You and Your Brand

A lot of people think the word “brand” only applies to giant conglomerate companies like Nike and Pepsi. And that is how I was thinking of the word brand yesterday as I drove my 12-week-old twins and I up to the office supply store to buy items for my fledgling consulting company, when a 7UP truck blatantly pulled out of a grocery store parking lot in front of me and cut me off. And I thought to myself, “That is a really stupid behavior for someone with a 20-foot logo emblazoned on the side of a semi truck to engage in”.

Behaving badly with your brand showing is bad for business. If I were a 7UP drinker, I might have cared a lot more, but it gave me today’s topic, so we’re gonna talk about your brand.

Any time you touch the public representing your company, you have an opportunity to shine and, by extension, for your company to shine. Each delivery you make, each invoice you send, each T-ball team you sponsor—these are all “branding” opportunities. So I want to encourage you to be cognizant of how you and your employees—ALL of your employees—conduct yourselves while doing anything public that might cast a favorable or, heaven forbid, UN-favorable light on you.

Does your delivery driver wear a uniform? You might want to consider getting one—even if just a windbreaker and polo shirt—so everywhere he or she goes, your company has visibility. Does the vehicle that makes the deliveries feature bright and colorful graphics telling the world what you do and how to get a hold of you? Put that on your list of things to do if you answered “No.” Do you include buckslips offering discounts in with your invoices? This is free advertising real estate, and I want you to take advantage of it.

Now working as a consultant, Kelly sold digital printing for 15 years so she understands the challenges, frustrations and pitfalls of building a successful sales practice. Her mission is to help printers of all sizes sell more stuff. Kelly's areas of focus include client recovery, retention and acquisition, and marketing communications projects.
Kelly graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and, among other notable accomplishments, co-founded the Windy City Rollers, a professional women's roller derby league.

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