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Building a brand is the most important thing a business can do. However, many businesses get caught up on how to do so. Either they feel it is too expensive, that their product or service should appeal to "everyone", or they don't realize just how interconnected the branding system is.
In building a brand image, the first objective is to define the consumer. Who is your ideal client? What does he do for a living? Where does he socialize? What types of food does he like? Where does he vacation? Does he prefer books, newspapers or magazines? What type of shoes does he wear? All of these seemingly innocent, possibly intrusive questions, are good brand identifiers, however odd they may seem. If you can answer these types of questions about your ideal consumer, you have a good idea of the niche you fill. Remember, niches are not necessarily clear-cut. Sometimes a niche can be very loosely-defined. It does not make it any less useful.
Defining your brand will help you in large ways, as well as small. For example, a person who knows and understands his brand would never doubt the color-scheme and font chosen, and would never use very different advertising from brand peripherals. Take for instance Apple computers: the computers coming off the line now are thin and very light in color with white cables, its ads have white backgrounds with its spokesmen figured prominently and plainly, its packaging is white and thin as possible.
The point here is that one invokes thoughts of the other; the mechanism that does that is BRAND. Whether a business sets out to define its brand on its own, hires a consultant to facilitate this process, or engages a graphic designer to do it for them, Building a BRAND is the most important thing a business can do.