If you were to look up 10 different places for what branding means, you may see 10 wildly different definitions. That is because branding is not well-understood by most businesses, which is why they don’t succeed in creating memorable products. Branding in marketing management is considered to be the primary goal of advertisements and promotions.
Branding helps you establish:
- What comes to mind first when people see your brand logo or brand name
- How your products are perceived (cheap, expensive, low quality, luxury, reliable etc.)
Once you get a hold of these goals, you will understand the importance of branding in marketing management. All your decisions and strategies will be determined by the above mentioned bullet points.
Here are some tips for beginners who want to establish their business and create a brand that will last the distance.
The most important thing about branding is that you need to have a consistent message across all platforms that you use to market or promote your products or services. You have multiple avenues of marketing. Some of them are:
- Television ads
- Website ads
- Social media posts
- Online videos
- Twitter page, etc
Now, these are wildly different media and they play by different rules. However, even as you create a different strategy for each of them, you will need to use the same branding elements like your logo, color schemes, brand name, and tag lines.
It is only when you hit customers with the same message over a period of time across multiple channels, that you will be able to successfully establish awareness. This is how, when people see your logo on the web, they remember it from a social media post or from a billboard.
- Understand your competition
Everybody knows that if you want your brand to be more memorable, it needs to be different from the dozens of others out there. However, you can’t be different just for the sake of it. When you do that, it means you have very little idea about your target market. To understand how you can be different from the competition, you will first want to understand them deeply.
Here are some key pieces of insights to look into:
- How do customers and other potential leads perceive a competing brand
- Why do people like their brand
- Why do people dislike their brand
- Where do their strengths and weaknesses lie
If you are very similar to your competition, you are likely to have similar pros and cons as well. Understanding this, will help you craft a unique brand that addresses customer concerns in the long term.
- What are your strengths
Even if your product is the best among the competition, it doesn’t guarantee that customers will flock to buy your products and services. As always, it is the branding that draws people to certain products. This becomes even more important, when your products are similar to the competition in most ways.
Internal and market research should tell you:
- What are the key ways in which your brand is different from others
- What are the most important strengths that help you trump the competition
- Which of those strengths are most relevant to your customers
If you want more insights, look at the major brand logos in other business areas, rather than just yours. You will see how the successful ones have logos and messages that make a positive impression. It would do you well to study brands, and see why they are successful.
- Know your customers
It is easy enough to identify who your customers are going to be, by using demographic information. However, even within the same demographic, your potential customers will each have different things they want from your product. For instance, some will want a cheap and reliable service, while others will want a premium service that gives them everything.
Your brand logo and design can convey these values to your customers, so you need to understand how. For instance, compare premium watch brand logos to more affordable ones. Do the same with airlines and hotels, or really any type of business. You will see what types of designs convey premium quality, reliability, costs. For instance, Apple never brands their products as cheap, but it is still sells more than its competition.
Once you know what your customers’ expectations are, you can hire a designer to craft a brand that reflects those, and makes people feel closer to your brand.
- Branding signature
Your signature brand represents the very best that you can give your customers. In a line of products or services, this is the flagship that tells your customers just how good a company you are.
If you want your brand to be memorable, you will want a brand signature that is:
- Of the highest quality and suggests it will meet your customers’ expectations
- Has a lively or calm feel around it, depending on what zone it is in
- Is instantly recognizable by people when they see it
Admittedly, this is not an easy task. It does take a lot of effort. Many a times, it also requires expert counsel for brand management strategies. Even the best companies hire branding consultants to help create a signature that will outlast the latest product hype. You may want to do it too.
- Reputation management
In an ideal world, our brand will attract tons of customers, and they will always use our products, and will always be satisfied. In reality, there will always be corner cases, where your product will not meet the customer expectations. Given that the internet allows for expressing of views freely, it is very likely that you will receive strong negative responses.
Now, a few negative perceptions will always stick out, and become more visible among the sea of good ones. If you want to ensure that your brand name stays clean, you will want a strong reputation management strategy. Some might also call it brand management.
A good strategy in this regard will make sure that:
- Customers concerns are addressed in the most appropriate manner
- When somebody tries to tarnish your brand, you can make sure that your overall brand retains a positive connection with the customers
- Your brand equity keeps growing in value over time
7. Blogging for branding
Blogging started as a personal hobby for people who had something to say. However, it has now turned into an integral part of professional business marketing strategy. With that being the case, it is being used successfully by businesses to give their brand more visibility.
Blogging is important for branding in marketing management because:
- It make your readers aware of the current status of your products and support
- It keeps your brand fresh in readers’ minds
- It gives you an opportunity for your customers to get closer to you
When your customers see that you are willing to engage with them in a two way conversation, they will naturally like you more. Regular blogs with genuinely interesting and informative content can help you build a strong brand in a thousand small ways.
- SEO branding
Not many companies pursuing SEO to attract traffic to their sites think of it from a branding perspective. They do not fully understand the importance of branding in marketing management. Well, it does matter to your customers. They will observe what kind of searches or search terms will pull out your website and brand name.
For instance, if a user is looking at complaints for a particular product category, and your brand name features multiple times on the search hits, her perception of your company will change for the worse.
When you are optimizing your site for search engines, you will need to target the right keywords and also check out what kind of other keywords, bring your brand to the fore in SERPs.
If you find the concept complicated, you might want to hire professional services for developing brand management strategies and integrate their advice with your SEO campaign.
- Measure your branding
Many businesses think that branding is an abstract concept and that it has no measurable value in currency. That is however not true. Your brand does have a monetary value, and is called as brand equity. If you do not know what that is, you will need to start learning about how to measure it.
Your branding strategy decides:
- How many customers choose your products because of a strong brand
- How many of them are loyal to your brand and keep coming back
- How customers recommend your products, because they believe in your brand
It does matter to people what kind of brand they are buying into. Think about how many people will buy the same product if it had a different brand label on it. Now, you can see just how important it is to measure your brand, and keep growing its value over time.
- Website branding
Every company has its own website, and it should be the focal point or center of your branding. You cannot fully control how your brand is perceived on social networks because all kinds of people participate in it. The same is true of online videos. However, your website is the one online entity where you have the full control, and it should have your brand stamped all over it.
This can be achieved through clever design and color schemes. However, it is much more than just that. If you want your brand to evoke trust among people, their experiences and interactions with your website should reflect that. If you promote simplicity, your site design should reflect that.
The performance your website has a great impact on your brand name. Let me know if I have left some important points out or if you if you disagree with me on something in the comments section.