Ranchers use their branding irons to mark their cattle in a way that they can't be changed. Moo to that! That is exactly what branding is to your company. It is an indelible mark that people associate with your company. That's why the word "branding" is so appropriate. So what exactly is a brand and why should you care? Below are a few areas to think about to gauge the effectiveness of your brand:
How You Look
What does your visual identity say about you as a company? Does your logo represent you the way you want to be presented? Does your company consistently use templates and standards so that your customers can tell it's you? Does your website, presentations, sales collateral, forms, products, packaging, business stationery all have a common look and feel?
What You Say
Do the things you say match the things you do as a business? Do people who represent your business have the same "voice" when talking with your customers? Does your business communications (letters, website, emails, e-newsletters & traditional newsletters, internal communications, etc.) represent the image you wish to project?
What you Do
Are the products that you release consistent with the look and feel of your business? Do the products perform as promised? Do the promotional activities you engage in (tradeshows, advertising, social marketing, etc.) reflect the value you bring to your customers?
These are just a few of the many questions that are important to ask when you're pondering the effectiveness of your brand.