WHAT IS BRANDING
and how important it is for your marketing.
Branding is the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. (http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/branding)
Your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be. The foundation of your brand is your logo. Your website, packaging and promotional materials, all of which should integrate your logo, communicate your brand.
Defining your Brand:
Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery. It can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. It requires, at the very least, that you answer the questions below:
● What is your company’s mission?
● What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
● What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
● What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
The objectives that a good brand will achieve include:
● Delivering the message clearly
● Confirming your credibility
● Connecting your target prospects emotionally
● Motivating the buyer
● Strengthening user loyalty
Do your RESEARCH. Learn the NEEDS, HABITS and DESIRES of your current and prospective CUSTOMERS. And DON’T rely on what you think they think. KNOW what they think.
I also want to share with you three main points that you should always be aware of in order to define a brand or your personal brand.
1. YOUR BRAND IS YOUR PERSONALITY Your brand is not only your logo, your colours or your name, but it represents your person to the world. A brand’s personality is what people say about it and what they feel when they relate to it. That’s what really matters because that is what your own customers have perceived from your brand. Creating the appropriate personality for your brand is vital because if you are not even able to define your own brand, how do you expect others (your customers) to define it for you? And if they do, it could be something that you’re not really expecting that they think from it. Probably it could be a chance for your competition to come and speak for you and define your personality to the market, which could be very dangerous!
2. YOUR BRAND IS YOUR PROMISE When you define a brand, you create a promise between your consumers and the brand. In order for the brand to be successful it should remain coherent in its development to strengthen the credibility and the trusting levels that customers have in it. Be always coherent with your customers, be always authentic and real!
3. A BRAND IS A LIFESTYLE Products without a defined brand are sold like facilities and will be affected by changes, prices and competition, but when you have a well based and defined brand, for example, Adidas, Polo, BWM, Nike, Armani, they turn into a lifestyle and people pay for the value of the brand, not for the price of the product.
Once you’ve defined your brand, what you should do then?
Here are a few simple tips:
1. Make or get a great LOGO that identifies your brand.
2. Write down your BRAND MESSAGING – What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand?
3. INTEGRATE YOUR BRAND – Branding extends to every aspect of your business, (how you answer the phone, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature) everything.
4. DEVELOP A TAGLINE (SLOGAN) – Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
5. DESIGN TEMPLATES AND CREATE BRAND STANDARDS FOR YOUR MARKETING MATERIALS – Use the same colour scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don’t need to be fancy, just consistent.
6. BE TRUE TO YOUR BRAND – Customers won’t return to you or refer you to someone else if you don’t deliver on your brand promise. Because if you are constantly changing your image, concepts or words, no one will trust you.
Here I leave you some good examples of Brand Identity (created brandings) and Slogans used in successful and famous companies.
Always remember that branding is not only applied to business and companies, is also applied to your personal image. Remember that you as a person could be selling a service (as translator, musician, cook, etc.) so, you should show the best of you, in order for people to buy your services.
Remember the example I gave in class. If you present to be hired as a chef in a restaurant, but you have your clothes dirty and your nails, hair and personal image all dirty looking, probably no one will trust you to be their chef.