Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today I am being featured on Home Business Magazine’s blog with a Valentine’s Day message about branding and how best to love your business. Here’s some of what I said:Personal Branding love

Forget about chocolate, overpriced roses or sexy lingerie… This Valentine’s Day, don’t wait for your boyfriend or your wife to make your favorite dessert. Give yourself a more lasting, more meaningful Valentine’s Day present: the gift of a strong brand.

Branding is all about creating a love affair between your brand and your target audience. It is the job of every business to carve out a place in their hearts and their minds that no one else can occupy. And just like any other relationship, it takes effort. You want to create a bond so strong that nothing can tear you apart, but expensive chocolates and feeble, last minute, once-a-year gifts or promotions are not going to cut it! It requires consistent effort on your part in order to build the strongest relationship possible with your target audience.

Branding is a universal concept in business, but branding is an often misunderstood concept. The brand is much more than a logo, although a company or product logo can be a visual depiction of a brand. A brand is the sum total of the public’s perception of a product or company; it is what immediately jumps to mind in a person’s thoughts when you think of that brand. In order to have a shot at long-term relationship success, every small business needs to dedicate time and effort to building the idea of what that brand stands for. Anyone in the company or anyone in your target audience should be able to answer, “What’s so great about that brand?” If they can’t, then you know you have more branding work to do.

Unlike personal relationships, it’s actually not as hard as it may sound. Here are a few simple steps for long-lasting relationship success with your target audience: