How many tchotchkes do you have in your home or office? You know, those items that are emblazoned with a company name or logo? Without counting, I know I have multiple mugs, endless insulators, a ton of T-shirts, and a passel of pens. Many companies think of this as “branding.” But branding is so much more than “putting a mark on your cow.”

The term brand is kind of nebulous, and its concept is difficult to grasp, so I’m going to put it into words that are easy to understand. Your brand is your public image; it’s a projection of how you want to be perceived. Or, to put it another way, your brand is a reflection of your company’s personality.

Your company’s personality is revealed in numerous ways. Not only is it revealed in your logo, but your brand is also reflected in:

  • How your phone is answered and what music is played on hold.
  • The décor and color of your office.
  • Your employee dress code, and whether your employees wear uniforms.
  • Your company’s tagline.

To give you an idea of how this works, let’s take a look at a few examples:

  • Massage therapist – If a massage therapist wants to be perceived as a source of holistic wellness and relaxation, she wouldn’t have hip-hop music playing in the waiting room.
  • Plumber – A plumber who wants to be perceived as reliable would always have a live person answer the phone, never a voice-mail system.
  • Pediatrician – A doctor who wants to be perceived as kid-friendly would have walls painted in bright colors or covered in murals.

Your company is not a cow that’s been stamped with your logo. Your company is a living thing with a personality. Branding reveals that personality.

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