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Tom Marin

Building Brands

By Tom Marin

About Tom

Tom Marin is the managing partner of and provides corporate and brand strategy to organizations of all sizes. He has an extensive background in the graphic arts, printing, publishing and media industries. Marin is an accredited member of the national and international chapters of the Business Marketing Assn., is a (CBC) certified business communicator and a past marketing chair of the Chicago chapter.


Branding Is in the Details

I often say that branding is a simple, complex game and that you need to get both aspects right to be a success. A simple definition of a brand is a promise kept.

• Be consistent and you will establish a brand people respect, esteem, talk about and even give referrals to their friends and business associates.

• Be inconsistent and you will establish a negative equity brand that no one will want to deal with.

Here are a few tips to start building your brand in your marketplace.

First, determine how your employees talk about your company’s customers. Are customers described as accounts or as valued members of your company? There is an enormous difference in tone! And, this tone will leak through to your customers and tell them in so many ways what your company really thinks about them.

Over time, given all of the ways to connect to a brand in today’s digital marketplace, there is no way to disguise what your company really thinks about its customers, vendors and its future.

Customers will pick up on this by interacting with you in so many ways. Here are a few:

1) Your invoices say “Thank You For Your Recent Order!” each time, regardless of how long you have been doing business with that customer. Or, your invoices will not say “Thank You” and rather simply detail the ordered products/services and state “Payment is due now.”

2) When a customer calls your offices they will be greeted with an enthusiastic, “It’s a great day at ABC Company! This is (NAME), how may I assist you?” Or, they might hear something like, “ABC Worldwide. How may I direct your call?”  Which greeting sounds more inviting to you?

The first is a service driven company, whereas the second seems to be saying we’re very large, very important and, by the way, don’t really need you since we’re worldwide. This simple first point of contact says so much about your company I could write a book on it.

3) Your company has taken the time to organize its information into easy to access formats and locations that take just a few clicks to retrieve, or one telephone prompt gets you to the right person. If your company takes the time to do this well, your customers will reward you in spades because you really will stand out.

When was the last time you tried to find someone in a large corporation who could help you with a specific issue? It’s enough to make you never call them again and instead search for alternatives.

Which really is the point of this post. Why not find out what your customers want, from their perspective, and then take the time to deliver it in the form your brand promises? Remember, the definition of a brand is a promise kept.

If you make your promises the very things that your customers are searching for, guess what happens! You create strong customer relationships that eliminate the need to rely upon this month’s “special promotion” to drive revenues. And because the value that is being provided by your company and communicated by your employees is so exceptional, your customers will begin to rely upon you for all of their related needs.

Now that’s what I call the beginning of a terrific relationship. It all starts with a simple, but powerful, brand strategy.
Tom Wants to Hear Your Branding Issues:
If you are a printing company, or product/services company serving the industry, and would like to be considered for a feature in this blog, please contact Tom Marin for an interview.

Follow MarketCues on Twitter for branding and social media tips, as well as the latest trends. Tom also welcomes emails, new LinkedIn connections, calls to 407.330.7708 or visit How can he help solve your branding issues?

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