Written by: MacKenzie Deller, Intern
Hundreds of years ago, the term “brand” was used by cattle ranchers who seared a design into the hide of their livestock, to identify the owner of the animals. Today, branding means something totally different and is a word that most marketers cannot get away from. Branding is essential to the success of any business large or small. A creative and effective brand strategy will give your company a competitive edge that will make your business successful. But what exactly does “branding” mean and how will it affect your business? In simple terms, branding is the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design. But what it really comes down to is who you want your company to be, how to make an emotional connection with your audience and making your company voice stand out. Branding today is more than just a logo, it’s your company’s promise to your consumers. This article will address these questions marketers have on branding:
- Why does branding matter?
- Where do I start in branding my business?
- How do I define my brand?
- What will my brand strategy be?
- How do I create a good customer experience with my brand?
Why does branding matter? Branding is the first impression your company will have on a client or prospect. A strong brand is able to express the importance of their drive, products, mission, policies or services to their customer base with good branding. Creating an effective brand will essentially help form a strong customer bond that is sure to stick. Without a good branding strategy, companies are not going to be able to express their nature to their customer base.
Where do I start in branding my business? Sit down and do your research. Learn the needs and habits of your customer and think: 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? Then go from there. Creating a brand will take time, but the more you can research your audience, the better your brand will be able to make a connection with the consumer.
How do I define my brand? If you’ve developed a strong understanding of your target audience, you’re probably already ahead of your competition. Defining your brand will heavily rely on the needs of your target audience and how you want to represent your brand. Researching your target audience will help you clearly define how to brand your company. A good start would be to check out your competition and choose criteria to segment by.
What will my brand strategy be? Building a brand strategy should come together smoothly if you have defined a target audience and the message you want to get across about your brand. The two most important factors in your brand strategy are the purpose of your business and your core values.
How do I create a good customer experience with my brand? Think about Walt Disney and Disney World. Magic is the first word that comes to mind. A single word or slogan should come to mind when your company is mentioned. Customers become loyal because they are emotionally attached and they remember how they feel when they use a product or service. A business that optimizes for an emotional connection and creates a good customer experience will outperform its competitor 85 percent of the time.
Branding today is much different than how cattle ranchers defined it, but the term does have one thing in common: to show how you are different from everyone else. Branding today includes logos and elements that help differentiate yourself from other brands, but it goes much deeper than that. At the end of the day, your brand is how you can make a connection with your consumers.