Your brand matters. It distinguishes your business from the competition and makes you stand out from the crowd. Are you articulating your brand properly?

There has been plenty written about what exactly comprises a brand, but it boils down to this: Your brand is the personality of your company. What are you known for?  When people hear the name of your company, what pops into their head? That’s your brand.

The first step in articulating your brand is to identify it. Do you know what your company stands for? What sets you apart from the competition? Is it an incredible turnaround time, superior product quality, or maybe impeccable client service? Make a mental list of the traits you are most proud of in your company. If you’re having trouble creating this list, ask a few long-term customers what they most appreciate about your business.

Once you’ve identified your brand, the next step is to make sure you are expressing it clearly. Think back to the mental list you just made.  Do clients and potential clients know about these positive traits? If they don’t, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.

So how do you go about expressing your brand? By making sure that everything you do is branded. Everything that a client or potential client receives from you, every interaction you have with them, every time somebody in your firm picks up the phone… your brand needs to shine through. This means making sure your receptionist has a pleasant and effective demeanor on the phone. This means sending professionally packaged documents to clients. It means organizing your store or office and keeping it clean and visually appealing to your customers and clients.

Further, it means not contradicting your brand.  For example, if you’re a marketer or a communications company, you better be sure that your emails and letters are spell-checked and grammatically correct. If your company takes pride in a quick turnaround time, you better not take three days to respond to an email. The key to articulating your brand is to make sure that your brand shines through in every single interaction your company has with the outside world.

A strong brand is a great way to retain current customers and attract new ones. Once you have identified your brand, make sure that you integrate it into every part of your company. Emails, telephone conversations, office décor, advertising… your brand is what sets you apart. It should go everywhere you go. Does it?