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Well, first off, the 10 minutes is really dependent on how fast you read. It could take longer. The term branding is tossed around a lot these days and it is not all together clear what it really means. A brand is really the sum of all your assets and efforts. It is much more than just the logo on your business card or the design of your packaging. If you want to create a brand for your product or store than you need to be consistent in what you do and say and how you present yourself.

The reason branding is important in the first place is because people often don’t buy what you sell, they buy why you sell it. Especially now with people spending less and being more particular about their purchases. You need to set yourself apart and create an emotional connection to the purchase.

So why do you sell what you sell? Can you answer that question easily? More importantly, could your customers? What are the core values of your business. What actions and activities do you support or take part in that support those core values? Do you do things that could be considered contrary to those values?

To determine what your brand is today and help you further develop your brand image, you need to define the following specific aspects of your company. But don’t just list them off because they sound good. Are you really committed to these principals? Can you deliver and live up to their promise? For example, if you believe “all natural” is one of your core values, are there aspects of your products that are artificial? If so, consumers may get confused about your brand and that would diminish its value. So be honest and follow this outline:

Core values

Your core values are the principles on which your company is based. Natural, safety, purity, environmental, premium, socially responsible, and honesty are some we run into often.  What are your company’s core values?

Product scope

What products or services do you sell? Think about this in both the broadest sense and the very specific.

Attributes

What are some of the key features of your products?

Benefits

When your customers use your product or visit your store, what goal do they satisfy? What do they get out of it?

Imagery

What images and colors are used in your messaging. What do they say about your company? Are the images and colors consistent?

Sponsorships

What type of events, people, teams, exhibits, etc. does your company sponsor? What are the causes the company supports?

Heritage

What is the history of the company? How has it changed over time? Has it changed much or a little?

You can begin to see how your brand is so much more than the logo on your business card. Your brand is what your company stands for and, more importantly, what your customers understand your company delivers.

Take the time, even more than 10 minutes if necessary, to really think about the various components of your company. Once you’ve identified the key elements, you’ll find that creating a brand that reflects these values isn’t very time consuming.

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