A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. -Seth Godin
Branding may seem like a new marketing buzzword but really, it’s a concept we see at work in our lives daily. What makes us trust one brand more than another?
For example, Target has marketed to their consumers as the upscale alternative to Walmart. Why? The products (at least at first) were similar and provided the same kinds of services. But Target added designer clothing brands and highly specialized food selections to set them apart. It’s branding! Target knows that it’s consumer needed an easy to navigate store environment, high end clothing and accessories options, short checkout lines and a luxury feel.
Branding encapsulates everything your company is and does. This starts from the exterior of the office building to the business cards you exchange with colleagues. You may be thinking at this point that branding can’t possibly affect every avenue of business but we assure you, it can.
What can branding do for my business?
1. Branding increases recognition of your brand to potential customers (and employees too.) Think the Nike “swoosh.”
2. Focused branding efforts can allow you to speak directly to your customer or even help you determine what your customers have in common and how to market to them.
3. Your brand should strive to create an emotional relationship with the customer. Your consumers need to feel that you hear their concerns, you offer high quality products/services and most importantly, when they are dissatisfied you will do everything in your power to right the wrong.
4. The brand you present to customers should highlight strengths (personalized care, 24/7 support, free refunds). If consumers feel like they are cared about, your business will edge out the competition every time.
Branding can seem intimidating and complex, we know, but it can be tackled in a tiered approach. Start simple by exploring what goals and ideals are fundamental to your business model and the rest will flow from there. Don’t hesitate to enlist the help of other agencies to help you reach your goals. You are informed about your business and want to succeed, that’s on brand!
Author, Laura V. Boston
The C3 Group