Your agency’s brand tells a story. Do you know what story it’s telling? The first step to defining (or redefining) your agency’s brand is to define the process itself.
What is branding?
A quick search online provides several definitions. Here are a few of the most helpful:
- Branding is the process of communicating a unique selling proposition or a differentiator that sets a product or service apart from the competition.
- Branding helps establish why people should do business with you or pay attention to you versus someone else in your industry.
- Branding is what comes to your client’s mind when you mention your business. It’s a unique image, reputation, story, or even tone that you set.
- Branding includes the qualities of your company that makes it the first choice when a client needs your product or service.
What’s in a brand?
The word “brand” literally refers to the process of ranchers putting a mark on their cattle to identify their cows. In addition to providing proof of ownership, these brands began to identify the quality of the beef. Ranchers who raised their cows in a superior way and charged a fair price had a better “brand” than their competitors.
Examples of modern branding techniques include the use of logos, taglines, jingles, or mascots. Some elements of branding are tangible, like logos (the Nike “swish” or Amazon “smile”) and corporate colors (Coca-Cola red or Home Depot orange). Other elements are less obvious, such as the tone used on the company’s website or in marketing materials (think of Groupon’s snappy descriptions or Disney’s reputation for making every customer interaction magical and memorable).
Of course, branding isn’t just for international companies and household names; branding can work for any business as part of its overall marketing strategy.
Why is branding important?
Branding can help you define your agency’s:
- Personality and voice (this can help “humanize” your business to consumers)
- Mission and vision
- Community involvement
- Responsibilities and promises to your clients
4 steps to define your brand
As discussed, branding can help differentiate your agency from its competition. If you have the budget, you may want to enlist the help of an advertising agency that specializes in branding. If you prefer handling this process internally, here are some steps to get you started.
1. Ask your current clients:
- Why do you do business with us?
- What are your challenges and how have we helped you solve them?
- What makes us different from other insurance agencies?
- What is the one thing we consistently do well for you?
2. Talk to your staff. Ask them to brainstorm what your agency does well and what differentiates you from your competition. What are they hearing from clients? They know the pulse of the marketplace, and involving them in the process also helps establish buy-in to the brand.
3. Define how you want to be perceived. How do you want your clients to describe their experience? Your brand is your promise to your clients, so make sure you deliver on that promise every time.
4. Communicate the brand. Communicate your brand in everything that you do. It should influence your logo, the look and tone of your advertising campaigns, the signage outside your building, and the words and images that you use on your website. Even your messages on Facebook and LinkedIn should “speak” the language of your brand and continue to align with your brand promise.
Thanks for reading our educational resource! Any above reference to a specific company, method, or product is meant for educational purposes only and is not specifically endorsed by Pie.