In my last column I spoke about how to develop your brand identity. In the end, what you need is an image that can give you a competitive advantage. For me, it’s crucial to project the image that we are innovators with a different approach to research and development who can really focus on what matters to our clients.

So how do you go about actually creating this new identity once you’ve determined what it is?

Begin by defining your services. You might already know what services you offer, but you need to promote them in a unique way. What do you do that no one else does? Our company identity is defined by the various services we offer. Yes, we do seed testing, but it’s more than that. We have established ourselves in the marketplace as a leader in bringing new and essential testing services to the agricultural industry. We are often sought out to help solve difficult issues that most of our competitors either are not equipped to manage or do not want to tackle. We are known for having the solution both for domestic and international business. Doesn’t that sound better than just saying we do seed testing?

What best describes you? Telling people what defines you is an essential part of advertising (this is often referred to as your “image”). Again, thinking outside the box here can be helpful. In conversation and surveys with our clients, I’m often surprised to hear their understanding of us is that we can be “tough”! We’re not tough, when you think about it — we are accurate, precise and above all, give our clients the information they need to make sound decisions. That is what I believe we are recognized and known for. Your company image is how your identity is perceived by clients, professional associates, government, the media and the public at large.

Finally, honing your logo is a crucial last step. We have chosen an identity that’s right for our type of business and target market. We have established a consistent look and feel to all communications. While there are many important elements that will help establish your identity, none is more critical than your logo. Your logo appears on all of your correspondence, business cards and advertisements. The purpose of a logo is to instantly convey the essence of your company’s identity through visuals.

In my next column I will discuss where visual images can come from and where you can draw these from.

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