Three Things Smart Brands Know

By Emilie Downs, Owner, Imago Visual & CWCC Member

BrandingI’ll get right to the point. Branding is a powerful way to showcase your business offerings. If you’re not employing branding techniques yet, here are three tips to get you started.

1. Know where you stand.

I sat next to a woman at a luncheon this week that agreed with everything that her tablemates said. We were in a lively discussion with several different and conflicting points of view. After each person stated his or her opinion, she would say, “I agree with that.” I forgot all about her until I read this quote from our dear friend and marketing guru, Seth Godin.

“Fitting in more than anyone else” doesn’t work, even in high school. Seeking to be the most average, the most non-descript and the most inoffensive doesn’t lead to growth. —Seth Godin

That’s just it. I forgot about her. I don’t know her name or what company she worked for. I vaguely remember what she looked like but probably wouldn’t recognize her if we met again. I do remember the others: Debbie, Darrin and Howey and have thought several times in the last few days on their striking viewpoints. I also know what companies they work for and what each one of them does, despite not exchanging business cards.

That is what branding is all about. Brands are made up of what we say and do and even our viewpoints. Straddling the fence is no way to live your brand.

2. Know your reputation. Brands are made up largely of reputations. Brands are what others say about us. Have you ever overheard someone describe you? Maybe you were surprised by how accurate their description of you was. Or perhaps you thought, “That’s totally not me at all!”

Apply that concept to your business. What are people saying about it? If you say your business is X and your customers say it’s Y, it’s time for an alignment. You may want to consider outside messaging help from a branding expert.

It’s critical to be clued in on your reputation so you can understand your customers’ needs and desires. Understanding customers enhances their customer experience, which in turn enhances your reputation.

3. Know why you do it. Do your vendors and business partners know why you’re in business? What makes you tick?

Think about when a child asks about your job. The conversation may go something like this:

“What do you do?”

“I do business consulting.”

“What’s consulting?”

“Well, it’s talking to people and giving them advice.”


“Um…because that’s what I do.”

“But why?”

But Why. What’s your guiding principle? If you can’t explain to a 10-year-old why you do what you do, it’s time for some inward reflection. Just because the adults nod their heads doesn’t mean they have even the slightest understanding of why your business exists. Boil it down to the basics. Then boil it down some more.

Knowing these 3 things will bring your business three steps closer to a brilliant brand.

What’s my why?

Imago Visual exists because we want clients to have better experience and better results when it comes to their marketing and branding.

These are our values:

Imago Visual is all about FAITH.

We believe in our clients 100%.

We believe in strategy and purpose.

We believe in outcome, not output.

We believe in the attainability of beauty.

Imago Visual works with business owners who are tired of their marketing and brand image not “living up” to who they REALLY are. Emilie Downs helps her clients create brands and supporting marketing that reflect their company’s true brilliance and give them confidence.


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