospects a personalized direct marketing effort. You will not only provide personalized mailers, but you will also combine them with opt-in email and do the fulfillment for both. Let’s also say that you have a successful printing company that has earned a positive reputation. You don’t want to lose the name association you’ve already achieved but you do need to communicate that your business is moving in a new direction. For example, Abner Graphics can become Abner Direct Communications. Or, you can change the name completely but still keep the association: Nova 1-2-1 Marketing, an Abner Graphics Company. The Next Steps Find a clever graphic artist that can either update your current logo or create a new one that has a clear association with Abner Graphics. But don’t clutter your communication with more than one logo. Keep it simple. Remember that the design of your name and logo is very important. Be it conservative or modern, it should create an association with what your company stands for. The AT&T logo is the perfect example of simple yet associative—pulsating lines of communication around a globe. Once you are satisfied with your graphic image, you need to plan the communications process. First, determine how much you want to invest in a branding or marketing effort. Then look at the various communications media and determine the most cost effective means of delivering you marketing message and beginning the branding process. Please provide feedback, suggestions or comments to Rosemarie at email@example.com.