We have all heard that branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, but what do you think “branding” means in your business? To some of the “elder members” of this industry, this is second nature. However, there are many new (or newer) members who are trying to find their way to success!
Simply put, your brand is a type of promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from you… not just the products you sell, but most importantly, the services you provide. What differentiates you from your competitors? Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be.
Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It requires, at the very least, that you answer a few questions:
- What is your company’s mission?
- What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
- What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
- What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
Once you have defined your brand, you need to get your message out…
- Get a great logo – Place it everywhere.
- Develop a tagline – Write a memorable, meaningful, and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand. This is also called an elevator speech because you should be able to share your message in about 30 seconds (between floors).
- Design business cards, stationary, cards, etc, by creating templates and using brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look, and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent.
- Create an agency brochure – this is a great way to showcase who you are and what you can do for your clients. Instead of handing out supplier brochures about products you sell, give out a brochure selling YOU.
I know that this may seem difficult, time-consuming, and uncomfortable, and it can be; but it is also very rewarding and can be the basis of a successful business. Several of these things can be done on your own or you can hire a professional to help you do it.
- Be true to your brand – Customers won’t return to you, or may not refer you to someone else, if you don’t deliver on your brand promise.
- Be consistent – I placed this point last only because it involves all of the above, and is the most important tip I can give you. If you can’t do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will be for nothing.
If you have anything that you would like to contribute, a question or comment, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Penney Rudicil started her travel career in 1995 as an independent contractor. A few years later she started her own boutique host agency, The Travel Planner, Inc., working with independent travel professionals.
Believing that education is the foundation of success, and due to her dedication to the travel agent community, in 2006 Penney founded and is president of Travel Agent Success, Inc. She does a weekly 15 minute Tech Tip Tuesday webinar for anyone in the industry and hosts an in-depth monthly technology webinar for their members. They also offer many resources and educational opportunities, as well as one on one mentoring and training.