Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Is It Possible to Brand Too Well?

Yes it is very important to create a solid brand, with thoughtful strategy and effective marketing. But is there such a thing as branding too well? This is something I have recently been struggling with as columbus imPRessions.

I know, practice, consult, suggest, that in order to have a solid brand you need a definition, clear and consistent messaging, specific standards and values. I also know that by doing this your brand will foster credibility, invoke motivation and secure loyalty.

That's all great. But, yes there is a but, I also know that above everything else perception is reality. Trust me, I've learned that one the hard way over the years.

So here is my dilemma . . . I believe I have built a very strong brand with columbus imPRessions. I have strategically and thoughtfully created its every facet. It's one that I firmly stand behind and am very proud of. However, I am quickly learning that the perception of my brand is that I am a medium-sized agency, which I am not.

Perception

columbus imPRessions is a sole proprietorship, which obviously means it is just me. Almost daily I am being contacted by people "looking for work at my agency". Or, when someone meets me they immediately tell me they thought my agency was much bigger.

Reality

I'm not sure if this is good or not. At first I was flattered and it made me think I have a pretty strong brand. Now I'm wondering if I might have branded too well.

What do you think? Is there such a thing as branding too well? Any suggestions/comments you might have would be greatly appreciated.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where do I send my resume?

Just kidding ;) I, too, thought you were a mid-size PR company until I did some research (which all prospective job seekers should do) and saw your Linkedin Profile. You are listed as "Sole Proprietor". Earth to the unemployed, she works by herself.

Kuddos to you for branding yourself as such. It's great for prospective clients not so much for uninformed job-seeking folks.

ju ju burd

Scott Biggs said...

Good topic, Michelle. Riding Tigers runs into the same misconceptions of size, which I rationalize as a great compliment (as should you). But clients sometimes expect unrealistic deadlines as a result, thinking one of our 'dozens' of web designers or graphic designers can complete their last-minute project by 5 pm. Otherwise, I prefer to grow my business into the perception. I always have a laugh when huge corporations try hard to brand themselves as small companies next door(Smuckers etc.).