Many marketers and business owners understand branding according to other people’s businesses. From a surface point of view let’s say, McDonald’s – Burger King – and Pepsi. For the business owner and marketer it can sometimes be very difficult to Brand your business and make yourself stand out among the crowd.
What is branding, really?
Simply put, remember the old cowboy movies when they would but their ranch logo laden irons in the fire? They would get them burning hot and grab an unsuspecting member of their cattle herd and burn them with the “branding” Iron. They could now easily differentiate their cattle from the next rancher’s cattle.
In business it’s not really that different! Branding is the process by which you differentiate your business from your competitors. Just as a brand will allow your cattle recognized among the rest of the herd, your business’s brand must set you apart. Although your name and logo are important features of your brand, there’s a lot more to it than that alone.
Your goal is purely to “Own” Your Category in the Minds of Your Customers.
Company branding is one of the most important components of any marketing plan, particularly when you are making an effort to prove your company’s place in the marketplace. Identity, differentiation, and reputation are all part of the company branding package.
A brand is essentially a way of communicating a promise or an exchange between you and your customers. It is a way of you communicating to your customer who you are and what you promise to deliver to them.
How your potential customers and existing customers perceive your company largely relates to how effective your brand is and how you are portrayed, recognized, respected and remembered in the community. A brand is so much more than a name or a logo.
One way to create a brand is to invent a new product or service. Being first to market is a huge advantage. However, that’s not always necessary. Most of us run businesses in categories filled with competitors. What’s the best way for us to create a strong brand?
One method lies in narrowing the focus of your business until you’ve created a new group you will be first in. Very much like niche marketing. Think focus. Create your brand that clearly identifies you and the promise it portraits to the customer.
Company branding helps your advertising. When people are familiar with your company name, logo, colors, products and your brand, they relate with feelings and emotions. In their minds if their experience is good, the buying decision can be made easily and with little thought on the customer’s part. By recognition of your brand – they intuitively know.
This is helpful when you place a commercial or a print advertisement, as the people would easily connect to the company with this brand name. Then you can just concentrate on one thing – selling your products.
A word of caution! People buy based on emotions, feelings and experience. If the experience was less than great, your brand can work against you.
When people start recognizing your logo, and come to know the great products and services your company stands for, and then they will rely and associate with the products as well. Your brand is now solid and working for you.
You should create a niche for your business first, and then branding will be much easier. It takes a significant amount of effort to market your products well and your brand needs sustainability over a relatively long period. Your brand will be used in nearly every aspect of your business and should be strong. By everything I mean; direct mail, web sites, logos, staff, everything. Disney is probably the best study on branding.
Right from the beginning, you have to work towards building a strong brand and creating brand awareness. If you have a strong brand presence, people will automatically be drawn to you when they are looking for that particular product or service. This is what every business aims to achieve.