By GRETA SCHULZ, Special for USDR.
The word branding is heard in sales are marketing circles quite often and so being associated with the field I thought to peek into the realm of this art with my readers today.
I think that the right way to start this topic is to just ask my readers what they understand and know about words like Nike, Apple, Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Intel etc. (Just a few of the long list). I am sure that almost everybody will be able to identify these words as leaders in their respective fields and will also be able to talk a lot of their activities. They may also have some consumer loyalty towards these names. So that is why they are called successful brands. The art and magic that creates these brands is what branding is. My readers will definitely agree that the value of these brands is even more that the value of business they do or the products and services they sell. Any product under their stable is treated with respect or at least seriously by its customers, thus considerably improving the chances of success. Remember the long lines from a day before a launch of new Apple iPhone. A classic example of brand loyalty!
There is a myth that it needs deep pockets to invest in ad campaigns so as to be able to create a brand and thus only big companies can do it. I would rather put it in a different way as per my GretaNomics and that it is the brands, which come first and only on power of successful brand companies, have become big. So the topic of branding is equally important for both big and small companies alike or in other words Branding is one of most important SELLution.
What makes a brand what it is?
Though to hire support of a professional agency to help in brand building is definitely worthwhile and helps to avoid wastage of time and money in re-inventing the wheel, but if need be it can be done without having expensive resources. The first rule to start branding is to put down clearly what your business stands for and also what you want it to be known for. The basic vision and mission of the business should be clearly spelt out and must be promoted as an important part of branding exercise so that people recognize the values associated with it. And it should not only be promoted, it must be executed on the ground. All functions must be planned by keeping these core values in mind so that the final customers should be able to link what they get in the way the brand is promoted. Once it is successfully done, the branding is said to be on the right track to success.
Have you ever heard slogans as “Just Do it” related to Nike or “the Ultimate Driving machine’ associated with BMW. They are not simply slogans but they represent the feeling that customers perceive while using these products and it is this magic that makes them a successful brand. As you look around you will see that almost are the successful brands do this without fail both in advertisements as well as every step of their operations and execution. They ensure to remind customers that they mean what they say and this link then creates a brand.
Why it is important to have a successful brand?
Without the strength of branding your products and services are taken by consumers as just another one that can be switched to alternatives. They do not associate a sense of value to your product. In other words without branding there are very poor entry barriers to your field of operation which is not a very convenient situation if you are serious about future.
With competition rising, the benchmarks of efficiency and service raised and customer expectations increasing, successful branding is must to attract and retain customers. Though price manipulation can give short term results but to sustain and survive for long term, proper branding must be an area of focus.
How to get going to build the brand?
Branding is getting becoming more and more important area of marketing strategy these days. In the process of Branding besides working on core values that the brand will stand for, there are also many business basics that have to be followed to effectively do it on ground. Some of these are: –
- Quality of product of services: Ensuring and then maintaining the quality of your products is vital for the success of your brand. It must be perceived as something dependable by users.
- Pricing are also an important part of your branding strategy. It depend how you wish to position yourself in the market , as the cheapest product or as the best value for money, you have to first decide and then act accordingly while branding.
- Positioning of product also plays a role in making people believe that you mean what you say. The operational aspect must be designed and implemented so as to give customers the feel of value associated with the brands.
- After sale service is another important aspect to maintain the initial delight in customers’ mind so that they develop loyalty to your Brand. Once this is attained you can comfortably say that you have created a Brand out of a product or service.
- And then comes the importance of communication that can be done through various channels of advertising both through print and electronic media. Internet also plays an important role in this strategy.
Once you are successfully done with all the above, you will be perfectly placed both in hearts and minds of consumers as a Brand. After all, in the end of day a buyer makes his or her buying decision on personal preferences and emotions. So once you have touched those emotions you can safely say that you are a Brand among many products.
Learn more about Greta Schulz at SchulzBusiness.com