What is my “Brand” and how do I know if it’s good?

Most of us remember “that kid” in middle school that wore really thick glasses….or the guy with the bad “reputation”. Those kids both had brands…neither of which were good, but it’s what came to mind first when people mentioned them in casual conversation. It’s unfortunate! But, it also works the other way. The “jock” and the “class clown” also had their brand identities. Their brands were just easier to live with! If you’re in business, you likely have a brand identity. Is it a good one or a bad one? Is your brand associated with quality and value or is your brand associated with questionable business practices and poor customer service? It’s important to know how your business is perceived. As Lee Atwater said, “perception is reality”. That doesn’t make it right, it only means that people believe what they see and hear.

Establishing a trusted brand must be one of your highest priorities as a business owner. In a 2012 article on Forbes.com, Scott Goodson wrote, “Brands are psychology and science brought together as a promise mark as opposed to a trademark. Products have life cycles. Brands outlive products.” Your business may go through many, many, products through the years, but your brand is enduring! Listening to your customer’s feedback is vital to determining your brand. Have you read their reviews on Facebook, Google, Yelp, etc.? If you consistently see good reviews, you are likely to be in possession of a pretty solid brand! Congratulations! However, if you see some middle-of-the-road comments or poor comments, you have some work to do my friend! Don’t stick your head in the sand…what you don’t know may in fact hurt you!

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