4 Cornerstones to Build Your Brand On

Your brand is defined by how consumers or businesses perceive your organization. It will develop regardless of the effort you put toward it; kind of like that fort your kids are building in the living room. It’s important to proactively build your brand (and that fort) so that it is solid and stable.

To do so, you need a solid foundation created by four cornerstones:

Core Difference.

foundation, build, brand
Build your brand on a solid foundation. (via PhotoPin)

Core difference is why your business is different from everyone else who says they do exactly what you do. It’s vital that you identify and promote your core difference. If you’re in marketing or small business, this can help you narrow your key offerings as well. When you develop your core difference and make it a focus and foundation of your business, customers can identify you by that difference and identify why they keep returning to you.

Ideal Customer.

Your ideal customer is the perfect match for what you can provide and whom you would like to work with. If you already have a brand (you do), identify who recognizes and uses your brand. Now ask yourself, are these people my ideal customer? If they aren’t, what can you do to ensure that your brand is reaching your ideal customer? This might identify places for brand improvement or redesign, or it could identify that you need to be promoting your brand via different channels.

Visual Appearance.

Visual appearance is the arena that you normally consider your brand. Your logo, your advertisements, your website, are all reflective of your brand. They should be consistent, and along with being consistent with one another, they should be consistent with the image that your company projects in its people and it’s physical appearance. Try walking into your lobby, or have a friend do it. How are they greeted? What is their first assumption about your organization? You need to ensure that these things are all in alignment for your brand to be successful.

Competitive Comparison.

You might think that your company is totally original or targeting a market unlike anyone else, and it might be! Regardless, you have competitors, and you are being compared to them. Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing for their customers, what they are doing in the community, and what kind of work they are producing. It’s not important to always “Keep up with the Jones’,” but instead, know where you stand in comparison. Do what you do, and do it well.

If you build on these four cornerstones, you will have a solid foundation for your brand to grow.

Kala LinckKala is a specialist in digital marketing and the Community Manager at Duct Tape Marketing. She loves nothing more than picking up a newspaper and tuning into the local stations. She’s worked with clients spanning a variety of industries and knows that people are the heart of a successful business. Currently enrolled at the Kansas City Art Institute to receive a certificate of integrated design, she believes in continuous learning. She loves to travel and try new foods, and documents her travels in her blog. You can shoot her an email to say “hello!” (kala@ducttapemarketing.com) or follow her on Twitter.

How to Create a Seamless Brand Experience

Today’s Guest Post is by Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Georgie Gallagher – Enjoy!

Now it’s time to build your brand experience, and there are a few ways of doing this.


For a simple guide to creating a seamless brand experience, I like to focus on four main elements of your business. This is an easy approach to creating a seamless brand experience – but it works. By the way, this fits in nicely when considering your customer journey.


How do people experience your product or service? What’s your brand telling them? Does it represent what your brand stands for?

If you’ve got a product, how does it make your customers feel? Is it fun, quirky or bold? What’s the packaging like – is it branded clearly and well? Is it easy to read the product information leaflet? Do you provide an element of surprise or delight? Does it smell good?

If you’re a service business, how do you make an impression? Is your website wonderful and easy to use? Have you got great looking articles circulating on LinkedIn? Is it the documents you leave behind? Is it how you present a quotation? Is it the fast turn around of a service call? Is it the element of surprise when you leave a little something extra at the end of providing your service?

Take a look at your competitors and see them with fresh eyes? Try and experience their product. How can you make your product or service better? How can you represent your brand through the experience of your product or service?


Your people are a key part of your business’s brand. They’re critical. Every customer interaction, whether it be to pay a bill, ask a question or buy from you, is the opportunity to present your brand experience.

Here’s my big tip. Hire someone who you would proudly place before your largest customer. And once you’ve hired, train your people to represent your brand. Make sure they know what your brand means and make them accountable for its delivery.

Snappy, friendly, on the ball service speaks volumes. A happy voice, a can-do attitude, a smart look or uniform that fits your brand – all these things help shape your brand experience through your people.

Your people are your brand. Train them well.


For my branding purposes, a definition of place is where your customers experience your brand.

For a small retailer, this could mean everything from your store front to taking care to keep the shop floor spotless. It could be taking pride in how the vegetables are displayed and the tins are stacked on your delicatessen shelves.

For a wholesaler, it could mean the spotless warehouse and trucks that deliver your goods.

For a service provider, it may be arriving 5 minutes early for every appointment and leaving something of value every time you leave. And if people come to your offices, it’s the beautiful and clean reception, the friendly staff, the comfortable chairs – even the biscuits you serve.


Think of promotions as every communication that goes out and represents your brand.

Remember, you make the rules. Conjure up the picture of how you would like your customers or clients to experience your product or service and make it happen.

Now it’s your turn

Remember branding is in the detail. Build it into a system that never fails, and you’ll have people talking about your business in no time.

I suggest building a simple a table with Know, Like, Trust, Try, Buy, Repeat and Refer down the left-hand side. Now put Product, Place, People and Promotion across the top. I know it’s simplistic but run with it.

Now for each stage of your customer journey, think about how you can build your business’s unique brand experience over the four brand elements. You’ll get a load of ideas. See what’s realistic and implement at least one new thing in each area over the next few months. Do it well and see what results you come up with.

I’m hoping you’ll be delighted – because your customers will love all the positive changes you make. Oh and have fun. Remember you’re in control, and this is your brand. Make it great.

Happy Branding…

Georgie GallagherGeorgie Gallagher is the founder of Wildmoon, a specialist consultancy focusing on brand development, marketing strategy, marketing communications and strategic content marketing for SMB’s. Georgie’s a Duct Tape Marketing consultant and a CPM of the Australian Marketing Institute.

Like this article? Follow her on her blog here, or connect with her via Twitter or LinkedIn.


How to Use Video to Build Your Brand

Today’s Guest Post is by Greg Ball – Enjoy!

Why Worry About Branding?


No matter the size of your business, your brand identity plays a key role in how customers perceive you and your business. You’ve probably already created products or a service, have a logo, and you’re using your favorite colors on your website and packaging. However, branding is so much more than this.

Branding is about who you are, what you represent, what your passion is and how you want the public to understand you. It’s your reputation and identity, and it becomes connected to your products and services in the minds of your existing and potential customers.

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, video can help solidify your brand identity, all while giving your target market something to notice and talk about.

 Video Branding

Today, more businesses are taking advantage of video’s power to build brands and brand identity by using video on their website, YouTube, Vimeo or social media. One of the latest innovative trends involves using the mobile app Vine. All videos on this site are 6 seconds long. In only 6 seconds, many businesses such as Samsung, Nissan, American Airlines, and Taco Bell are using vine to build brand awareness and loyalty.

Although some people produce low-quality Vine videos that may work, the most successful businesses are planning, scripting, and editing these videos as if they were full-blown productions. Producing several of these videos has helped businesses not only create their brand identity but gain customer loyalty. All of that in 6 seconds!

Using video to build or grow your brand involves some pretty basic ideas. Recently, I was watching a reality-based business show called the Celebrity Apprentice. The task the celebrities had to complete was to create a viral video for a recognized brand of coffee. Both teams produced their videos, yet right from the start I noticed that one team was not showing enough of the brand, the packaging, the logo, or the product. There was not any way this team was going to produce a winning video without these ingredients! As expected, they were the losing team.

The lesson here is that while it was important to have the video interesting enough to go viral, it’s meaningless if you don’t include branding.

 Getting Started

How can you use video for your brand identity and marketing purposes? As I said, video can be a potent tool that can help you grow your business, but if you’re not careful, it can do the opposite. For example, choosing the wrong spokesperson for your company can be an image killer. I wrote an article called Branding – How to Pick a Video Spokesperson that talks about some of the criteria that you should consider before choosing. You’ll need to decide carefully.

Your first step towards creating your video should be to take a look at your own business. The following suggestions and questions can help you define your videos’ content, look, message, etc.:

– Determine what makes your business different. Think in terms of your brand’s unique personality.

– What kind of image do you want your brand to have? For example, is it more of a mom and pop image? How about a slick or high tech image?

– Take a look at your target market. What characteristics do they have? Describe their demographics, and think about what will appeal to them.

– How do you want people to feel after watching your video? Are you hoping to cause an emotional reaction?

Potential clients want to know who is behind the curtain, so to speak. Video branding is a great way to help make potential customers feel comfortable with your company’s’ service or products to the point where they want to do business with you. Answering the above questions can help you begin the process of putting together a plan for your video that will help communicate your brand to your target market effectively.

Consider creating a video that discusses the success of your brand, perhaps you can use satisfied customers to offer testimonials that help tell your story. Maybe you can use video to demonstrate your company’s expertise by answering questions that may be on the minds of potential customers.

Whatever you do, be sure that your video reflects the quality of your products and services by making sure you have high-quality video.

Greg-Ball-President-of-Ball-Media-Innovations-mid2Greg Ball is the president of Ball Media Innovations, Inc., a full-service video production and post-production company specializing in marketing, public relations, training, and live conferences, trade shows, meetings and conventions. They also specialize in film and video translation.

The company is headquartered in the Miami – Fort Lauderdale area, with crews in South Florida and the Orlando area, as well as throughout the USA. Visit the website at BallMediaInnovations.com, and join Greg on LinkedIn and Facebook. You can reach him at 954-432-1274 or 866-570-8612.