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Why Branding Matters for Businesses of All Sizes

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I was on the phone the other day with someone who told me in no uncertain terms that “branding, for most businesses, was a waste of time and money.” This person’s position was that branding was OK for companies like Xerox or Nike, but far too expensive and far too time-consuming for average businesses, who can’t create a household name with their brand.

photo credit Travel 2.0 via flickr
photo credit Travel 2.0 via flickr

If you’ve been following the blog for any length of time, you can imagine how the conversation ensued, but, I can see this person’s point, it’s just that they missed the real reason that branding matters for businesses of all sizes. While a happy outcome of branding might be attaining a household name a la Sony or Apple, the real benefit of branding is efficiency… efficiency with time, money, action, and effort. Jeffrey Harmon from  Orabrush explains it this way: “Attention is a scarce resource. Branding is the experience marketers create to win that attention.”

While we often get wrapped up in the marketing elements of a brand (logo, tagline, etc), the most important elements of the brand is consistency. Sergio Zyman, Author of The End of Advertising As We Know It, suggests that, “A brand is essentially a container for a customer’s complete experience with the product or company.” And so it follows that a consistent representation of that business across the complete swath of a customer’s experience will make the business more memorable.

Every business (and person) has a brand, whether they intend to have one or not. Small businesses need to pay just as much attention (if not more) to every aspect of the way they interact with their customers as the large brands do. After all, small businesses have to stretch word-of-mouth as far as it can go, stretch marketing dollars to their limit, and can’t afford to throw money away on frivolous marketing opportunities. For medium-sized business, the stakes are even higher. Mid-sized businesses have the real opportunity, with a great brand, to create top of mind awareness, and achieve household-name status within their geographic region. And that benefit is equally as powerful as benefits large businesses receive from good branding. And of course, large-business has the potential for real payoffs with a great brand on a National and International scale.

At the end of the day, branding is about consistency, it’s about efficient use of resources that leverage each other to achieve a 1 + 1 = 3 affect. And what business couldn’t use that? Size doesn’t matter, BRAND does.


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Tisha Oehmen

Tisha Oehmen is a professional brand strategist and a leader in the branding field. She was recently named a member of the Global Guru’s Top 30 Brand Gurus. She is also the co-founder of Oregon-based Paradux Media Group and the best-selling author of the book, Finding Brand: The Brand Book Tutorial.

Possessing expertise in both front- and back-office operations, Tisha conceptualizes, develops, and implements initiatives to foster brand effectiveness like no other. With over 15 years of experience in branding and marketing, Tisha has successfully led large financial institutions and health care companies down the path of renaming their business.

Where Tisha really shines is in the work that isn’t done. Sometimes a name change for a business isn’t in their best interest and after meeting with Tisha, they are able to find the true value and equity that has always been in their brand. Tisha has a special knack of being able to communicate the value so that the CEO/Business owner can see its luster and then with a little polishing, make it shine company wide.

Tisha is best known for developing long lasting branding campaigns that speak to the heart of the business, the brand, and the community. True brand, no matter how big or small, has longevity. Creating branding campaigns that have longevity, that have a laser-like focus, is where Tisha thrives.

Tisha received her M.B.A. from the University of Oregon, from where she also earned a B.A. in Political Science. She enjoyed a distinguished academic career punctuated by enthusiastic and successful participation in competitive speaking events, and holds numerous awards for her skill in public speaking. Tisha is widely recognized for her ability to capture an audience’s attention with her straightforward and engaging speaking style.

When not working, she enjoys golfing, baking, reading, and hiking with her partner, Mike, and their two dogs, Chloe and Jackson. She’s also an active member of Rotary International, the Chamber of Commerce, and is a very proud supporter of the Oregon Ducks. Tisha lives in Eagle Point, Oregon.

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Comments

  1. This should be read by every company whether they are just starting or already established just because I do think your article is very relevant and helpful.

  2. I guess it is because the more your business is known, the better the chance of people coming back for more of what you offer. And this is a good sign for the business as a whole. Thanks for sharing!

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