By: Sandy Salmon

When you start thinking about advertising your business and building your brand – be it product or service-based - you have to know what it is about your business that makes people keep coming back. What do you stand for? If you don’t know, I have to wonder how you’ve made it this far. But, let’s say you’re just not very self aware – start asking your customers. They’ll probably be only too happy to tell you. Then, once you know what makes you a GREAT business – sell it in every piece of communication that leaves your office – be it a business card, letterhead, invoice or e-mail! And then make sure you live that promise in everything you do.

If you don’t deliver on your promise, you’ll lose a customer. Remember it’s not unlike the things your mama told you – don’t try to be something you’re not – people can spot a phony a mile away. Okay maybe mama didn’t say it quite that way – but I think you catch my drift.

So what are the 5 Easy Steps to Start Building Your Brand:
1. Know what you stand for! If you don’t know, do some research – even if it’s just one-on-one conversations with your 20 Best Customers. Feeling a little shy, why not hold a contest. It’s simple – make up a little ballot for a chance to win ‘”one of your services or products’ and ask the question, ‘You keep coming to me because ‘fill in the blank’’.

2.Take the top 3-5 things your business brings to the table and brainstorm – you don’t need a high-price agency to come up with a tag line. Let’s say your customers come back with ‘quick’, ‘good value’, ‘great/fun personality’. And you’re a plumber. Leaks stopped quick – no ifs, ands or plumber’s butt! See – it’s easy and can be a lot of fun!

3. Hire a freelance designer to create a logo! Can’t afford one – approach a Graphics Design School to see if you can hire a student, or better yet, you might just get it for FREE if you offer up printed samples and an endorsement for the kid’s portfolio!

4. Put your new logo on everything!

5. Live your brand – and ensure that everyone you hire does too!

Have a GREAT tagline you’d like to share? We’d like to hear it – how about telling us how you came up with it and how you live it every day!


Sandy Salmon is the Director of Advertising for STAPLES Canada. Sandy has been with STAPLES for over 15 years and brings extensive brand experience. Previously Sandy has worked at CFTR/680 News and Saffer Advertising.

By Adam

February 17, 2010