Do You Have a Brand or Just a Name?

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Every company has a name, but names don’t make a brand. Your business name identifies you, but with a cohesive branding strategy, your customers identify with you. Brands transcend labels and become a part of an overall lifestyle.

If that sounds like a tall order for a small business, you’re right. Most brands belong to Fortune 500 companies that have poured countless advertising executives’ talent into iconic logos and brilliantly calculated ad campaigns. The biggest brands no longer need to have their names in their ads. “Just do it.” “I’m lovin’ it.” “It’s the real thing.” Branding at that level takes decades of effort and billions of dollars.

Every company can benefit from a branding strategy, though, and it doesn’t have to cost billions. Time, creativity and a unified content creation strategy can help build a business into a brand. Plenty of viable brands achieve success in slender niches or on a local and regional level.

What’s in a Name?

Names and logos are at the heart of branding. Your company’s name won’t be on everyone’s lips if they can’t remember or pronounce it. Newly minted companies have the chance to pick the perfect name from the start, but they still need help getting that name in circulation. For companies that started with overly common, ungainly or challenging names, re-branding is often the road to success. It’s doubtful that anyone would line up for Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda, but once its creators changed the name to the punchier and more memorable 7-Up, it got plenty of attention.

Whether you’re establishing a new brand or re-branding, your content strategy plays a major role in positioning your company name for maximum effect. Just as your logo goes on your company stationery, product packaging and promotional goodies, your name should be a part of your content – and not just on landing pages. Incorporating your name naturally into article marketing channels, social media, message boards and blog comment sections reinforces name recognition.

Consistent Voices and Values

Successful brands have a distinct personality. They distill what they do, whether it’s hamburgers or haute couture, into an essential identity and apply it to everything related to the company. Every print ad, newsletter, blog post or tweet has the same voice – a voice that resonates with the brand’s ideal customers and makes the business part of a lifestyle. High fashion is full of examples. Think of Calvin Klein’s minimalist elegance or Tommy Hilfiger’s all-American aesthetic. Every scrap of written content that comes from these companies contributes to that brand identity.

Your company’s values and identity should appear in your content, too. Smaller companies actually enjoy an advantage over their larger competition in this regard because they can exercise quality control over everything without spending heavily on brand bibles to keep a huge staff of writers and designers on the same page. As a small or mid-sized business owner, you can communicate your brand to your content creation specialist in a few well-chosen words.

When you’re ready to make a consistent content marketing strategy part of your branding efforts, here are some key questions to consider when defining your instructions to your writing team:

Who is your audience? Professional writers tailor their approach to their audience; when your content team knows who reads their writing, they can deliver an on-brand message more effectively.

  • What sets you apart? A service-oriented company will have a different branding message than one that promotes sustainable manufacturing processes, budget-friendly bargains or top-of-the-line luxury items. Content that highlights your distinctive features will be more effective at building your brand.
  • What problems should a re-branding effort solve? Everything from reputation optimization to fostering a stronger brand identity can be part of a content marketing re-branding strategy.
  • Where do the company’s product lines or services fit as part of the customer’s lifestyle? Your written content should carry the same underlying emotional message as everything your company does.
  • How do you want readers to feel when they visit your site and blog? The more specific you are, the better your writing team can match your vision.

© Business Content, Inc. 2013 All Rights Reserved.

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