Many mistakenly believe that branding only applies to consumer goods because not only does it get the lion’s share of marketing budgets but most of the modern day business literature is dedicated to the successful branding of the Coke’s, Nike’s, Procter and Gamble’s and Google’s of the world. But what about those unrecognizable brands that have launched many consumer brands into mainstream consciousness. Farason, the 19 year-old Coatesville, Pa. based manufacturer of packaging machinery that is used for Procter and Gamble’s successful line of Febreez household odour eliminator. Why should they worry about what purchasing manager’s think about their brand of robotic cell and custom automation systems? It just doesn’t sound all that sexy.
Branding has come along way from the days when the ancient Egyptians tagged their livestock to identify their ownership. It is much more than a logo, a tag line, a brochure or an experience. It represents the perceptions formed by the target audience of a product, service or company. More importantly, it transmits the brand promise, which is the vision of what the brand must accomplish. Some feel that branding unnecessarily adds to the total cost of a product. And although that may be true, considering all the resources that it takes to manufacture a product, can you really afford to not brand? How are customers going to know why they should buy your product and not your competitor’s?
Both types of branding might be essentially different in approach but benefit in the same way. Most business-to-business brands follow a monolithic branding strategy, where all the sub-brands fall under the umbrella of the company brand. It would be too expensive and impractical to build each sub-brand independently. Some benefits that both share include:
• Charging higher prices for your product. You won’t have to sell at low prices or offer discounts.
• You’ll be the talk of the town. Customers will actively seek out a brand that they really want, a marketer’s dream.
• Your brand will crush it (the competitor’s brand that is). A strong brand acts as a barrier to competition, making it harder for people to switch to the competitions.
• Your message strategy will have a snowball effect. People will be more likely to believe your product claims because they already have that warm and fuzzy feeling about your brand.
• More successful product launches. Borrowing off of the initial trust that’s been established you’ll be able to add new products easier.
• You won’t have to spend as much on keeping your customers happy. Customers will be more satisfied with their purchase, and won’t be tying up your customer service department.
•Strong brands add to an organization’s assets. Like equipment, proprietary knowledge and patents, brand equity is considered to be an asset. 60% of Coke’s market value is in it’s brand equity.
Branding to an extent can be equated to the trust that the different publics (shareholders, customers, employees and suppliers) have in a company. Trust that a company’s product offering will deliver on its promise. In these unstable economic times, companies can’t afford to not differentiate their brands in the marketplace. The market expects it.