What is Branding?
Developed properly, a powerful brand can
- Result in reduced marketing costs as a result of a higher level of consumer brand awareness and loyalty;
- Allow for higher prices since the brand will have a higher perceived quality;
- Protect against competition;
- Influence purchase behavior;
- Provide your consumers with a short-cut to their purchase decision.
Branding is a promise to your potential customer and an expectation to your existing clients. It is the idea or image of a specific product or service that consumers connect with, by identifying the name, logo, tag line, or design of the company who owns the idea or image.
Branding is when that idea or image is marketed so that it is recognizable by more and more people, and identified with a certain service or product when there are many other companies offering the same service or product. Today, it’s not enough to simply outline your values in the ‘About Us’ section of your website or print them in an employee manual.
Branding yourself keeps you current in your chosen field, opens doors for you, and creates a lasting impression on clients. By developing your own brand, you’ll have control over people’s initial perception.
Strong branding is critical in our ad-cluttered world, a strong brand influences its target audience. You want to ensure that you’re the first provider in your niche that comes to customers’ minds. We now live in an idea economy driven by digital social interactions. Brands with big ideas of value catch fire at light speed, lead markets and build unimaginable market value wealth for all stakeholders. Me-too brands crash and burn.
It’s more than just a logo or packaging or a slick corporate identity. Today’s technology coupled with the importance of relationship marketing, your brand must extend from your receptionist to your sales team to your website to your company’s internal bulletin board. Your entire company should be considered your Branding Department.
…defines the services or product behind it.
…is memorable. It is easy to recognize, and easy to recall. Has sticking power, a str
iking image or a word carrying some emotion such as bravery, or love.
…is meaningful. Done in a descriptive way, such as a clear link with what you do – a product category, the business you are in. Or it can be done in a persuasive way – emphasizing your unique selling proposition, or a key point of difference, such as a special benefit you offer.
…has value. When given a choice, consumers prefer to spend their money with companies that share their values, so a business with clear, genuine values has an easier time gaining devoted customers.
…is likeable. Looks good, and sounds right. Coming up with a strong name can either be fun or a complete burden. Regardless of whether it’s made up (Skype), a misspelling (Google), or a simple word (Borders, Apple); it all goes back to marketing strategy. When you’re choosing a brand name, consider how and whether it would work in social media.
…is authentic. The best slogans reflect the essence of a company, its very soul. And the best way to achieve authenticity is to work from the inside out, by understanding what your people believe the business is about because every single one of them will need to be an ambassador for the brand in the outside world.
…is simple. In an age of information overload less is most definitely more. Keep it short, keep it simple, keep it clear.