17 August 2017

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The Fundamentals of 'Branding'

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In this world of cut-throat competition what any business needs to win customer loyalty is a strong brand name. The brand is your business identity and your promise to your customers. It sets apart your offerings giving a clear picture of what your customers can expect from your products and services. Large or small, retail or B2B, branding is an important aspect of any business.

 Advantages

The advantages of branding are many. It helps your customers distinguish you from your competitors. After seeing your brand designs a few times, visiting your website, your potential customers will be more likely to remember your business when they are in need for your products and services.  A strong branding campaign also indicates that you are serious about marketing and that you intend to be around for a while. A brand imprints your firm's identity upon potential customers, not necessarily to capture an immediate sale but rather to build a lasting impression. Branding can also create a sense of higher quality and a feeling of emotional involvement.

Brand Strategy

To build a compelling brand, to evolve an effective branding strategy, you need to define it. Brand definition is your measuring stick in evaluating all your marketing materials and strategies. To define the brand you need to find out:

• Your company’s mission
• The benefits and features of your products or services
• Your target market
• Your customer’s opinion about your business
• The qualities you want your prospects to associate with your company

Based on the answers to the questions above, create a personality for your company that represents your products or services. Once you have defined your brand you need to:  
 
• Design a great logo and place it everywhere
• A memorable tagline and name that captures the essence of your brand
• Standardise your marketing material. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout.
• Be true to your brand. Promise only what you can deliver
• Be consistent. If you are not consistent your branding efforts will fail
• Integrate your brand

With the seemingly limitless choices we are offered in every product category your brand should offer real value and unique benefits in order to influence the buying decision. To bring the desired effect your brand should:

Inspire Trust

You need to mould your branding strategies in such a way that it inspires your customers to trust your company. In order to inspire trust, your brand designs should make your customers say that your’s is a company that is committed to fulfilling its promises.

Be Authentic

Your designs should guarantee your expertise. Your brand should show you’re an established player in the field.

Communicate Your Unique Story

Your designs should communicate what makes you unique. This uniqueness can help your customers identify why they would want to go for your product and services instead of anyone else’s.

Support Your Business

Your brand should allow you to create all the marketing pieces you need to meet your marketing goals. So make sure that you have many flexible elements in your designs, so that you can create marketing materials for different programs that can be instantly distinguished from one another. Make sure that your brand designs stay on the cutting edge of new media (animation, video, etc.) and social media.

The foundation of your brand is your logo. It also includes your business name, colour schemes and design style that expresses your product and service in symbols along with words and images. So your website, packaging and other promotional materials/marketing collaterals should integrate your logo, colour schemes, taglines etc. 

Deliver the message clearly, connect your target audience emotionally, motivate them to buy your products and services and you can get your prospects see you as the only one brand that meets all their needs.

 

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