Building a Brand

Having a Brand vs. Building a Brand

You do branding.

You have a great logo, a specific set of colors, and finally, use the same font in all your marketing.

You do branding…right?

Not so fast.  You have a brand.

A brand is a thing, a marketing tool (noun).  Branding is an action (verb).

Branding is the action of doing something with the brand.

What good is a slogan if no one knows about you?  You’ve spent significant time and effort to develop your brand, but what are you doing to promote and advertise it?

Roy H Williams is a best-selling author and marketing consultant best known for his Wizard of Ads trilogy. He is the founder of the Wizard Academy institute. He said…

What does that mean? TELL YOUR STORY. “Seduce” (in Roy’s words) your potential customer to know, like & trust you. When you win the hearts and minds of a consumer, you don’t have to sell them today.   You wait for when you “seduce” them with WHY.

The Ultimate Test

  • Can you guess the brand?
    • “We’ll leave the light on for you” _______ __
    • “Save Big Money at ______”
    • “See you next time.” ______  ____
    • “Trust a worm to know good dirt.” ________ ___ ____  
  • How much money has your business spent on marketing in the last 3 years?  How good is your return on investment?
  • What is one phrase that makes people think of your business?

We ourselves struggled with branding through multiple name changes.  We’ve been around for over 40 years, but the old name Mid-West Family Broadcasting was competing with Mid-West Family Madison.  As a group of 8 radio markets, we are branded as Mid-West Family of Companies.  People still ask me, “aren’t you guys the radio people?” 

Each of our 8 radio stations in town is very well branded, but the marketing firm was not.  We are in the process of rebranding ourselves.  Many businesses in town had no idea we offered the services we do, even though we’ve been around for over 10 years. 

We aren’t perfect and we recognized what was broken.  One reason for this blog is to help brand us as a marketing firm and show you how to brand yourself! 

So how do you start branding?

The 3 Keys to Branding

  1. Consistency – start and don’t stop!
  2. Frequency – sleep erases memory.
  3. Emotional Anchoring – your creative message must play to the emotion of the potential customer.

Consistency is important – you only stop when you’re going out of business!  Know who you’re targeting and don’t stray from that. 

The formula for frequency is different for every media, but you must remind people who you are because sleep erases the memory!  A coworker of mine had a restaurant right by your office that used to be a favorite of hers, but she forgets it’s there.  She has so many other choices and the most consistent advertisers win.  Most Americans are exposed to 4,000-10,000 ads a day! 

Lastly, your message should always be tied to a known emotion.  Emotional Anchoring is the linking of the perception of your business to an associated memory. (Example: State Farm is anchored to the concept of a “good neighbor”.)  Everyone’s definition of a “good neighbor” is different – what’s a “good neighbor” to you?  Maybe you like that they leave you alone or that you can borrow an egg occasionally?

Your idea of your brand may be different from your customer’s idea! 

Your brand is whatever consumers immediately think of when they hear your name. It is their impression of your company based on their collective experiences.

The goal of branding is to be the name consumer thinks of first and feels best about, whenever they need your product/service.

To truly stand out in this highly competitive marketplace, your brand must be known and you must differentiate yourself. 

The key is to have a strategy in place that communicates your uniqueness.

Keleny Top Soil sells similar landscaping products as Menards & Home Depot do. They don’t have that kind of a marketing budget, so they stuck their flag in the dirt (pun intended) as the dirt guys. Then, once they’ve won the business and earned the trust of that customer, they can identify the other services they provide.

Fill Your Cup

Most people try to reach way more people than their budget allows.  Reach your ideal customers where they are, don’t try to reach everyone on every platform.  


How to Start Building Your Brand

  1. Determine your annual Branding budget.
  2. Develop a strong emotional anchor.
  3. Speak to “the heart of the dog”.
  4. Build a strategy to meet your potential customers where they are.
  5. Make the commitment and be patient.
  6. Reap the benefits and grow!
  7. Join us at BrandKamp on November 9, 2021.  

Author Bio:

Amanda Davis
Amanda Davis – Brand Strategist

Amanda Davis works as a Marketing Strategist for Mid-West Family Madison with sales and project management experience. She has 5+ years of media experience in digital marketing and Out of Home. She also has experience in market research, technical training, and working with nonprofits. She is a strategic thinker that likes blowing things up just to see if the pieces fit better another way. She’s still negotiating if she can be paid in tacos, ammo, or concert tickets.


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