Electric_cattle_branding_and_earmarkingBy David Hall, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Cutting-Edge Solutions

It’s easy to look around and identify companies that have great brands. How about that soda with the red and white sweeping logo? Or that operating system software company that dominates the PC market? Remember the company that Thomas Edison built? Look at some of the imported automobile brands that, at first, were synonymous with junk but have evolved to reflect high standards, quality and perceived value.

In today’s vernacular, the term “brand” is not the logo on the sign that hangs over the entrance to the ranch. Rather, according to the American Marketing Association dictionary, a brand is a “name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”

A brand is a company’s face to the world. It’s what shoppers look at when placing value and trust in your business. From a music retailer’s point of view, your brand is a promise for a good experience when dealing with you. It reflects your values, your quality of products and your services. It’s how shoppers view your overall business.

Smart music retailers consistently try to find ways to influence and motivate shoppers. They spend time and energy updating their physical stores, enhancing their Web sites, improving how they are perceived online within their social networks and nurturing their overall reputation. All these activities, and more like them, are focused on building their brand.

First, in order to help you build your own distinctive brand, let’s take a look at the basic ingredients:

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