Some of the most well-known companies in the world owe much of their success to building strong brands. Each has accomplished this by using a combination of branding techniques to consistently define who they are and what value they can provide to their customers. As an insurance professional, you can use some of these same techniques to build your brand and your business.
What is brand?
Brand can be described in a number of ways. According to The Financial Services Marketing Handbook, “Branding defines who you are, what value you communicate, how you’re different from others offering similar product sets, and why people should prefer you to your competitors.”1 Your brand is important to your business because it is:
? the verbal and visual expression of your business;
? the shortest and quickest method for communicating with existing and potential clients;
? creates and increases awareness about your firm; and
? memorable, meaningful, differentiated, sustainable and valuable.
What steps can you take to build or strengthen your brand?
Step 1: Determine your position. Who are you and how are you uniquely suited to serve the needs of your clients? In a basic way, your answer to this question is your “position.” Position refers to the standing or place that a company wishes to occupy in the minds of a defined target audience.
As part of your overall marketing strategy, it’s important to identify a target audience or audience versus marketing to the masses. Think of yourself and your business in terms of your unique value to a specific target audience. Then examine your strengths, evaluate your target market’s needs and study your competition.
Step 2: Write a positioning statement. A positioning statement is a “short, pithy, powerful driver in brand strategy. It is more than a marketing slogan, since it summarizes a promise to your customers. It also represents your company’s vision of the future: your big dream, your ultimate goal, and/or your long-term possibilities.”2 Once you’ve determined your position, write it down! Then, incorporate your positioning statement into your marketing plan and begin using it as your consistent, core message every time you communicate with an existing or potential client.
Step 3: Create a tagline. In Outsmarting Goliath, Debra Koontz Traverso defines a tagline as “… a slogan, clarifier, mantra, company statement, or guiding principle that describes, synopsizes, or helps create interest.”3 Once you’ve established a position and positioning statement, you can continue to build your brand by creating a tagline for you and/or your firm. To do this, take your positioning statement and simplify it by using one of these five types of tagline formats:4