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How to Create a Brand

Marketing and advertising agencies tell us that we're supposed to create a brand. This is how to start - a branding beginning if you will.

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We feel the rightness of creating a brand in our bones. Marketing and advertising agencies tell us that we’re supposed “create a brand” and we believe them. After all, who wouldn’t want a name like Nike, Kleenex, or Starbucks to call their own? But folks in business just beginning branding often find that it is expensive and know that it doesn’t always produce the immediate results a “low low price sale” will.

beginning branding, create a brand
photo credit Troy Thompson

This is the exact moment when it is time to spend energy and create a brand will allow your company to leap forward. The good news is that you don’t have to take the traditional approach of spending lots of money to identify and create a brand. You have all the tools you need available to you at little or no cost.

First, don’t be fooled that you need some high-priced, extensive study, marketing testing set of words before you can begin to brand yourself. Let’s face it — you know what your company is about. You know what your company stands for. You created the company with a set of values. You believed the business was successful. Therefore, you are the exact right person to create a brand for your business.

How to Create a Brand

That’s more than half the battle. Once you know what your brand is about, and you can articulate it to someone. Then you have to figure out a 3-7 word phrase that evokes what your business is about. This phrase needs to resonate with and create a gut level feeling for your audience.

Admittedly, this is a bit tricky to do on your own. If you need the assistance, this is where a marketing agency can help. The important thing to remember here is that you are in control. And you decide how much you want to spend with the agency. Ask the agency to give you half-dozen of the best options they create. (And ask for those that are within your budget). That should get you close enough to be able to find the tagline you think will work best for your business.

Remember, even if you’re just beginning branding, you know your brand best. If it doesn’t work for you, it won’t work for your customers. Don’t be afraid to reject all the ideas that the marketing firm came up with. If they aren’t right — they aren’t right.


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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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