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Marketing 101: Are You Building Your "Brand?"

October 2006
By: Jerry Thacker
When most people think of a brand, they immediately think of products like cola drinks, diapers, or coffee. But a brand is so much more than that. Research tells us that branding a product or service helps simplify consumer decision making and conjures up associations that are emotional, evaluative, and informational.

Did you ever stop to think that the way people think about your CPC/PCC is in part because of the "brand identity" that you've built with each ad, logo use, and personal experience a young woman has when she comes to your center? It's true.

The awareness of your center and the services it offers and the knowledge prospective clients have about it before they walk through the door are key to your starting and building an effective relationship. Add to that the experiences of others who give word-of-mouth testimony to what you are and the services you provide. These relationships may lead to the saving of the life of an unborn child and the spiritual life of the mother.

In reality, a brand is like a person. We relate to it just like we would a flesh and blood human being when we give it respect and allegiance and invest time and money with it. It needs to be represented well by the graphics used to express it, by the people who work to present it, and by the place in which the services it represents are rendered.

In the critical time line of finding, reaching, teaching, and redeeming your client's life, the first thing that will probably find them is something that has to do with the way in which you are expressing "brand." Perhaps a review of all the ways in which you and your team of volunteers are touching the public—from the stationery and signage to the surveys, direct mail pieces, brochures, and public displays you use—is in order for your center.

Jerry Thacker is president of Right Ideas, Inc., and publisher of At the Center. He can be reached at

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