1.0 What is a brand?
Brands can be defined in two ways. First, a brand can be an identity or sign that distinguishes one business from another (through a name or logo, for example). Second, the brand represents the way people think about your business. Brand building helps customers in making decisions, creating a perception of knowledge about what they will buy – before they buy it. Brands are based on three related criteria.
Belief in a business, product, or service does exactly what the customer already believed it would do. For example, a 24-hour convenience store brand could be based on a customer’s belief that the store will be open, any time of the day or night.
The customer’s emotional response to the purchase of a product or service. For example, a clothing retailer can create a brand based on making its customers feel good about what they are wearing, how they look, how well they feel about buying clothes from that store and what is said about them to their coworkers. March 2008)
A brand builds a unique personality for a business, and therefore attracts a defined type of customer. Most importantly, branding is based on consistently rewarding confidence and providing the desired emotional response.
For example, a household cleaning company can successfully build its brand if the customer’s house is always thoroughly cleaned, the owners are confident that they are using the best cleaning company and are happy to return to their freshly cleaned home. Your brand can cover your business as a whole or separate products and services. (Josephine Collins, (March 2008)
When starting your own business, one of your most important concerns is developing the face of your company to the world. This is your brand. This is the name of the company, how it is expressed visually through the logo, and how it extends throughout the organization’s communications. A brand is also how a company is perceived by its customers – the associations and values attached to your business.
A brand is also a kind of promise. This is a set of basic principles that anyone in contact with the company understands. Brands are an organization’s “reason for existence”; That is why. (Josephine Collins (March 2008)
expressed through a variety of communications to its primary audience, including customers, shareholders, employees, and analysts. The brand must also represent the desired attributes of the company’s products, services and initiatives.
The Apple brand is a great example. The Apple logo is clean, elegant, and easy to apply. Note that the company has changed its use of the apple logo from rainbow striped to monochromatic. This way they maintain their brand and signal in the new era for their expansive company. Think about how you’ve seen the brand in advertising, trade shows, packaging, product design, and so on. These are typical and all add to a certain promise. The Apple brand stands for quality design and ease of use.
Brand is a big buzzword in today’s market, but what does it really mean? In simple terms, the essence of the brand and the purpose of what your business stands for is in the minds of your customers, that they think about what they are buying, both tangible (physical) and intangible (subtlety and feeling). For example, Nike products provide physical exercise. Nike also “sells” speed, fitness, power, and style.
Brands are no accident, you must purposely Show&Tell the public what you want them to know and remember about your unique business.
Branding is the act of transferring a brand to a target market and creating an emotional bond with your unique product or service. Branding attracts, satisfies, and retains customers. Nike works through consistent visuals, logos and slogans defined by using well-known athletes as spokespeople for unreal brand transfers.
Brands are important because they solve problems for consumers. Brands help them to choose that the quality, safety, or functionality of a product or service cannot be finalized until after a purchase has been identified. Branding builds trust although it cannot eliminate some risks, especially when doing business with large companies that are outside the local geographic area (credit card companies, brokers, online shopping).
Without brand names, products and services that are easy to compare with one another, any financial institution, the mix of insurance representatives, chocolate, coffee, nuts and athletic shoes would be indistinguishable from the rest, despite the fact that there is a huge difference in quality. , price , taste and service can exist.
The logic behind branding is very simple: If your target market is familiar with your brand and a good imagination, they are more likely to buy your products and services. But consumers don’t know what your business is unless you tell them!
Is your company branded? If a graphic, slogan or distinct feeling doesn’t appear when a buyer hears or sees your company name, it means that your business brand has not been defined and developed. Customers must clearly understand and agree to the nature, character and purpose of your product or service before they buy it.
And how will they know if you don’t tell them? Hire professional graphic designers, copywriters, advertising agencies to help create and promote your brand.
It’s never too late to start your own branding campaign, regardless of the size and age of your business. Creating a successful brand requires deliberate thought and execution, but the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll see results on your bottom line. Here’s how to get started:
* Who you are determines what you offer, your business methods, their audience, and why customers should believe in the products and services you put in place.
* Transfer their decisions and acknowledgments from all other companies with strong references to images, logos, fonts, colors, slogans, jingles, themes or taglines. For best results, work with a professional with expertise in graphic design and copywriting.
* Committed to consistently carrying your brand through every aspect of your business – stationery, marketing materials, advertising, signage, product packaging, customer service, etc.
Investing in your brand means investing in the success of your company. Know clearly who you are and what you have to offer, then loudly and consistently describe that image with your target market. Your business brand is a powerful asset, so maximize its value!
In fact, a brand is mental real estate’. It is a set of expectations that the company instills in its customers and prospects, as well as its employees, suppliers, and competition. Moreover, it is a service/product or concept that is easily distinguishable from others. Most importantly, a brand should improve the way you communicate with customers.
I believe that successful branding begins with an acknowledgment that everything a company does/says should drive profits and increase value for customers. Sounds easy. But what is the true value of a branding initiative (i.e., your ROI), and why invest time and money in this seemingly non-revenue-generating activity? Actually there are many rational reasons, including:
Market Differentiation (competitive advantage)
Customer purchasing preferences (maintaining a positive impression)
Supports the highest possible price tolerance (perceived value)
Improved cross-selling opportunities (better profit margins)
Better awareness and recognition (leadership in the market)
Investor confidence (plus employees and external alliances), etc.
Without question, a successful branding initiative can generate enormous profits and add genuine value to your company, both new and established. However, the success of your brand depends on an implementation strategy consisting of four important principles that must be met. It must be a true reflection of your core values management commitment and aligned with your customer values.
Your brand must also identify a unique position that clearly distinguishes you from the competition. It has to go through every aspect of the organization, meaning you have to articulate your brand identity into a set of actions, beliefs and tools. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it must be consistent over time.
In each brand development process, we use four different elements, each with equal weight. First, the Value Proposition; it defines the uniqueness you provide to the customer.
Following are the Definitions and Expressions of Brand Characters; Your brand character must make sense to your most important customers (While your logo is part of your brand, other important elements include corporate identity, company boilerplate, and collateral materials such as brochures, advertising templates, website identities, etc.) must state your position in the market to help suppliers, investors, customers and competitors understand your intentions; these concepts often form a mission statement or byline marked with your company logo.
And finally, the Key Message must consistently communicate the information you choose; it should promote brand intent and be used consistently by the entire team.
Looking further, brand launches should consist of a continuous monitoring process to measure value over time to ensure maximum impact and benefits are obtained. This stage may also include press releases, promotional programs, presentations, and memorable methods to reach the market.
It’s very accurate to conclude that your brand provides your company’s identity, character, presence in the market and, yes, even respect. There is substantial evidence that this structured process is successful, both in the short and long term. A brand grows successfully by leaving a lasting mental image as a positive sign on everyone inside and outside your company. Image is worth true like no other. As Rodney said on stage at Dangerfields that night years ago, “Why I sweat, I got a job is my Club”.
Take care of your club’; the benefits of a professionally developed and well-managed brand may surprise you.
1.1 Do I need a brand?
Every business already has a brand, even if it doesn’t treat it as a brand. Your customers (and potential customers) already have a perception of what your business means to them. Building a brand means communicating your message to them more effectively so that they immediately associate your business with their needs. Brands can help increase turnover by driving customer loyalty and are especially useful if you are in a fast-moving sector. If your business environment changes rapidly, a brand provides reassurance to customers and drives their loyalty.
If you operate in a crowded marketplace, a brand can help you stand out. As an example,
There are many types of adhesive tape, but there is only one tape. If you have no other differences and when customers are faced with a wide choice of comparable suppliers, they will always choose the brand they think is the best fit for them. Your fit for customers is illustrated through your brand.
Also, if you want to add value to your business, a successful brand can make your business more attractive to potential buyers or franchisees.
1.2 Start-up Brands
For startups and small businesses, branding often takes place behind all other considerations – such as funding and product development. This is unfortunate, as a company’s brand can be vital to its success. Dollar for dollar, it is as important and needed as any other start-up activity.
Recently, a software management company, tentatively named TallyUp, invested in branding. Its flagship product, a software suite that tracks and executes bonus incentive plans, requires a clear identity and platform to appeal to its target audience – primarily financial executives. The name TallyUp, while somewhat descriptive, does not capture the level of sophistication that is required and necessary to attract the desired customers.
TallyUp manages a branding consulting firm; they recommended the name Callidus, which is Latin for expert and skilled to effectively and in a short time communicate their position. While both names communicate the same concept, the new one works on a completely different level. Callidus is more suited to the company’s ideal position.
Serial entrepreneurs have a lot of wisdom to share about branding and positioning. You can gather additional useful advice on brand development challenges from someone like Thomas Burns, whose story is covered in our article, Building a Credible Brand for Your Small Business.
If you’re worried about brand development costs, be careful. While it’s easy to spend a lot of money creating a brand, you don’t have to. Read our article, How Much Does A Brand Cost? to understand the price range of brand development.
1.3 Creating a Brand
Once you have completed your core competencies, brand values, perceived quality, and brand extensions, you can communicate them to your customers. Build the message into everything your customer or prospect sees and hears before they make direct contact with your business. Make sure your company literature reflects your brand values. If necessary, redesign your company’s logo and stationery so that it provides a direct visual link to your brand values. (Kenneth A. Fox, Nov-Dec 2002)
For example, if speed is a brand value, add movement indication into your company design. Reconsider any advertising you might do. Is it in a place that reflects your brand values?
Does the copy reflect your brand values?
Make sure your staff understands the value of the brand and believes in it. The attitude and behavior of your staff will influence the success of your brand more than any promotional activity. Remember that if you make strong customer service your brand value, the brand will be damaged if any customer feels that whoever they are talking to doesn’t care about the service. Review your system and make sure every touchpoint a customer or prospect has reflects your brand values. For example, if friendliness is one of your brand values, make sure whoever answers the phone or has direct customer contact is friendly. (Kenneth A. Fox, Nov-Dec 2002)
1.4 How Much Does A Brand Cost?
How much you can expect to pay for the creation of your brand is a $64,000 question. The answer is that the costs don’t have to be huge, but they can depend on who you decide to do business with.
Creating a brand is often a classic case of getting what you pay for. Your cousin can create a matching name and logo (without apps like letterhead, signage, and packaging) for $500, or you can pay an international identity and branding company $100,000. In theory, $100,000 should be a high-quality image and a lot of targeted branding theory, but that’s not always the case. (Kenneth A. Fox, Nov-Dec 2002)
Our recommendation is that start-ups look for a solution in between. Look for a company that is experienced in small branding or startups, and who understands your time and budget constraints. Leading companies charge anywhere from $25,000 to $40,000 for a name and logo. You should be happy with the product and get good results from companies in this range. (Michael Long et al, June 2007)
Before choosing a branding, naming, or identity company, research their portfolio to make sure their style fits your taste. Also, don’t hesitate to ask for references—they should be proud to provide them. Call some references and find out if they like working with the company.
Lastly, remember that branding is a serious long-term investment. If you are pursuing or have received outside financing, it should be a line item in your budget. Brand building is a core business activity, just as important as renting out office space, hiring the right people and developing your product or service. (Michael Long et al, June 2007)
1.5 Finding the Right Branding Company
Companies that create branding and identities are often difficult to distinguish from graphic design companies, but the way they create your brand may be very different. There are several important steps to choosing the right company to help you brand your new business.
First, ask your contacts which companies they know that specialize in branding. Do an Internet search for “naming” and “company identity” and “brand”. Think deeply about what type of name and logo appeals to you. Research the companies that create the brands you admire the most. Be aware of the company’s creative style. Choose a company with
track record for unique and original names, not those with a history of creating created names. However, don’t go with a highly creative company if your constituents are very conservative and traditional. (Michael Long et al, June 2007)
Call a few companies and see how quickly they get back to you. Do they seem motivated or busy? Is the person who returned your phone a partner or sales representative? Met several different companies and believed in chemistry. If it exists, you’ll know it; if not, keep looking. Make sure that the person with whom you first met? usually the partner or owner – will do, or at least direct, the work. That way they will be personally motivated to deliver results for you. (Michael Long et al, June 2007)
Check with each company about the process. How fast did they come? Are representatives willing to talk about their procedures and the steps they will take to create your brand? Make sure you talk about money; they may ask if you have a projected budget for this project. They can ask, but you can also hear in advance how much it costs, without revealing your budget. How quickly do they get back to you with a written proposal? If you agreed on Tuesday to work with them and you haven’t heard from them by the end of the week, this may not be a good sign. Again, be smart and follow your instincts.
2.0 Top Brand Mistakes
Branding, a term commonly used throughout the business world, basically means creating an identifiable entity that promises value. This means that you have created awareness, image, awareness of your business. This is the personality of your company. Many businesses try, but many fail in creating a successful brand. For more on the definition of a brand, read What is a Brand?
Here are the 10 most common mistakes:
1. Don’t think analytically. Too many companies think of branding as marketing or have catchy phrases or logos. This is more than just vying for attention. A brand guarantees consistent attention, representing something your audience wants but isn’t getting from your competitors. For example, being able to provide the best customer service in your industry – not just through your tagline or logo – by actually providing the best customer service in your industry.
2. Not defending your brand. Too often, in a shaky economy, businesses quickly change or change their identity. Too much of this confuses your repeat customers. As a guide, think of big brands – Nike, for example, has been using “Just Do It” as its logo for years. One rule of thumb is that when you get tired of your logo, tagline and branding efforts, that’s when they start absorbing customers.
3. Trying to calm everyone down. You can never brand yourself in such a way that everyone will like you. Usually the best you can do is focus on a niche market for your product.
4. Not knowing who you really are. If you’re not the fastest overnight delivery service in the world, admit it. Too many business owners think they are providing something they don’t. Know your strengths and weaknesses through honest analysis of what you do well.
5. Not fully committed to branding. Often business owners let the marketing and advertising departments handle things like “branding,” while they work on sales and other important parts of the business. But sales and branding are tied together as an integral aspect of your business. Many Fortune 500 companies are where they are today because smart branding made them household names.
6. Don’t share jokes. If only the people in your office got a joke, it wouldn’t be played by many people. The same goes for brands. If your campaign is made for you and not “them”, your brand will not succeed.
7. Not having a specific marketing plan. Many companies come up with the idea to market themselves and build a brand identity but have neither the resources nor the plans for how they are going to reach their audience. You must have a well-thought-out marketing plan before your branding strategy is successful. For help putting together a marketing plan, see How to Create a Good Marketing Plan for Your Business.
8. Using too much jargon. Business-to-business based companies are most guilty of piling on jargon. From benchmarks to strategic partnerships to added value, jargon does not benefit branding. If anything, it messes up your message.
9. Trying too hard to be different. Being different for the sake of being different is not branding. Yes, you will get noticed, but not necessarily in a way that increases sales.
10. Don’t know when you get it. Companies that have succeeded in branding need to know when to stop building their brand and when to maintain what they have built. Monitor the results of your brand campaigns. If your small business is a local household word, you can spend more time maintaining your professional image.
2.1 The First Step to develop a brand
Before you develop your brand identity, you must assess your business, how it operates and the message you want – and are able to – convey consistently to your customers. You have to be realistic from the start. There are five main areas to consider.
1. Work on the core competencies of your business, product or service. This is what you achieve for your customers, not necessarily what you do. For example, the core competency of a good wine shop is selling wine that its customers enjoy – not just selling wine.
2. Assess who your existing and potential customers are and find out what they like and what they don’t like. For example, if they are driven by competitive prices, there is no point in presenting yourself as a premium price supplier of the same products that your competitors offer.
3. Find out how your customers and employees feel about your business. Reliable? Nurse? Inexpensive? Expensive? Luxurious? No frills? Later in the process, these emotional responses (brand values) will form the basis of your brand message.
4. Determine how well your business is seen by customers and prospects – this is a quality you feel. Do they trust your business, product or service? Do they know exactly what the benefits will be for them? What do they think when your brand is mentioned to them? Perceived low quality will limit or damage your business. High perceived quality gives you a platform to grow. (Stephen M. Wigley, et al, July 2005)
5. Consider how far you can grow your business with current customer perceptions without leaving your core competencies. The amount you can change your offer is part of your brand. For example, a store known for selling fresh sandwiches might also consider selling homemade cakes and biscuits without going beyond its core competencies. But selling frozen ready meals can also stretch brands too far. (Stephen M. Wigley, et al, July 2005)
2.2 Managing Brands
A brand won’t work instantly – it will develop strength over time as long as your business consistently communicates and delivers your brand value to customers. Involve all your staff in your brand and business. Since your staff will be responsible for conveying the brand, they all need to feel part of it and believe in it. Discuss your brand values regularly with your staff so they are clear about them. (R.E. Rios et al, Jan 2009)
Encourage them to offer suggestions for improving your system so that brand value can be more easily conveyed. Monitor your customers’ response to the brand on a regular basis and continually review how your brand values are being communicated to them. Get regular feedback from friendly customers and find out if what your business is doing for them is meeting the expectations your brand has set. Also ask disgruntled customers or former customers – you learn useful lessons about your brand through honest criticism. (R.E. Rios et al, Jan 2009)
Review your products, services, and systems regularly to ensure they efficiently back up your brand message. For example, if freshness is one of your brand values, is there a way you can ship products faster?
Once a brand is developed within your own business and existing customers, you can use it to attract new customers. Use your core competencies to demonstrate the benefits of your business to potential customers. Show them what your business can do for them, not just what you do. Make sure any communication with potential customers is also consistent with your brand values. Advertising and sales literature to potential customers should be visually and emotionally consistent with what you provide to existing customers.
2.3 Expanding the Brand
Successful brands can offer opportunities for businesses to thrive. However, if you are introducing a new product or service, you must ensure that it is consistent with your existing brand values.
Stretching the brand too far will reduce its strength and may damage it. If you are introducing a new product or service, carefully consider whether it matches your core competencies and brand values. If so, brand in the same way as your existing products and services so that they benefit from your existing brand. If not, you should consider branding separately.
If your new product or service remains within your core competencies but not your brand values, you might consider a diffusion brand. A diffusion brand is a distinct message with its own identity associated with your existing brand. For example, an insurance company’s core competency is to fix things after something goes wrong. If it introduces a new service that repairs an item instead of paying for its replacement, it should be a diffusion brand: Fixit Service from XYZ Insurance.
Keep in mind that any issues with diffusion brands will also damage your primary brand, so treat diffusion brands with care. If your new product or service does not match your core competencies or brand values, you must brand them separately.
2.4 How Long Will My Brand Last?
Your brand should last as long as you want. Except for unforeseen circumstances, such as the sale of your company, a change in leadership, or a major change in your audience or product offering, your brand is the most important and permanent manifestation of your company and its values. It used to be conventional wisdom that your brand should last 20 years. In the information age, that seems like a long time – and it is. (Tim Ambler et al, July 1996)
Your brand may not last as long as your company can turn into something else in months instead of years. However, you should not plan on changing your brand with any regularity. It takes discipline and vigilance to build and maintain a brand. You want it to work for you in the long run. In time, he will live a life of his own that transcends the company itself.
After considering all the above mentioned results if a company wants to stand out in its field and make a difference between themselves and their competitors, there is no shadow that they need branding to explain an unusual line of business that generates above average returns otherwise. , if they do not have a specific marketing plan, they have to lose the market. As you learned, you need to have a well thought out marketing plan before your brand strategy is successful. As a result, we found that branding is one of our undisputed business segments.
1. Josephine Collins,(March 2008) Think global, act global: The Global Brand Group has transformed from its inception in 2003 into the international brand management business it is today. Co-founder and co-chairman Jonathan Sieff told License! Global how it has been achieved
2. Kenneth A. Fox, Journal of Business Strategy (Nov-Dec 2002) Brand naming challenges in the new millennium. (Brand management).
3. Michael Long and Chris Czajkowski (June 2007); Brand consistency management leads to success: brand development involves integrating all elements to create a consistent message that reaches target consumers
4. R.E. Rios and H.E. Riquelme, (Jan 2009)Brand equity for online companies.
5. Stephen M. Wigley, Christopher M. Moore and Grete Birtwistle. (July 2005) Products and brands: critical success factors in the internationalization of fashion retailers. (Retail Insights: Papers from the 8th International Conference of the European Association for Education and Research in Consumer Distribution.
6. Tim Ambler and Chris Styles. Marketing Intelligence & Planning 14.n7 (July 1996); Brand development versus new product development: towards an extension decision process model.