Branding is not just your logo or tagline or the “look” and “feel” of your marketing communications. Branding is the sum total of your customer’s experiences and perceptions of your products, services, and employees. In actuality, your brand is what everyone else thinks your company and product are – it’s what people say about your company behind your back.
A branding strategy is the beginning of all customer contact behavior. When the budget allows, the branding strategy can become the basis for better advertising communications such as multi-media advertising, direct mail, trade shows, and expanded public relations.
The undertaking of branding may seem scary; however there is strong proof that branding is worth the effort. Listed here are some benefits of a strong brand.
- Branding is what gives your company value and separates you from your competitors.
- Enhanced perceived value allows for top pricing and shelters you from price competition.
- Branding will provide protection in times of negative press.
- A strong brand enables you to launch new products and services more quickly and cost effectively.
Your brand will become established in your customers minds, with or without your effort. Branding and managing a brand can be tough work, but here are some easy-to-follow guidelines on how to get started.
- To succeed, you’ll need to get everyone involved from your graphic designer to your web designer to your customer service department (even if that’s you!) on down.
- Take a look at some of your successful competitors, or other entrepreneurs you admire. Study their communications and how they position themselves.
- Learn more about your target market to find out what they value when choosing a provider of your services. Survey customers, ask on social media, etc.
- Develop a strategy from the information you gathered. It must be achievable and differentiating.
- Leverage your brand strategy by integrating marketing communications. Ensure your brand is consistent across the board – website, newsletter, print marketing materials, billing, customer service responses, etc. Sending a cohesive message and giving customers the same experience every time will build brand equity.