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    4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 27, 2009 1:55 PM by sfjimburk

    Is your company a brand?

    Rick Tillman Newbie

      Hello everyone, today as businesses look to grow or maintain in our current economic climate it is very important for those big named brands to continue and focus on what made them successful. Branding is not the exclusive domain of worldwide product, such as Coca-Cola soft drinks, McDonald’s fast food, or Maytag household appliances. So with this being said, as CEO of a small business I ask the following questions:
      • How can we create a genuine brand?
      • What, in our situation, would be an ideal strategy for our brand?
      • What kind of effort will it take, and will the payoff be worth it?
      Now these next questions encompass a myriad of issues we considered:
      • What is distinctive about our product and service?
      • Whose perception is important to us, and who are our customers.
      • What do we want them to think about us?
      • How do we achieve our desired perception?
      • How do we inform them about who we are, and how do we get them to believe and trust in our products and services.
      But keep in mind the questions don’t stop there. Do we want to be perceived as high-priced and exclusive?


      We're a specialty coffee roaster, using a roast-on-demand process, places us in the middle. Then we look at our target market to see if it’s price-sensitive, in which case we need to offer “value pricing.” In order to answer the questions you need to conduct a Hard-nose internal assessment, competitive analysis, and market research which help you build a strong brand foundation.


      Another point I would like to make, even if an ideal strategy for a brand is conceived, though, the work has just started. The tough part is building the brand, making it work, and making it last. If you take my company “Farley’s Coffee, Inc. The Coffee With a Classic Taste,” we develop our brand slow, learning using the Brand Promise method rather than Customercentric method. I hope this helps you in the building of your company’s brand.
      2009 is Your Time For Success.
      Rick Tillman CEO









        • Re: Is your company a brand?
          Iwrite Pioneer


          What is your definition of "brand?" I ask because the definition has not evolved with the meaning we now attach to the word.

          "A brand is a collection of symbols, experiences and associations connected with a product, a service, a person or any other artefact or entity." - Wikipedia

          "A. A trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer. B. A product line so identified: a popular brand of soap. C. A distinctive category; a particular kind: a brand of comedy that I do not care for." -

          "Your target market thinks something about your company. It is their thought or idea about your company that is called brand." - Steve Mcmains

          Some believe it is a combination of all of these. I tend to agree with that. But as you can see, there is not set definition. There needs to be.

          I think your advice is a great push in the right direction - we do need to start thinking about how we want people to think about our businesses and put some serious effort in building that brand. People buy from a business but they are loyal to a brand.

          Yes, my agency is a brand or at least I am growing it into a brand. It's voice is insightful and helpful, but with a tint (okay a lot of) fun/humor to it. We are serious about what we do but we have fun doing it. We do more that execute advertising, we educate our clients, helping them to grow in their understanding of how powerful a tool advertising is. We share information, we advise, we counsel. We do not work for a client. We work with a client. There is a difference

          Nice question.
          • Re: Is your company a brand?
            sfjimburk Newbie
            Looking for advice here...

            We're an online retailer of designer home accessories and gifts. Yes, I know, we are separating our "gifts" biz and rolling it into a new online business later this spring. Here's our problem...

            We've been in business 7 years and even though the economy is slow our sales have been enough to survive on for now. Which is good. A lot of our competitors are closing down weekly. We want to take advantage of having less competition this year
            (2009) and take several leaps forward. We're redesigning our website currently (new home page up at and are sending out PR packets in February. We do a monthly email campaign to our customer base and do a postcard mailer about every quarter. Does anyone have any advice on promoting/developing a brand with almost no budget? That's probably a dilemma everyone faces so any comments are welcome.

            Thank you,
            Jim B.
              • Re: Is your company a brand?
                Iwrite Pioneer
                From your logo to the colors you pick to the tone you use to talk with customers to your advertising and website, it is all branding. You all ready have a brand - what do your customers think of your business?

                Now, what do you want them to think of you? There can be a difference between the two. Does your site, emails and postcards communicate what you want them to think? Does your logo say it? Do you communicate it in the mailings or are you simply selling them things? It isn't about spending money, it is about evaluating your business and the message you are putting out. What are the attributes of the products you sell? What type of service do you provide? What is the customer experience like?

                Start by answering these questions. Take a look at the copy on your website, on your postcards and in your emails - it doesn't need to be the same but it does need to communicate the same message.

                This doesn't require money as much as time and thought - think of it this way: what is the difference between Target and Wal-Mart? Look how each presents merchandise, how their websites feel and read. They sell the same thing but not in the same way.
                  • Re: Is your company a brand?
                    sfjimburk Newbie
                    Thank you for the response. We have a copywriter working to create better readability throughout the website and separating out the gifts collection into a side business will get us to refocus on home accessories. Without a big marketing budget do you have any suggestions on introducing our business to potential customers who aren't familiar with us?