Related Links



Informative Articles

Harness the Power of the Personal Touch
Gone are the days when a company could hope to succeed by offering a good product and backing it up with respectable customer service. In today's overstocked, cutthroat global economy, consumers demand a superior experience from start to...

Pharmaceutical Branding
Branding is such an important aspect of business that even apparently boring products such as pharmaceutical products, drugs and medicines become interesting and exciting. Pharmaceutical industry branding is immature compared with the consumer...

SWOT Analysis
If you’ve ever listened to Warren Buffett talk about investing, you’ve heard him mention the idea of a company’s moat. The moat is a simple way of describing a company’s competitive advantage. A strong competitive advantage, or a wide moat,...

The Top 10 Questions for Socially Responsible Leaders
The assets of your business traditionally include property, plant, equipment, and your customer base. Progressive organizations understand that business assets also include their good reputation, responsiveness to change, the ability to conduct...

Why Branding Is Vital For Your Home Business Success
On a hot Sunday afternoon when your body fluids have been drained dry by the scorching sun, which would you rather order? Coca Cola, or Jeebejus Sweet Soda? The answer is as clear as it is universal. The more established brand would be chosen almost...

Branding Basics

Branding is the process by which you try to become the first business a person thinks of when they consider buying goods or services in your category. If you can "own" a word in the public's mind, you have a huge competitive advantage.
Branding is the process by which you attempt to differentiate your business from your competitors. Just as a brand will allow your horse to be recognized among the rest of the herd, so too must your business’s brand set you apart. Although your name and logo are important features of your brand, there’s a lot more to it than that.

You Must “Own” Your Category in the Minds of Your Customers

The absolute best way to create a brand is to invent a new product or service. Being first to market is a huge advantage. Coca-Cola has turned its “secret formula” into a 70% market share of cola drinks worldwide.

However, most of us run businesses in categories filled with competitors. What’s the best way for us to create a strong brand?

The secret lies in narrowing the focus of your business until you’ve created a new category you can be first in.

From Ford to BMW

Consider the auto industry. Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile, but he was the first to combine it with an assembly line. That reduced his costs enough so that millions could afford a car. Being first with an affordable car allowed Ford to dominate the category, even though there were literally hundreds of car companies in the U.S. by 1910. That’s a powerful brand!

So how did other auto manufacturers develop successful brands? By creating new categories in the mind of the buying public. If you’re in the market for a “safe” car, Volvo is probably the first brand to pop into your mind. If you’re looking for the “ultimate driving machine,” BMW owns that category. Buyers shopping for a high-priced luxury car think Mercedes Benz.

Notice that none of these companies is trying to be all things to all people. They narrowed their focus until they had a new category they could be first in. Even though other car companies could make claims about the safety of their cars, it’s unlikely they’re going to supplant Volvo in the public’s mind. Volvo “owns” the safe car category.

Two Fast Food Examples

When Tom Monaghan owned a small pizza restaurant near a college campus, he started asking his customers what changes they would like to see in his business. Did they want a higher quality pizza? No, the quality was fine. Did they want a cheaper pizza? No, the price was fair. What they really wanted was a pizza that came to them. Thus, Domino’s Pizza created the new category of pizza delivery, and even though others offer the same service, being first allows Domino’s to enjoy a dominant share of the market.

Little Caesars saw another opportunity. If they focused on take-out pizza, they could save money on delivery and a large restaurant. That would allow them to make money even if they sold two pizzas for the price of one. Pizza. Pizza. Brilliant.

Apply These Ideas to Your Business

If you’re trying to grow your business, it might seem logical to expand your offerings, but that’s unlikely to be successful in the long run. As these few examples have shown, it’s often better to narrow your focus until you’ve created a new category you can be first in. If you’re a specialist, people will regard you as more of an expert in your field than a generalist.

Let’s say you’re a photographer. If you live in a town or city of any size, you no

doubt have lots of competition. Look around for the opportunities to separate yourself from the herd. Maybe you could become known as the only one in town to call for action shots during kids’ athletic games. Or maybe you specialize in soft-focus sepia-toned photos of mother and child. Fly fishermen. Architectural details. Even though you’ve narrowed your pool of prospects, you’ve also eliminated most of your competition.

Our photographer could expand her business while maintaining focus by publishing a book, printing greeting cards and calendars, or teaching lessons, all in her specialized area.

She’ll know she’s created a powerful brand when her name is the first one to pop onto a parent’s head when they want a “hero shot” of their young soccer player.

Publicity First, Advertising Later

One of the great benefits of being first in a new category is that you become newsworthy. Newspapers and magazines, TV and radio are always looking for “something new under the sun.”

Remember Pet Rocks? This small outfit gained international coverage, all of it free, for their unique idea. Millions of Pet Rocks were sold with virtually no advertising costs.

Advertising alone is rarely enough to create a new brand, although lots of businesses try that route. Remember the Super Bowl of a few years ago when the media was filled with stories about the millions that were spent on 30-second ads? This was supposed to be the launching of several new dot com businesses and the amount of money spent to launch these brands was incredible. In spite of all that money and the creative efforts of Madison Avenue’s finest minds, those businesses failed quickly and are totally forgotten today.

A better path is the one followed by Google, the world’s most popular search engine. Google wasn’t the first search engine, but they created a new way to rank web sites that garnered them huge amounts of free publicity. I’ve never seen an ad for Google, and yet just about everyone who has surfed the web has heard of it. Just this morning our local paper ran a large article about Google’s decision not to sell shares of stock in the company yet. More free publicity, which will further boost the strength of their brand.


Focusing your business until you’ve created your own category is just one step to branding your business. An excellent resource for learning more ways to create a strong brand is the book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding ( by Al and Laura Ries. Next time I’ll have some specific ideas on how to brand yourself through your web site. Until then, stay focused!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Please forward this to a friend!

For all your web design needs, or to join our mailing list, visit ZebraMoon Web Design (

To catch up on the articles you may have missed, please come to our article archives (

About the Author

Les Goss is President of ZebraMoon Design, Inc. To see a partial list of high-ranking web sites we've created for our clients, please visit our web site at Sign up for our free newsletter at You'll receive two issues a month on topics that should help you stay a step ahead of your competition.


Brand - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The brand, and "branding" and brand equity have become increasingly important ... From the perspective of brand owners, branded products or services also ...
Branding - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Livestock branding, the marking of animals to indicate ownership; Human branding, ... Retrieved from "" ... : Home
Provides resources and opinions on branding. Includes brand development, management and communications. | branding resource produced by Interbrand | brands
An international online exchange and resource about brand marketing and branding.
Branding Company Corporate Branding Internet Brand Identity ...
Brand Identity Guru Inc. creates, develops and promotes powerful brands. Our clients enjoy an array of innovative, creative and powerful branding solutions ...
Branding Blog
Branding and positioning news and opinion.
Branding Asia
Free articles, news and columns on branding in Asia. Market research and Asian marketing.
Pages tagged with "branding" on
All items tagged branding ??? view popular ... industrie./design and branding consultant specialists./ · save this. by kittim to design branding graphic ...
The Brand Called You
Big companies understand the importance of brands. Today, in the Age of the Individual, you have to be your own brand. Here's what it takes to be the CEO of ...
Branding: See what people are saying right now on Technorati
See all blog posts tagged with branding on Technorati.
Mozilla Branding
The purpose of this document is to describe's branding strategy during and after the release of what has generally been called Mozilla 1.4. ...
What Brand Are You? A branding viral by The Design Conspiracy
What Brand Are You? has since been picked out as Site Of The Day by the likes of the Financial Times, Yahoo, USA Today and BBC News, and has received more ...
Julie & Company: Affordable branding, web design, graphic design ...
Julie & Company creates stellar branding, integrated marketing, advertising, web design, web development, Flash, trade show booths - all at affordable ...
Forty Media - Web Design, Web Development, Branding, Great Websites
a professional web design agency based in Phoenix, Arizona.
Branding - Yahoo! Small Business
Find information to help grow your online business with business plans, Thomas Register, news articles and more.
Lexicon Branding appears on KTVU News; Lexicon Branding creates Ridgeline for Honda, Viiv for Intel, and GameTap for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. ...
Branding and Usability
We're finding that a site's usability can dramatically affect branding. ... There are two basic techniques for branding: direct experience and indirect ...
iMedia Connection: Research & Metrics - Branding
Majority of marketers feel branding opportunities -- online and offline -- aren't ... IAB case studies prove real-world power of online in branding mix. ...
Small Business Marketing And Branding
Small business marketing and branding advice and how-to guides for small business owners. Learn how to start and grow your own successful business.
Beyond Branding
Beyond Branding, published in hardcover in 2003 and paperback in 2005, presents innovative business models for the survival of 21st century organizations.


Content Menu
  • 10 powerful networking tips using business cards

  • 1 800 get rich can toll free 800 number domains pay off

  • 42 killer domain secrets exposed

  • 4 steps to unleashing profits in your online business

  • 5 secrets to beating your competitors everytime

  • 6 steps to laying out your competitive strategy

  • 7 steps to highly relevant search engine friendly and people useful web site content

  • 7 ways to profit from other peoples products

  • achievers interview with stupidman

  • adult add a disorder or a secret of success

  • advertising and pr

  • advertising on a budget part 2 thinking small

  • affiliate marketing promoting your own web presents

  • an aspirin or an autoresponder

  • are cyber criminals phishing your identity from your computer

  • are you an entrepreneur whos not afraid to think outside the box and make some money

  • are you brand worthy

  • aspiring webmasters want to know what makes a website grow

  • attract your dream customer

  • benefits of corporate gift giving can never be understated

  • beyond ebooks 10 powerful alternative infoproduct formats part 1 of 2

  • be a web site reviewer

  • be unique and build a brand

  • blogs podcasting and rss ecommerce impact

  • blogs podcasting and rss how will these technologies affect ecommerce

  • book summary the brand called you

  • branding and internal communication

  • branding and marketing

  • branding basics

  • branding do you stand out from the crowd

  • branding fiasco better be who you say you are

  • branding for profits

  • branding its more than just your usp

  • branding more than just a statement a memory scar

  • branding your business

  • branding your business to make more money

  • branding you are the brand

  • brand big deliver a great experience

  • brand moie make your mark with a personal brand

  • brand smart its about the relationship not the transaction

  • brand your business

  • brand your consulting brilliance

  • brand your consulting business

  • building your brand

  • business branding

  • business exit strategy

  • buyer beware business opportunity scams abound

  • buzz marketing marketing to non marketable customer

  • can i advertise my site with a 150 monthly budget

  • can three words in websters dictionary be the key to customer loyalty

  • can you convert your marketing into a religion

  • career warfare a book summary

  • check cashing the future is now

  • choose the right format for your ebooks

  • committing to and succeeding with your new years resolutions

  • communicate your brand

  • company logo design tips for success

  • company logo watches the 30 times a day reminder of your business

  • corporate blogging 7 best practices

  • corporate promotional gifts the fridge magnet is dead long live the computer desktop

  • corporation buys texas town

  • cosmetic toiletries global outsourcing private label manufacturing

  • create viral traffic with brandable ebooks

  • creating an irresistible brand

  • creating a landing page campaign 7 things to avoid

  • creating a space of your own

  • creating value with streaming video content

  • creative people presenting seminars to bump up sales

  • credit cards

  • cultivating the trust factor

  • debunking the myth that search engines bring in the most traffic

  • determining the best web site for your business

  • developing your school brand

  • does your e newsletter or e zine pass the so what test

  • donald trump

  • dont dare brand your business because you may lose

  • dont punish yourself doing type x business

  • don t punish yourself doing type x business

  • do i really need to write articles for e zines

  • do you know where your brand promise is

  • do you make these 7 mistakes in your business

  • dreambiznews

  • ebay buys shopping com boon or bust to online merchants

  • effective advertising

  • ethical finance who benefits from our spending

  • executive resumes 101

  • finding your niche what do you want to be known for

  • franchise resolution in 2005

  • fundamental strategic marketing mistakes to avoids

  • future business leaders of america fbla

  • getting to know the search engine superstar

  • get branded part i

  • get branded part ii

  • get out of your head to improve your business

  • gifts that carry a marketing message

  • global market in the cyber worldgo and get it

  • greasing the path to success finding the confidence to step up to key moments

  • growing your company in todays chaotic market

  • growing your company in today s chaotic market

  • hang tag or swing ticket manufacturers

  • hardcore sales vs the relationship part iii tips and techniques for relationship selling

  • hardcore sales vs the relationship part ii building a relationship with your prospect

  • harness the power of the personal touch

  • has your design firm run amuck with your web site

  • have you forked your fishs tail

  • have you forked your fish s tail

  • hire the right marketing company

  • hologram to protect your business

  • homelanddefensestocks com acquires premier homeland security web portal twotigersonline and the national homeland security knowledgebase

  • home based business opportunity secrets of success in home based business opportunity exposed

  • how can job fairs help your company

  • how coaches find clients online

  • how important is vaule of brand to the consumer company

  • how the brain learns

  • how to become an expert in your niche business

  • how to brand your home based web business

  • how to build and manage a winning brand

  • how to build a business website

  • how to calculate the lifetime value of a client

  • how to choose an affiliate program that will make you money

  • how to commit brand suicide

  • how to create your own 24 7 little sales machines in 5 simple steps

  • how to double your profits peters way

  • how to get customers to flock to your home based business

  • how to get massive sales by increasing your brand

  • how to get more people at your site

  • how to get your contact details across when the organisers wont let you

  • how to maintain a steady cash flow

  • how to start a new business

  • how to start your own business

  • how will your visitors remember you and your business brand yourself from the crowd

  • image and branding advertising­kget over it or go broke

  • importance of branding whats in a name

  • im talking but is anyone listening

  • increase your leads with search engine and lead optimization strategies

  • increase your page rank through seo

  • index

  • industry pro interview branding turning your customers into evangelists

  • inexpensive ways to promote your business part 1

  • innovation makes leaders

  • internet marketing

  • interview with michael murray autoresponder basics

  • in the beginning

  • is a work at home business right for you

  • is nature a marketing guru

  • is network marketing easy

  • is your ad killing your brand

  • is your logo helping or hurting your business

  • its one thing for people to buy your product or service but its another for them to tattoo your logo on their biceps

  • i have nothing to say overcoming the fear of writing

  • key ingredients for starting a catering business

  • know who you are and your brand will follow

  • learn how to make money with reprint rights marketing

  • lessons from the olympics for your business

  • lessons from the power brands

  • lets just get to the bottom of this hill mr frodo

  • list building through cooperative partnerships

  • little know method will make you more sales

  • logo design and branding points to remember

  • loosing my virginity

  • make mine to grow building your solo business to outgrow you

  • make money buying from ebay

  • make your mark by building your reputation

  • make your own brand

  • managing your brand

  • marketing revolution with blogs and rss

  • marketing the government for profit

  • million dollar idea maker

  • minding your own business

  • mona lisa your branding

  • more than just a logo creating your companys corporate identity

  • move over mcdonalds sumosalad expands into uae

  • new content for your website

  • new job tips starting a new job next week

  • new uniforms could be the gold charm for the golden arches

  • new years resolutions and branding

  • no time for ezine

  • one minute feedback

  • on branding

  • part i sales how revolting part i sales how revolting

  • pharmaceutical branding

  • preparing your business for january

  • presenting seminars to bump up sales

  • push button publishing product review

  • quick tactics to brand your business and make more sales

  • raising your rates can increase your business

  • rating the ebook compilers

  • reality branding are you taking advantage of the 40 year social pendulum

  • real estate post card marketing million dollar mailings

  • resources for staying current of it advancements for online business owners

  • road kill mentality why employers arent calling you

  • rotator

  • running your own casino

  • search engine optimization custom graphics and logo creation and newsletter campaigning

  • search your soul the psychology of a search engine

  • selling on ebay

  • setting up your dream home office space

  • setting yourself up for internet success

  • seven smart marketing strategies every business should use

  • shattering the branding myths

  • signage for your business

  • six questions to ask before committing to business web site

  • small business and branding why and how

  • so youre thinking of having your own website

  • start doing online business using b2b portals in six steps

  • stop is your business missing its mark et

  • stop is your business missing it s mark et

  • storytelling for high concept and high touch

  • strategies of successful market offers

  • strategies to increase expression of interest conversion

  • stuck with a zero marketing budget for client gifts

  • swot analysis

  • ten basic steps for building a web site that works

  • text vs pictures shedding light on the debate

  • the 12 reasons why most ads fall flat on their face costing you a fortune instead of making you the money you deserve

  • the 4cs of branding

  • the 5ws of world class customer service training

  • the 5 ws of world class customer service training

  • the 7 deaths of a salesman

  • the advantages of rss websites

  • the arrival of the founder of modern day advertising

  • the art of self branding

  • the art of upselling three tips to generate more sales effortlessly and 3 ways people blow it

  • the branded customer experience we never say no

  • the choice between yes and yes a psychological revelation

  • the expert advantage why it pays to establish yourself as an expert

  • the goldmine known as private label rights

  • the hidden traffic strategy that skyrockets your profits

  • the importance of branding can it really make a difference

  • the incredible image 8 steps to put your business best foot forward

  • the microsoft brand

  • the million dollar idea maker

  • the newbies guide to profiting online part 5

  • the other 80 20 principle insights on selling to women

  • the power of a self brand

  • the power of small business branding through private labeling

  • the power of why a psychological revelation

  • the power of why your psychological ally to marketing success

  • the relationship between colour sales

  • the revolt of the poor the demise of intellectual property

  • the super brand marlboro

  • the top 10 questions for socially responsible leaders

  • the true facts about mlm and downline builders

  • thoughtleading the art of separating yourself from the pack

  • tips for business websites

  • top 10 business e mail basics

  • top 7 tips for new businesses

  • top end alignment

  • top inventory keeping secrets

  • top ten ways to communicate work effectively

  • to website or not to website

  • transform your image and accelerate your success

  • turn your marketing pieces into marketing masterpieces with these five design techniques

  • understanding the different methods of offline promotion

  • using seminars to bump up sales

  • viral marketing techniques every web site should be using

  • walmart and the rules

  • want more money and less stress

  • want more money less stress

  • want more money less stress set some boundaries

  • website design tips by san diego internet marketing professionals

  • web strategy and powerful persuasive writing

  • what does she have that i dont

  • what is the purpose of corporate gifts

  • what part do commodities play in the market and in our shopping

  • when do you stop marketing to customers

  • which web business model is right for you

  • why are customers so indecisive

  • why branding is vital for your home business success

  • why does a business fail and what can you do to stop it

  • why free agent thinking is good for your company

  • why free business cards just dont cut it

  • why is my restaurant not full every monday night

  • why radio advertising could be the best thing you ever did for your business

  • why santas marketing works better than yours

  • why you need to have your prices upfront

  • writing a basic web design proposal

  • your assumptions about job descriptions can harm you

  • your knowledge could be earning you a fortune

  • your website on my forehead

  • you dont have time to sit and wonder when the traffic will come

  • you never have a second chance to make a first impression position your company wisely

  • you quit your job and started up your own business now how do you make it work