To kick off this series on branding I think it’s important to understand what branding is. I want to make it clear that branding and marketing, while they go hand in hand, are not the same thing. A brand is how you define your company. A brand is who you are. It is how your portray yourself to the world: your color scheme, your logo, your tag line/slogan, your style. Marketing and advertising get your brand seen. There is clearly a chicken and an egg here. Before you can market you need to know what you are marketing. That is why it is so important to spend time creating your brand.
Where to start?
Let me share how I created my tag line. I make fashion forward clothing for little girls using unique fabrics but simple silhouettes that can be worn everyday. I wanted to target customers that can afford a mid price range and shopped regularly. Shoppers that enjoy having their little girl be a trendsetter and a standout. I design with the principal “life is an occasion, dress for it”. I narrowed this down to one phrase:
In one phrase you understand my product has to do with fashion forward clothes for children. It leaves the question, “but it can also be worn on the playground?” Which hopefully makes the customer want to see more. Your tagline should draw your customer in but also be memorable.
I want to give you and exercise to come up with or refine your own tagline.
1. Define what you sell. If you sell a range of products what ties them all together?
2. Define your target customer.
3. Define what sets your product/company apart from others that also sell what you do. Colors, materials, service, quality, free shipping? Don’t just say service unless you really have a solid customer service policy in place. Don’t just say quality unless you know for a fact you have a unique process in place for creating a higher quality product than others. Avoid clichés. Shoppers are smart and can see through this. Plus you will not be memorable if you are just another brand saying, “unique quality _________.”
4. Now take all this brainstorming and put it in one phrase. Thesuarus.com is a great resource to help you come up with words. Also, ask your friends and family for help.
5. Finally Google it. If it’s already out there go back to the drawing board.
If you get stuck email me and I will offer you ideas. But do your work first. Send me your answers to all steps in the exercise and th ideas you have come up with so far. firstname.lastname@example.org