Basics of Branding
Branding is a hot marketing idea right now, used by many advertising and marketing experts and businesses in order to generate explosive growth. Branding is basically the creation of brand loyalty through advertising, placement, and controlling people’s perceptions of your business. Branding is fairly controversial, as many feel that it is manipulative, but it is also an extremely effective marketing tool.
Step One: Decide on Your Brand
Even if you are a small business, you have a brand. The ideas and feelings that people associate with your business – and even customer’s associations of your business with your company name or logo can create brand loyalty. Therefore, you will want to decide what your brand will stand for before your customers and clients decide for you. What values or ideas do your want your business to promote? What feelings or ideas do you want your company to instil?
The more precisely you can define what you want to convey with your business, the better your chances of creating brand loyalty, because simple ideas work best and are most memorable. If you are having trouble deciding your brand and what you want your company to stand for, write down a list of major companies and the ideas and thoughts to associate with those companies. It is likely that a marketing department or company worked hard to promote those feelings and ideas for the company brand.
Step Two: Develop a Branding Strategy
Branding is a professional and very complex marketing strategy. It involves many types of actions and lots of work, because getting your customers to associate specific ideas and feelings is not always automatic. If you can afford a marketing company or marketing services for your branding needs, it can make a big difference for your company.
When choosing a marketing company for your branding needs, make sure that you select a reputable company that has a proven track record of results. For example, check the satisfaction levels of past clients to make sure that the company can really offer you the type of branding you require. Also, make sure that you communicate exactly what you expect. Branding varies from the very subtle (using a specific grouping of colours and a logo to promote specific feelings) to very complicated branding and placement campaigns that include movie sets and strategically placed actors and shoppers in shopping malls. Make sure that you know and express what type of marketing plan you are hoping for.
If you decide to try branding on your own, make sure that you devote time and effort. Branding, by its nature, includes trying to promote an idea through many channels, so it can easily get quite complex. Make sure that everyone on your staff understands what branding is and what type of brand image you are trying to project. Then, have each person on your team promote that brand idea in their daily work. For example, if you want customers to associate a kinder, gentler service with your copyediting service, then make sure that all your staff use gentle wording. Have your web designer create a web site with softer colours and supportive language rather than tongue-in-cheek witty prose.