Marketing – How to expand your brand

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This is another installment of my Marketing posts, geared towards those of us who are business owners, consultants, or anyone with external clients.

Your company’s brand needs to be expanded constantly. If you ever think you’ve done enough and you brand is known by everyone, ask yourself this: are you one of the world’s few mega-brands ?

There are only a handful of brands in the world that we can consider mega-brands. We’ll look at 3 of the main ones, Google, Xerox and Kleenex. All three of these are made-up words, they are not part of English dictionary, yet we use them as nouns and verbs all the time. “Google it”. “Xerox it”. “Pass me a Kleenex”. These phrases are said all the time, and they represent the ultimate in marketing and brand recognition: when people default to YOUR company in order to describe something.

The ultimate in brand recognition in our industry would be if someone needs computer, server, network support, they think “oh yeah, those guys are the ones that do that”, without even having to turn to Google or the Yellow Pages. In reality, this is difficult to achieve and takes a long time. Unless you have access to a very large marketing budget, a lot of this will come from word of mouth and your reputation within the business community. Again, these things take time, they don’t happen overnight (or in 3 months, or in 6 months, or maybe not even in 3 years).

None the less, there are indeed things you can do to help build your brand and do it more quickly. Advertising is an obvious one. Building your business relationships is another. Join your local Chamber of Commerce. If you’re able to, get involved beyond being a member (help volunteer, join the board of directors, etc). Support community events and initiatives, like cancer runs and fundraisers for various charities. Sponsor a local sports team. My company regularly sponsors a local kid’s soccer and minor hockey team. Donate things. Our local hospital foundation has yearly fundraisers, which I donate to with whatever I can.

There are many ways to build your brand outside the traditional method of plain old advertising. See what’s around and take advantage of it. Remember, your brand is as important as your actual business, because it’s what your clients use to judge you before actually knowing you.

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Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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