Do you play chess? If you do, you’re well on your way to improving your brand identity. Here are three must haves you can’t do without.

1.) Information: To be a good chess player you need to look ahead and know the moves. Building a brand is a lot like that. Let’s say you are trying to attract, refine and develop a large quantity of qualified prospects. One solution might be to invest in software that is specifically designed for building customers and use it in ways your competition isn’t. Another way is to time your promotions based upon the upcoming season with a special product offering no one else has. By tracking the results of your promotions using your software, you can leverage this new information to improve your next promotion.

2.) Innovation: Good chess players never use the same moves over and over again. Marketing often operates using this same principle. For instance, mixing other ways to communicate beyond a simple email might include using a variety of media platforms such as direct mailings, e-mailings, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Such two-way communications provide you with great opportunities to keep in touch with your customers or start a conversation with a new one.

The famous GEICO brand campaign started out as a test segment. Today, GEICO segments the market with direct mail. In 2008, the gecko was the mascot of choice within acquisition emails.  72% of all acquisition emails from GEICO contain the gecko.

Knowing these facts allow a shrewd marketer to know how to approach this lucrative print market. Offering specialized direct mailings and acquisition email services could open up new business doors for printers anywhere.

3.) Intuition: Another mark of a good player is the ability to feel the board and know what the opponent might be thinking. Knowing your top competition’s next moves can be just as important. This may seem counter-intuitive but if you understand what your competition is going to do next it makes it a lot easier to beat them to the market.

In a company article by David Coughlin, Director of In-Mold Labeling Technologies, Standard Register promoted a new ‘brand – service.” He stated, “The value of a recognizable and respected brand is nearly impossible to assess. The fact is, next to employees, a manufacturer has no greater asset than its brand image. Thus, they want to avoid promoting their brand with labels and imprints that fade, chip, peel or otherwise deteriorate.” By positioning his company’s product as a leader he instilled a stronger brand image for Standard Register.

In today’s economy, you cannot underestimate the importance of knowing what will turn heads and create interest among your top prospects. A stronger brand image has a greater chance of success than a weaker one. Maybe you should start with a good game of chess!