Need to Know: Branding
The next in our Need to Know series is about branding.
A strong brand is an invaluable asset to any business. As the global market expands and becomes more competitive, branding will play a critical role in future businesses. The American Marketing Association defines branding as the “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.” Simply, it is what your customers are promised or expected from you. A brand sets the expectations of your product compared to others. Branding is much more intangible than marketing, it is the idea of you and your product within the customer’s mind. A strong brand can deliver your message clearly, build credibility, motivate buys, and creates customer loyalty.
Some businesses confuse branding with marketing. Both are essential components of a profitable business but are very different. Think of marketing as the sales push and branding as the pull. Branding is strategic with the long term goal of establishing your image within a customers mind. Marketing is tactical with the goal of sales and differentiation. The brand is what determines whether customers become loyal or not. Branding lasts long after the marketing push that achieved the sale. Did you continue to service the customer’s needs? Did you connect with the customer to achieve long term rapport? Will your customer refer family and friends? These are important questions to ask as you brand your business.
There are different types of branding, generally small businesses need to choose between a corporate brand or a personal brand. Each type is exactly what it sounds like, a corporate brand is branding a separate, unique entity while personal branding is branding yourself as the business. Each has advantages and disadvantages. While a personal brand can be established quicker and perhaps run deeper, it can be lost in a heartbeat. Think of every celebrity arrest or even local hometown scandal, reputations can vanish quickly. A corporate brand takes more time and effort to establish quality rapport with customers but is generally more resilient to branding disasters.
Defining your brand is the first step. In defining your brand you will need to answer these questions:
- What is your company’s mission or vision?
- What are the benefits and features of your product or service?
- What do your customers think of your company?
- What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
Using your market research, which we discussed in detail in Need to Know: Demographics, will help you identify what your customers desire and most importantly what they think about your product or service. Armed with the answers to the above questions and your market research you can now begin to tailor your brand strategy.
The brand strategy is what you communicate, where, when, and how you communicate it, and to whom you communicate it to. The purpose of the branding strategy is to ensure a unified message is communicated across your marketing strategy to impact the company’s mission and qualities within your customers minds. After you have defined your brand and tailored a brand strategy, the last step is integrating it into your marketing strategy. Creating a great logo, creating the voice for your company, writing a tagline, and staying consistent will help establish your brand and take your business to the next level.
Branding is an important component of any successful business. Reidel Law Firm is designed to serve Texas small businesses from the ground up. We offer flat rate services to help Texas small businesses survive and thrive in today’s challenging market. Leave the legal work to Reidel Law Firm so you can focus on growing your business, call today at (832) 510-3292 or use the form below to schedule your free consultation.