Thursday, April 9, 2015

Some Thoughts about Branding

by:  Frank W. Thompson, President | The Thompson Agency, Inc.

 
Let's talk about “Branding”
It's a Lot More than a Logo

The logo goes on everything we put out in print, emails or the web, and ultimately will come to symbolize our customers' perception of our services. The logo is a gate that opens to what happens next.
 


So, what does happen next?
 
WELL, THAT'S UP TO YOU, TO ME, TO ALL OF US.


Let's back up a minute. You may associate a “brand” with the hot-iron burn on the back-side of a steer, and you wouldn't be wrong about that. That's the origin of the term. But in today's world it's much more than that. The term is thrown about a lot and largely misunderstood.

Yes, the logo is the gate that opens to the brand, but the brand is you! What does that mean?


It's pretty easy to be consistent with the logo, the colors, the font face, etc. but not so easy to be consistent with customer interactions. But, ultimately, customer interactions in aggregate become the brand. Those interactions need to be just as consistently true as is the logo, the colors, the font face and all the other graphic elements that represent your business.


A consistently superior customer experience becomes a great “brand” and will soon become associated with the graphics that represent it. So the brand is the sum of many parts, and the goal is to have the simple symbols of your brand (logo, etc.) evoke positive feelings of consistently valuable experiences.


How we are perceived is who and what we are.
You need to be perceived consistently as the best Financial Services Professional out there... Period!


So, how do you do that? You are, first and foremost, problem solvers. The phone rings because someone has a problem that you must try to solve. More often than not, you can solve the problem. But, how do you do that? You do it with a smile, no matter how trivial or seemingly silly the question, the obviously well-reasoned and truthful answer is the mission that, when fulfilled, creates and reinforces your brand. 


The well-reasoned and truthful answer is a relevant, responsive answer with value, and even if the answer disappoints it has the value of grounding the questioner in contextual truth and hopefully suggests a path forward.


It's a moving and ever-challenging target that can slip through our fingers like water but to create and maintain a positive brand we need to be consistently helpful, positive and optimistic, whatever the problem we're presented with.


If I'm sounding like a broken record, I am. When it comes to "Branding", consistency rules. Do your customer interactions consistently deliver value? If so, the graphic, gate-keeper representations of your business will take on a powerful role in the multifaceted, intangible, but the very real asset that is your "brand".


"Just do It!", sound familiar? 


Frank Thompson, MBA, CLTC
is President/CEO at The Thompson Agency
His background includes 35 years in the wholesale
distribution of Life, Health, LTC, Annuity and Disability
Insurance Products, small business and non-profit 
consulting, marketing, graphic & web design, as well as
teaching in the CT Community College system.


Reach him at: fthompson@thompsonagency.net



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