You’re at a party and you meet someone. Perhaps they’re a mutual acquaintance. You quickly find you have a lot in common, and a lot of similar friends. You become friends. How do you identify that friend? 140-160 pound guy with longer brown hair, blue eyes, clean shaven, big-earlobes, bushy eyebrows, small nose, narrow-shoulder, about 5’10″, likes comic books, Kevin Smith movies, and was in a band in college guy?
I highly doubt that’s how you catalog your friends. You most likely call him Ken.
Just like your new friend Ken, the things you own likely have a name. You drive a Mazda, own a Sony TV, own some music by Devo, etc. All these names are brands. And just like your friend Ken, you can identify the things you like by brand name.
A brand name is your first tool to market your product, and to build a relationship with consumers. They have to know what to call your product, and it’s the name that they’ll hopefully tell all their friends about. That name is what connects the traits your product has to an easy-to-remember moniker.
Now you need to meet people. For a brand, there are a number of ways someone can meet your brand. You can walk door-to-door and let everyone in your area know who your brand is. You can reach out to the media, and hope they talk about you to a lot of people. You can also use advertising to “meet” the public. Too many small businesses think that they can just use some fancy internet tricks and suddenly they don’t need advertising or publicity. If you’re trying to avoid all marketing costs, get some comfortable shoes on and hope people will be in a good mood when you start knocking on their doors.
Making friends is a lot like building a brand. But remember, you’re asking people to give you money, which is a much greater commitment then having an acquaintance you have to say hello to in public. You need to build your brand, tell people about it, and maintain a great relationship with your customers. The first step is meeting new people, so get on it. The public needs to hear your brand name.