Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about branding. I’ve never taken a marketing or advertising class, but I know what I like. I’ve seen a few adds over the years that were so impressive that I’ve shared them with family members. Their messages were clear and they invited you to explore further. Exactly what you want your advertising and marketing to do.

Last year, while I attended the WV Chamber conference at the Greenbrier, I visited a spa shop that offered readers. For you younger folks, readers are reading glasses that help you see things close up.
Anyway, I tried on these readers that offered an amazingly comfortable fit. They have a subtle blue tint that is advertised to reduce eye-stain for those constantly on the computer. The price tag was higher than I normally spend on readers, but there was something different about these particular readers. The top of the frames is marked “port” and “starboard” nautical terms for watercraft and aircraft distinguishing left from right. A nice little touch. In addition to offering a quality product, they were also selling a lifestyle. A lifestyle that I could relate to. The company is Caddis. If you’re interested in seeing how they market and brand their products, I invite you to check out their website.
As business owners, you also have a brand. The name of your business, the quality of your product or service, your online presence, the appeal of your website, Facebook/Instagram listing as well as your brick-and-mortar shop, all contribute to your branding. Is your shop clean and inviting? Is your staff helpful and courteous? Are your hours of business convenient? It’s critical that what you present to your targeted audience be intentional and coordinated.

The Chamber, in partnership with the City of New Martinsville, the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and West Virginia Northern Community College is offering a series of classes that will help you sure up many of your branding strategies. It’s a great opportunity to gain skills that will be useful to your businesses and organizations in an ever-increasing digital world. The City of New Martinsville has underwritten this training in order to present it to the community at very little individual cost. I urge you to sign-up as soon as classes become available, as seating is limited.