I’m constantly amused by the fact that the business we’re in is often the most confusing and misunderstood – and yet it’s the goal to clearly communicate our value to business. After all, branding is developing the strategy and communications foundation for marketing, advertising, public relations and social media. And yet…when you suggest to someone they could stand to re-brand themselves or their business – the first think they think of is a new logo treatment.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.
With that rather broad description of our craft, it makes sense to understand that branding is not just about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but it is about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem.
The objectives that a good brand will achieve include:
- Delivering your message clearly and succinctly (i.e. the “30 second elevator pitch”)
- Confirms your credibility and uniqueness in your market
- Connects you emotionally to your target prospects your target prospects, motivating them to action
- Establishes customer loyalty to the point of referrals to more prospects
To succeed in branding you must understand the needs and wants of your customers and prospects. You do this by integrating your brand strategies through your company at every point of public contact – or “touch points”.
It’s true that your brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. It is also true that your brand is the sum total of their experiences and perceptions, some of which you can influence and some that you cannot.
And yet… most businesses skip this critical step when marketing their product or service. It’s critically important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand – BEFORE you begin to communicate it to your eagerly awaiting public. After all your brand is the source of a promise to your consumer – it’s a key foundational piece in your marketing communication and one you do not want to be without.
Take the time to clearly define your brand’s true values (not the ones you think it has) before you begin your outreach and communications. It’s not only time and money well spent, but will save you countless hours defining and redefining your brand message in the future.
We have a tried and true process for helping you define your unique brand – or even reposition one that you’ve built for years. If you need help, we’ve got the experience and team that’s just right for you.