In the early days of marketing, a brand identified the company that produced a good or service with a simple image or mark. For example, Coca-Cola’s branding in the early days was simply the classic red script that is still in use on their product. However, today, the word holds a lot more weight—a company’s brand goes beyond just a logo or a color palette. It encapsulates the perception that a consumer has when they hear your company’s name, service, or product.
A well-developed brand can increase the value of a company, provide employees with direction and motivation, and make acquiring new prospects easier. Brand recognition is such an important facet of marketing. There are entire campaign types dedicated to developing and raising awareness for your brand. Rolex is a great example of successful modern branding. Their very brand name, along with their iconic pointed crown logo, inspires a sense of luxury, reputation, success, and attention to detail.
What Does Branding Do?
Think of your brand as a business tool. It should be working for you to gain awareness, motivate buying decisions, and ultimately, increase your profit. Take the Nike swish for example—Nike’s iconic swish logo represents athleticism, quality, and power. Seeing the swish on a product, especially the tennis shoes, helps customers recognize the product as coming from Nike. But it goes further than that. It tells the consumer that this shoe will make them run faster, perform better, and seem overall more elite. The swish makes every consumer feel like an athlete—so they’ll buy the shoe to attain that feeling.
There are six objectives that a good brand will achieve:
- Awareness and recognition—consumers know your product or service, and know what to expect from you
- Engagement—consumers will interact with you by visiting your website or seeking out information about your overall business, product, or service
- Motivation to Buy—consumers will purchase your good or service
- Brand Loyalty—consumers will choose your company over your competitors every time they need what you offer
- Emotional Connections—consumers will be invested in your story and the success of your business
- Credibility—your business will be regarded as reputable and trustworthy
To succeed in branding, you must understand the needs and wants of your customers and prospects. Think of your brand as a living entity, and consider how this entity should reach consumers and the impression it should leave. If consumers can start to identify your brand, it will gain notoriety and start making connections not only with current customers, but with prospective ones as well. This is exemplified in both the Coca-Cola and Rolex examples—they have each created a brand that has stood the test of time and remained a household name for over a hundred years.
The Importance of Branding
Essentially, a brand is a promise to your customer. It represents how your product or service will benefit them and what experience they will have with you. It’s important to spend time researching, defining, and intentionally building your brand. From there, you can develop a strategic marketing plan to serve as a guide for building awareness and recognition. If done well, the effectiveness of good branding won’t stop at one purchase—it will go beyond that to create brand loyalty.
How to Start Defining Your Brand
Not sure what you want your brand to represent? Try this exercise. Pull out a blank piece of paper and set a timer for two minutes. In that two minutes, write down on the paper every single word that you associate with your company. Your words could be concrete, like product names, services, or features. Or, they could be more abstract, like feelings that you want to invoke or goals you want to achieve. Ideally, there should be both types of words! Whatever you’re thinking, don’t stop writing for the full two minutes. When you’re finished, look over the ideas that you have come up with and choose three to five to really focus your efforts on. Those words will become the base of your brand!
Source : Mediavenue.com