What is branding?
Branding is essential to every business. This important representation transcends across various medians and outlets and should hold a high level of significance in business planning.
The best way to ensure business success is to align a proper marketing strategy with consistent branding efforts that focus on sales growth. Many people think of branding from a one-dimensional perspective, instead branding should be considered in all aspects of business to maximize results.
- Visual Aspects (Website design & logo colors)
- Brick/mortar location
- All aspects of marketing
- Promotional materials (Ads, commercials etc.)
- Customer Service (Ratings, customer interactions & surveys)
- Employees, vendors and affiliate partners
- Quality of product/service
To better understand the significance of branding, our team at Marketing 4 Results put together steps to consider when developing brand strategy.
Step 1: Capture Target Audience
Setting a distinctive profile in a specific market is the best way to build and grow a brand.
This step seems simple but many small business owners are not interested in defining a target audience, which is a huge mistake. When most small business owners are asked who are your target customers, the answer is usually everyone. To maximize the potential of sales for any product/service requires a deep dive into a well-defined audience and the market potential. By focusing business efforts on a targeted audience allows for faster and more effective brand building.
Step 2: Brand Equity
Building up your brand for continued success requires a consistent marketing strategy that is aligned with business goals, brand strategy and a well-defined target audience. The over arching question for every marketing initiative should be “what impact “x” action has on the overall brand equity.” (This includes, sales, advertising, customer service, online/offline engagements and inbound lead generation).
At Marketing 4 Real Results we help our clients understand the importance of seeing past their logo, being original and understanding the fundamental difference in building a brand and a single transaction sale.
To have a leading position in any market requires confidence, diligence and strategic actions. By embracing the concept of brand building, adding authenticity and having clearly defined goals, you will be equipped to build your brand.
Step 3: Mission & Vision Statement
A companies mission and vision statements are key drivers to connect goals and core values to business planning. The how and why of your business is what your brand is all about and that is the story that should be told.
Brand building efforts:
Keep in mind that once you have identified marketing tactics that generate new business, there is no need to make changes unless that business model is no longer working. Many small businesses stop and start marketing campaigns before gaining traction. To successfully build a brand requires, money, time, strategy and patience. Note: Do not expect instant gratification on new marketing campaigns. Allow 3 months for a new marketing campaign to capture valuable insights, trends and data.
When you consider some of the biggest brands, their logo colors evoke a mood, feeling or behavior, which is not an accident. Remember that having the right color choices separates your brand from competitors and determine how your brand will be perceived.
The Psychology Of Color Matters.
Top 5 Brand Building Questions
- Who is your target audience?
- What are the core values of your business?
- What is your value proposition?
- What problem does your service/product solve?
- Who are the top 5 competitors in your market?
Recap: Building a brand is like creating an identity for your business. Creating a logo and building a website are great aesthetic elements to make your business stand out. To sustain your business and build your brand equity will require much more than that.
Note: Branding is about more than the visual aspects of your business.
Tips to creating memorable “customer branding experiences.”
- Create a website for customers to explore products/services, leave feedback & gain industry insight
- Provide excellent customer (in store, online chat or phone)
- Create special slogans for customers to remember
- Create membership and loyalty programs
- Create events that engage your customers
- Create events that invite prospects to learn more
Brand building is the platform to highlight business significance and its ability to retain loyal customers. Implementing the tools outlined here that focus on a customer centric business model encourage customer friendly business experiences.
Important Benefits Of Branding
Two of the most important benefits of branding are building customer loyalty and brand awareness. When customers like the quality of a product or service they will later become familiar with the brand colors. Depending on the follow-up marketing messages received there is a chance for repeat business or a referral opportunity. To build loyalty it’s important to assign authority to a revenue stream for repeat business by adding a customer loyalty program.
Creating memorable experiences is a part of the process to building brand awareness. People love to share good experiences with family and friends; so don’t miss opportunities by not connecting deeper. Don’t be afraid to brag about the quality of your product or service in an effort to create a distinction between competitors.
Another major benefit to branding is that the process makes your business more credible. For example, many brick and mortar small businesses do not have a website. According to the SBA, of the 30 million small businesses in the U.S., only 64% have a website.
If a customer was looking for a particular service or product online, it’s very unlikely the prospect will do business with the company that has a website. It is not very likely that same prospect will consider the business that does not have a website. Prospects trust a business that is identifiable through many outlets and has online reviews.
For additional tips on Branding, visit our Services page.
Still have branding questions? Marketing 4 Real Results has answers to help you to adequately build your brand, contact for a FREE Marketing Consultation