Branding. We have all heard of it but do we really know what it means?
The simplest way to put it is, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from you, your products and services and it tells your customers what makes you different from your competition. Your brand comes from who you are and who you want to be and having an effective brand strategy can give you a major edge in today’s market.
It is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or B2B. So how does branding affect a small business like yours?
Defining who you are as a company is crucial. You can’t be the catch-all of companies. Being the experienced maverick just doesn’t make sense. You can’t be all things to all people. But you can be the right thing for the right people. This all comes with branding.
The foundation of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and promotional materials–all of which should integrate your logo–communicate your brand.
Brand Strategy & Equity
Your brand strategy starts with the basics: who, what, when, where and how? You have to answer all these questions in order to create your brand message. Who is your target audience? What channels are you going to communicate with them through? Where are you going to advertise?
Keeping things consistent and specific leads to added value for your company’s products and services through brand equity. This then allows you to charge more for you brand than what another identical product is charging. The most obvious example of this is Coke vs. a generic soda. Because Coca-Cola has built a powerful brand equity, it can charge more for its product–and customers will pay that higher price.
The added value that comes from brand equity nearly always comes from perceived quality or emotional attachment to a product or company.
For example, Academy Sports uses Matt Carpenter, 2nd basemen for the St. Louis Cardinals, in their ads when they are advertising in and around the St. Louis area. They are hoping customers will transfer their emotional attachment to Matt Carpenter and the Cardinals to the products they offer.
Defining Your Brand
Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. It requires, at the very least, that you answer the questions below:
What is your company’s mission?
What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your current customers and the ones you have yet to snag. And don’t rely on what you think they think. Know what they think.
Request a free marketing consultation with RESPONSE! Targeted Marketing today to discuss all your branding needs.