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“What is it that you do?”

It’s a simple question I get all the time but it’s never that easy to answer is it?

“We’re a business branding firm,” I usually answer, which inevitably leads to a blank stare and an awkward silence. “We deliver a measurable return on branding for our clients through strategic marketing solutions,” I muddy the waters even further.

“You what? Well what’s branding?”

And there it is. The multi-million dollar question. The term “branding” was all the rage a few years ago and the hot business buzzword, but it fell out of favor in part, I believe, because it’s something that’s hard to quantify. Still, it never went away and it’s just as important today as it was before anybody knew what to call it.

Branding, by definition, is the “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of another.” Most people focus on the first four or five words in that definition – the name, the term, design or symbol – and argue that it’s these things that make up a brand. And while that’s not untrue, I believe the most important word in the definition is “distinct.”

You see you can have the coolest logo with the hottest colors and the sexiest models in your ad, but at the end of the day, if your product or service isn’t any different than your competition, then it’s all just window dressing. And when you don’t stand out or stand up for something, the only way to differentiate yourself is by price. And while there’s certainly a market for undercutting the competition, the companies that thrive and endure are those that are “distinct.”

So that’s where we come in. We help our clients define that distinction. Some already know it when they walk in the door, some have no clue. Most fall somewhere in between. It’s only after we’ve successfully defined what makes a company, product or service different, that we’re able to develop the tools that leverage that distinction – the logo, the colors, the website, etc.