Be The Brand That Sets The Bar

Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
— Steve Jobs

Don't settle for mediocre.

Waiting for your competition to set the bar is bad business -- it’s bad for your business. Being the business to set the stage for brand quality is worth the investment, and yes, the risk. What does setting the stage for brand quality mean exactly? It means that - no matter what your business is - a collective of data scientists or a scrappy crew of gearheads - a coherent, well-designed, brand identity should be key to your strategy.

The fact that your organization has a brand is inescapable.

Your brand is your message. That’s why you have to invest in its development. The image you portray (or don’t) leaves a resonate impression on your audience and the broader community. Your brand (or lack thereof) is what does the talking when you don’t, or when you can’t. Your brand is what customers rely on when asked by a neighbor about your services, and what your competition observes from a distance. Your brand’s aesthetic exists whether or not you’ve invested time and resources to it - so invest in them!

Raising the bar is as much about separating yourself from the rest as it is about encouraging a community of excellence. It’s about saying that poor, automated design has no place in your industry! It’s about indulging in design so that the business you build has brand imagery to be proud of! And, it’s about distinguishing the experience and quality of working with your business.

It’s also about creating an iconic member of the community.

Good design and good branding can be the difference between just being another **Insert Industry Here** and being a household name. Google, though not exactly well known for good design, is well known for fostering a strong brand. How often do you find yourself saying you’re “googling” something, rather than searching for it? How often do you find yourself “googling” even when you’re not on Google? It’s can be hard to measure the return on investing in your branding, but when you enter into the vernacular of a community (in a positive way), let’s just say you’ve got what you paid for!

The folks at Oil Can Henry’s and Les Schwab didn’t shrug their shoulders and say “we just do oil,” “we just do tires.” They knew they wanted their business to grow and become a part of how communities of people service their automobiles. So, they set the bar high, not just for their competition, but for themselves! And, in turn, they developed strong brands. Even if you don’t use their services, if either business exists in your community, odds are you know who they are. (And that’s a good thing!)

That’s what you should want for your brand. I’m willing to bet that, that is exactly what you want for your brand. Now, make it a priority and let professional brand managers take you there!

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