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7 Basics of branding

In her recent TAA webinar, “You Got This: Marketing Strategies to Build a Signature Platform”, Dr. JoNataye Prather shared with attendees some excellent advice on developing a marketing mindset. Driven by a personal mission to “empower, educate, and inspire learners to achieve their degree dream,” Prather suggested that everyone should develop a mission statement as part of their marketing platform. 

To do so, she said, “reflect on who you are and what you want to convey…this will define your business.” With a mission in mind, she then shared the following seven “basics of branding” to help build a signature platform.

1) Create content

Prather challenged the participants with the advice of giving away your content in an effort to build a brand. “Building a brand? Give it away! This may be a cognitive shift, but you need to share information to build trust. Provide value-added resources,” she said.

2) Determine if a website is really necessary

Although an online presence is virtually essential to building a brand in today’s marketplace, Prather said: “website investment may not be necessary. A Facebook page may be sufficient. The key is getting content in front of your audience.” It will take longer to establish a brand through your own website than it will through existing social media channels. If a website is warranted, however, those additional audience sources can still be beneficial to the branding process.

3) Buy your name

Noting that by having a unique name, Prather literally bought her name – She advised participants to buy their name, adding “not necessarily your name, but the name of your business or concept.” She also noted that since many people can’t spell her name, she invested in alternative names to represent her business as well.

4) Develop a color palette

Colors convey emotion. They also become uniquely associated with businesses as a key part of their brand. As a result, Prather said: “find something that ‘fits’ your message and your business. Take your time to figure this out.” A brand is a long-term image for your business, so these colors will be important to nearly every other marketing piece you create.

5) Design a logo

A logo is a unique symbol to quickly identify a business. While a brand is more than just a logo, chances are you can think of more than a few places that you can identify by just their logo. Prather encouraged participants to “think about the major logos you are familiar with and how they tie into the color scheme of their business marketing and message.” How can you use those same principles to develop a logo for your message using your color palette?

6) Use good photos

In addition to the logo, the quality of your headshot and other pictures on your marketing materials and website can make a significant difference in the perception of the quality of your business. Prather suggested to “connect with someone who has a high-quality camera and can take good pictures that can be used in a variety of settings.” Further establish your brand by incorporating the same image in a variety of places.

7) Create a branding board

Once you have developed all of the individual elements, Prather advised the use of a branding board to keep all of those decisions in a single, accessible location. She said: “create a branding board that defines your color details, logos, fonts, etc. to make it easy to keep consistency in all of your marketing efforts.” A brand creates a consistent image for you and your business that is recognizable and carries with it an understood level of quality and experience.

These seven elements provide a solid foundation for your signature platform. The complete webinar recording is available in TAA’s Presentations on Demand library.

Eric Schmieder

Eric Schmieder is the Membership Marketing Manager for TAA. He has taught computer technology concepts to curriculum, continuing education, and corporate training students since 2001. A lifelong learner, teacher, and textbook author, Eric seeks to use technology in ways that improve results in his daily processes and in the lives of those he serves. His latest textbook, Web, Database, and Programming: A foundational approach to data-driven application development using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, MySQL, and PHP, First Edition, is available now through Sentia Publishing.