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Building a Brand...

Building a Brand Starts from Within

A “brand” is difficult to quantify—perhaps this is why it is classified as an intangible asset, but an asset nonetheless. This is why large multinational billion dollar companies invest heavily in their brand and take copyright and infringements very seriously. At the end of the day, a brand is the “halo” around your product/service and a representation of your vision.

When creating your brand, it is important to consider the following six key points:

Define Your Vision
Brainstorm key words and adjectives you want your brand to stand for. Think about these words and use them to create a brand positioning statement. Your statement should include what you stand for, what the consumer should expect from your brand and why it is “relevant” for them.

Use Inspiration
Before creating your brand, look for other companies that have been successful in key attributes you want your brand to project. Collect their brochures, marketing material, advertising, packaging—use these as inspiration. They will also help when it comes time to discuss your vision with your designers.

Invest in Trademarking

Once you have your name and logo, it is critical to invest in getting the name and image trademarked. The process is fairly straight forward and The US Patent and Trademark Office Web site  is a good resource. It is also a good resource to check availability of a name before you begin developing it. You don’t want to spend time and energy on a name and logo to find out it is already registered by someone else.

Web site Worth Remembering
In today’s Internet age, your website is a key gateway for your brand. It should be simple to remember and straight forward to spell. It is also important to get the “.com” version since people will assume it is “.com” and if you have another suffix such as “.net” it will be harder for customers to find you.

Be Consistent
Once you have the building blocks of your brand and brand identity, be consistent in how you use them. Key elements such as your logo, font, colors, images should be repeated so consumers learn to look for them in the same place. For example, if your logo is on a blue background on your packaging, use that same blue for your other promotion and marketing materials. Don’t choose a different color to “mix it up,” you want to reinforce that blue and have it identified with your brand.

Evolve and Improve
A new brand is a learning brand. Once consumers interact with it, you will get feedback on what is working and what is not. Take those learning and evolve the brand. As a new brand, you don’t want to completely change something when it hadn’t had a chance to take hold, but make small changes to improve as you build on the core foundation that was inspired by your vision.

Ultimately, perhaps a brand is an intangible asset because it is meant to capture and project the founder’s vision from within.
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