Wendy's credits the "Where's
the Beef" ad campaign with a 31% jump in sales and a 24% boost in year-end profits.
Not bad for a campaign built on a three-word ad slogan.
Granted, you may not have the budget to build a brand awareness campaign as Wendy's did,
but you certainly should practice advertising strategies that are built around your own
unique business identity.
Identify Your Uniqueness
If you haven't yet put a finger on the distinct quality that sets your business apart from
your competition, then you need to get busy. You only need one quality. Just one.
This unique quality that sets you apart from the herd is your brand. It is the essence -
the fabric - that runs through your operation. It speaks to consumers instantly about the
nature of your service or product, your reputation, your commitment, your uniqueness.
Once identified, you must be able to clearly communicate your brand to consumers. There
are two easily recognizable ways to do this: with your logo and tagline.
A branded business has a memorable logo. A straight-forward example is Ford's blue oval,
while a more abstract example is the Nike checkmark. Your logo is the visual component of
The next component is a written or verbal one. It is referred to as your tagline, and it
reflects the exact position you are assuming in relation to your customer, your product,
and your competitors. Specifically, it clearly defines the quality which differentiates
your business from competitors while extolling the benefit your customer will enjoy.
Coca Cola's statement of being 'The Real Thing' is a classic
example of positioning in relation to a competitor. Clearly, if they're the real thing -
the original - then the other guy isn't. But does this mean anything to consumers? The
benefit to the customer is kind of murky.
For the small business owner it's better to go with a more narrowly defined tagline that
clearly denotes uniqueness. The sandwich shop Quizno's exemplifies this with their tagline
'Oven Toasted Tastes Better'.
Five Ways to Promote Your Unique Identity
Your logo and tagline are valuable property. Make them a visible thread that runs through
all your promotions. Here are five great ways to get your brand name out there in front of
1. Give Away Something People Will Expose To Others
Instead of just giving away a freebie that has a one-time use, provide a valuable service
or product that will get used or seen by other people. I use this strategy by providing
free newsletter templates. At the bottom of the templates you'll find my brand. It's great
exposure and a wonderful traffic-generating tool.
Free eBooks, free email, free websites, free pens, free t-shirts, free baseball caps...
all these are great examples of things people use and expose to others. Take a good look
at your own products and services. What can you give away?
2. Encourage Interactivity
We are social creatures. Everyone likes to be included -to have the opportunity to put in
their 2 cents worth. Encourage people to get involved with your business. Invite
questions, ask for feedback, run a contest, sponsor teleclasses or chat sessions, or
moderate a discussion board. For every person you make a connection with, you have created
the opportunity to ignite a word-of-mouth campaign that stretches through everyone they
Take a peek at Pepsi.com for a look at brand marketing through interactivity. On their
home page they are actively recruiting every carbonated beverage drinker on the planet to
"make a difference" and become a Pepsi Advisor.
Strawberry/Kiwi Pepsi. What do you think? Pssst... tell your friends!
3. Brand Your Digital and Print Communications
If you type it, write it, or touch it... brand it. If you're within breathing distance of
it - try to brand it. Leave evidence of your unique business identity everywhere you can.
Your website, all your outgoing postal mail, and all electronic mail should include your
business name or logo, your tagline, email address, website URL, phone number, and mailing
address. And a handy supply of business cards is a must any time you leave the office.
4. Give Away Your Knowledge
Writing articles and making them available for reprint is an especially powerful method of
spreading your name. Published articles often remain in the public eye for years. I have
dozens of articles on numerous sites, all of them tirelessly promoting my business without
any effort on my part. One article in particular that was published in Success Digest over
3 years ago still brings in traffic to this day.
5. Make it Easy For Others To Toot Your Horn
Word-of-mouth referrals are the best kind of exposure you can get. There's nothing more
powerful than a personal endorsement from a satisfied customer. Make it easy for people to
tell their friends and family about your product or service. Rarely a day goes by on my
site that someone hasn't emailed a friend using my handy online referral form. This is a
branding tool that every business should employ.
In the end, the name of the game is repeatedly exposing consumers to your unique business
identity - your brand. The above strategies are viral marketing tools in that they are
far-reaching and long-lasting, and that's a great combination for long term business