18 Apr 2018, 12:04 — 5 min read
Odds are that branding guides your purchasing preferences for everything from consumer products to services. Brands form an integral part of how we experience life. In some way or another, most of our purchases have an element of branding distinguishing them from alternatives. These elements of branding shape our thinking and define our preferences to inculcate a sense of loyalty to a brand. This is true for all kinds of products, from cars to shoes to soft drinks. It will be true for your product or service offering as well. The question is, how to build a brand that is evergreen -- one that captures the imagination and loyalty of its audience.
Investopedia goes so far as to say “A brand is seen as one of a company's most valuable assets.” Appreciating the importance of branding is the first step towards growing your own business. Developing a brand strategy to create the desired appeal in your target consumer is the second step. Executing a brand strategy is essential as well, but will not be fruitful if the strategy in place is not strong enough. Here are five tips for developing your brand.
‘Premium’ product/service strategy - If the market for your product is one that is saturated with similar kind of products or services, it would be fruitful to invest in improving the quality of your product and service. After that, positioning this superiority in quality and service will allow you to charge a ‘premium’ on your offering. Two things are essential for this strategy to be sustainable - a marked differentiation from more generic competitors and a concerted effort to ensure that the differentiation is conveyed via the branding strategy and becomes incorporated in the brand.
Example: Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007. Its cutting-edge design and user-experience ensured a loyal and growing customer base in spite of the pricing being higher than competitor mobile bands.
Have strong customer representatives - An aspect of branding that is often neglected is the experience that customers have when engaging with employees of the company who are essentially brand advocates. Sales people, helpline staff should all have a clear idea of company’s offering. The ability to communicate their knowledge and faith to customers is key to developing a brand experience and keep people hooked and coming back for more.
Identify and enlist influencers to promote your products - Nothing sells like trust. If you can identify influencers who will appeal to your natural demographic, that can really help in creating a ‘brand image’ which customers will want to subscribe to. It doesn’t have to be a famous actor or athlete who endorses your product but even a well chosen expert with his message distributed to right channels can generate a similar traction for your brand.
Carve a ‘niche’ - A niche is a term that’s heavily overused when it comes to marketing and branding. However, that is only because of its immense relevance to the discourse around consumerism. Carving a niche essentially means differentiating your product and creating a sustainable market for that differentiation. For example, if you are selling lentils, reorienting your business and selling just ‘organic lentils’, would allow you to access a different sort of market, create opportunities for loyalty from those consumers and charge a ‘premium’ for your niche offering.
Example: Nature Valley’s Granola bars have established a foothold in the market for healthy snacks with clear messaging on their packaging and their marketing.
Invest in social media - Social media is the tool of modern warfare when it comes to marketing and branding. Identifying influencers could be one form of social media. But other aspects, like content marketing and plain old targeted advertising via Google Adwords will be essential for your brand awareness to grow.
Example: Sensu, a small marketing agency was given the task of drumming up publicity for a little known celebrity named Ben Howard. They started a Facebook event page and drew a crowd of 500 people to the event with only a few days of preparation and ensured they also leveraged traditional forms of media like radio and print to cement their budding star’s popularity.
The key to reaping dividends from these tips for developing a brand strategy is ensuring that you have a clear idea of what you want the brand to stand for. Communicating this brand image is key. However, a strategy that does not aim for a specific brand image can lead to the creation of a brand that you had not intended yourself to be associated with. This can be hard to shake off once it is established in the market.
Think deeply on what you want your brand to be, and get the ball rolling on creating that brand.
Posted byGlobalLinker Staff
We are a team of experienced industry professionals committed to sharing our knowledge and skills with small & medium enterprises.
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