The Australian Small Business Blog

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Branding Lesson 6 – How to Package your Brand : Are You Reflecting the Right Image?

Branding is your identity in the marketplace, is yours saying what it should? Your organisation image is all about the appearance of your packaging. What is your organisation image saying to the marketplace?

It's important to realize that packaging always either has a negative or positive influence on the purchaser. A negative impression can detour a potential customer, just as a positive reaction can influence a customer to buy. A time to pay special attention to your packaging is when you are in the launch of a "new" brand. If you've already built a strong brand that others recognize often people may not pay as close attention to the packaging.

How can you package your brand so that it is an integral part of your business and represents a strong identity? Keep in mind that I am not speaking of packaging has only a box that contains a product, but as a vehicle that reflects your organisation's brand and image.

Packaging can be judged and represented by the following common business tools:

  • business cards and stationery
  • Banners and digital printing
  • website
  • answering system
  • email address

What image are you putting across with these business tools that you use everyday? What are they saying about your organisation? Take a few moments and lets look at each one of these.

What are your business cards and stationery saying? Are they saying we are strong, we are confident, and we can succeed in helping you? Or does it reflect an image that says we are flimsy, our dynamics are minimal, and we will try but we cannot guarantee continuity?

What does your web site say about your organisation? Does it reflect professionalism, clarity, and show them that you respect and care about them? Or does your web site confuse viewers, project an untrustworthy image of your organisation and ultimately drive potential customers away?

What does your answering system and call return policy say about your organisation? Does it say we are here to help, eager for you business and will do what it takes? Or is it putting across the message that you are too busy to cater to new clientele, don't care about their needs, or wish they would just go away?

What does your email address say about your organisation? Does it suggest your role in the organisation, is it easy to remember, and does it something about you and your business? Or does it project a meaningless or generic emptiness? If you are using the email address for your business's time to change!!!!!

As you can see all these things speak volumes about your image and they either strengthen or weaken your brand. Your image is all in the packaging. Would potential clients take a second look or is your message getting lost? If you thought these things were not worth the investment or didn't matter, you were wrong. Clients and customers will make assessments of your organisation based on these things and while not always conscious, that customer appraisal says much about your business, your attitude and your priorities.

Australia Top ten Brands (As determined by Interbrand) $ Billions (2005)

1. Telstra $9.3
2. Commonwealth Bank $4
3. Westpac $3.6
4. ANZ $2.9
5. Woolworths $2.5
6. National Australia Bank $2.4
7. Billabong $1.1
8. St George $ 1.0
9. Macquarie Bank $0.83
10. Qantas $0.82

What number are you? What is your brand value??

"The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own." - Benjamin Disraeli, - British Prime Minister

Richard Gill is the Director of The Banner Lady.

The Australian Small Business Blog

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