19 May Ten Brand Musts
You may have heard something about ‘branding’ in regards to marketing, but perhaps you’ve wondered what that means exactly.
Some people think branding is like positioning, but it is different. The main difference is that positioning is a fluid concept. In other words, you can position yourself at different times in different markets as different things. Branding is more set in stone- it’s a hard-core recognition factor.
Branding is not just your logo or tagline or the “look” and “feel” of your marketing communications. More like the sum total of your customer’s experiences and perceptions of your products, services, and employees. In actuality, your brand is what everyone else thinks your company and product are – it’s what people say about your company behind your back.
A branding strategy is the beginning of all customer contact behavior. When the budget allows, the branding strategy can become the basis for better advertising communications such as social media, brochures, business cards, billboards, online ads, trade shows, and expanded public relations.
Branding in your marketing has to make you feel something. A technology company can’t have an old fashioned font – you might not think they were very far advanced.
Branding is just like the old coat of arms that families used to have connected with their name. It would instill respect, fear, and wealth – whatever. Likewise, a country’s flag gets people to feel a certain way about their country. Picture the Maryland flag. Have you not seen a state more enamored with their flag? How many businesses have incorporated this flag into their own brand to create a sense of community and connection to their audience?
Think about what message you want to portray. What do you want recipients of your promotion to think about you? What image of your company do you want to put out there? That is your brand. When people see you continually as one thing, they begin to expect the same from you and they get used to you.
Ten Branding Musts
The undertaking of branding may seem scary; however there is strong proof that branding is worth the effort. Below are ten benefits of creating a strong brand.
- Branding is what gives your company value and separates you from your competitors.
- Enhanced perceived value allows for top pricing and shelters you from price competition.
- Branding will provide protection in times of negative press.
- A strong brand enables you to launch new products and services more quickly and cost effectively.
- Your brand will come to pass with or without your effort. Branding and managing a brand is tough work. Here are some no-nonsense guidelines on how to get started. To succeed, you’ll need to get everyone involved from top management on down.
- Research your successful competitors. Study their communications and how they position themselves.
- Study what values are most significant to your customers. Develop a questionnaire and interview key customers and prospects.
- Develop a strategy from the information you gathered. It must be achievable and differentiating. Think SMART goals.
- Leverage brand strategy by integrating marketing communications. Check for consistency of all communications from every department. Sending a cohesive message will build brand equity.
- Evaluate and measure performance. Make changes as needed but most importantly, be patient.
You may already have a solid brand or you may be looking to make some changes. Need to talk to shop and build out a strategy? Let Moon 38 help!