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4 Elements of a Winning Brand

When it comes to your image, are you hitting hard or striking out? Cover all your bases with these 4 critical elements of a winning brand.

This story appears in the August 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What instantly springs to mind when customers hear your company name? If you're uncertain--or even worse, stuck with a less-than-stellar image--it's time to give your brand an overhaul. It's no coincidence that industry leaders in every category from soft drinks to spas toil endlessly to create some of the world's most recognized brands. But it doesn't have to cost millions or take years to put your company's branding efforts on track. Just follow these four guidelines to create a winning brand image.

1. Differentiate your brand. Branding is all about sending a strong and consistent message. Every time a prospect or customer has contact with your company, whether it's by visiting your website or seeing a print ad, he or she has a branding experience. Fine-tuning your brand image is particularly critical if your business is in a highly competitive product or service arena--your brand will separate your company from the pack.

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