If you haven’t heard the buzzword enough yet, branding is all the rage in the marketing and sales world. You should be branding your content, branding your website, branding yourself, branding your packaging. The list doesn’t end. So, let’s just slow it down and back it up for a second. What is branding?
Branding cattle, before marketing and sales took over the word, was about putting your mark on them so others knew who they belonged to. The definition hasn’t changed that much when applied to the business world. Branding is the art of creating an identity and the “marks” of it for your business. By putting your personal touch on your company, you can distinguish yourself above the competition and eventually create a mark that immediately conjures up a specific feeling, promise, and tone for your audience.
Let’s use an example some of you may understand: Red soles on shoes. If I say that your significant other or friend went out and treated themselves to some red soled shoes, what is your immediate reaction? Does it have to do with the money you can imagine they spent on them? That’s because Christian Louboutin has created a brand that is immediately recognizable from a signature mark. You know that you’re getting a high-end product meant for an elite customer and carried by exclusive retailers.
The Value of Creating a Brand
Every no, is a yes. If you’re trying to be all things to all people, you’re going to get lost in the crowd. You’ll speak to nobody, and your sales will be erratic and unpredictable. If you carve out a niche, find an audience, identify your customer so precisely that you can describe him/her to a T, you can then figure out where to add value. Now you might be cutting people off from your products by branding yourself as a certain identity, but that’s okay. You have your customers and you don’t need the rest. They probably wouldn’t have bought anyway, and you have wasted precious time and resources on figuring that out.
What’s in a Brand
Branding can be anything from the swag you give away to the labels on your boxes. If you’re selling a high-end product and your customers don’t have a high-end experience from beginning to end, you’ve had a brand fail. Consistency is what makes or breaks branding. Don’t think that just because you picked out some fonts and colors that you have a brand. You need to create an experience that’s universal and complete for your consumer.
How to Brand
The Alias Group has both created brands from nothing and re-branded mature products. We can do a brand audit and tell you what exactly you need, and then let you create, or we can do all the heavy lifting for you. The final step is making sure your people live that brand internally. If you’re promoting yourself as the company that cares about the environment, you’d better make sure your people live that core value. Making time for them to do a company wide volunteer project that benefits the environment is a great way to bring your brand to life.
There’s far more to say about branding than can ever be covered in a single blog. If you’re curious, touch base and we’ll talk about your identity issues and how we can help you overcome them and create loyal, lifelong disciples of your products.