Using branding the right way

Branding itself has no value for neither customer or product. A logo, a slogan, a promise do not have any value for nobody without the customer satisfaction, without a promise kept, without a great product using experience.

Branding is destined to help remember, to get the customer closer to your already excellent product, not to replace or complete the experience. Your business need a good branding strategy, but if someone imagine that a good branding strategy will replace some missing promises of your product, or an incomplete experience then is in a deep mistake. Continue reading

5 Rules to Establish and Maintain Brand Awareness

Despite the fact that the hot ways to enhance your brand involve new media, business branding basics are still in style. Branding success will depend on adapting to the rapidly evolving media environment and taking advantage of new opportunities to reach your target audience.

But, there are some branding constants that will remain critical for establishing and maintaining brand awareness with your target audience. Regardless of the medium chosen for distribution, you must: Continue reading

Reconciling Brand and Organizational Culture

Interesting article about the way organizational culture, business goodwill, branding and the law are interacting. Here is an excerpt:

Whether shaping the branding strategy of a start-up or optimizing the strategy of an established company, the key to maximizing goodwill is in closing the gap between organizational culture and organizational brand. Sometimes we see wonderful brands that resonate with the market, but are undermined by the internal culture as in the case of marketing an image of customer service, but having sales clerks who are untrained or unhelpful. In that case, the challenge is to correct the organizational culture over time to effectively support the brand. Typically this management issue can be resolved through a process of adjusting the focus of existing employees while working to make sure new employees match the needs of the evolving culture.

As consumers, we sometimes see a great company culture anchored to a lousy brand, what I call “the best kept secret” syndrome, such as finding a wonderful product in unattractive packaging. Typically, this marketing issue can be resolved by investing in creative communication services to more accurately share the story of the organization. In both reconciliation processes, there will be an investment of time, money, and emotion. These investments should be made with a strategy to leverage and protect that investment, which is where the intellectual property enters the picture.

Read full article in the Kevin E. Houchin’s Creativity and Law Blog.

Make a National Brand Local

Make a national brand local, that’s the new Bank of America branding strategy.

Consumers interact with brands locally every hour of every day. With expanded creativity around media from agencies, brands and media owners, these media touchpoints are expanding rapidly. How do large organizations managing a brand across different regions, markets and locations do so while ensuring flexibility across their local markets?

Once upon a branding time, local branches were free-wheeling with their marketing practices and the Bank of America logo was “wantonly” emblazoned on diverse products. When a national marketing exec saw the Bank of America logo stamped on a “piece of cake,” a memo went out advising: Local branches will no longer be allowed to “eat the brand!”

Bank of America’s solution? Centralize the development of consistent, national brand messaging and collateral and enable local markets to “attach” them to local marketing initiatives and sponsorships.

Continue reading

7 Reasons to Brand Your Business

A business without a brand name is like a product that does not have a name. You’ve got to ensure a high impact branding strategy that will help your customer to remember you, your products and your services. In this case, it is your articles and your quality of writing are what should be remembered the most.

Jason has put up a list of 7 reasons why you should brand your name:

  1. Branding creates product awareness
  2. Branding can relay your product’s performance.
  3. Branding is your mark as the maker.
  4. Name branding ensures your customers will remember you.
  5. Branding completes your overall marketing strategy.
  6. Branding makes marketing so much easier.
  7. Branding promotes sales.

Trump’s 10 Commandments of Branding

Don Sexton, co-author along with the more famous Donald Trump of Trump University Marketing 101: How to Use the Most Powerful Ideas in Marketing to Get More Customers have an interesting free White paper on 10 Commandments of Branding:

Commandment 1: Establish a Clear Brand Position
A brand position is a clear, unambiguous statement that communicates what your company stands for and what it offers. You should choose one or two benefits that make up your brand position. These are the key benefits that your target market cares about and that you have the capabilities to produce. Why one or two? Because people generally can’t remember more than that.

Commandment 2: Build Your Brand on an Emotional Benefit
Your goal is to find an emotional benefit that is far superior to that of your competitors and to associate that benefit with your brand. In other words, you want to own that benefit.

Commandment 3: Build Your Brand as Early as Possible
If you don’t build your brand as quickly as possible, someone else may take the position that you want.

Commandment 4: Be Consistent Over Time and Over Markets
Marketing strategies need to focus on the attributes of the product or service so that they are effectively positioned in the marketplace. Brand strategies must do that too, but a branding strategy must also focus on the associations and identifiers.

Commandment 5: Make Sure All Your Employees Know Your Brand Position
You want all the touch-points in your company to reflect your brand. For example, if your brand is built on “friendliness,” everything in your company must embody that, from the employees to the logo to the company lobby.

Commandment 6: Make Sure All Your Products and Services Embody Your Brand
If you come up with a brand position and your product or service doesn’t embody it, your brand will have no credibility and will quickly fail.

Commandment 7: Make Sure All Your Customers Know Your Brand Position
If your product or service embodies your brand and your customers don’t know it, it’s useless. You must always remind customers of what you do well, and then remind them again.

Commandment 8: Don’t Dilute Your Brand
Once you have established a clear brand position, don’t dilute it. What this means is that you shouldn’t keep extending your brand or adding to it indefinitely. If you extend it, you might actually hurt it. In particular, you should never extend your brand to products and services where customers won’t let it go. Remember, branding is about what customers will let you do.

Commandment 9: Always Monitor Your BrandYou need to continually monitor your brand position to make sure it remains relevant to your customers. Trends change. Your brand needs to change with them.

Commandment 10: Maintain Your Brand as Your Organization’s Most Valuable Asset
Maintaining your brand involves everything we have talked about in this report. It means maintaining consistency, communicating and monitoring. It means putting Commandments 1-9 into practice every single day

Download full PDF file here.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Develop Your Brand

Before you begin developing a brand, you must have a solid understanding on who your customers are and how do you intend to serve them. Details can be extracted from your marketing plan or mission statement, but after all there everithing goes to asking yourself the next questions:

How do I want consumers to view my company? – Is the identity you want to portray friendly and personable? Professional? Efficient? Creative? Innovative? Appropriate for your target market? To begin choosing your branding direction, it may be helpful to write a list of characteristics that people would ideally use when describing your business. Identify the words you want consumers to recall when your business comes to mind.

Who are my customers and how does my product or service address their needs? – You need a strong understanding of your customer base to create an effective branding strategy. The idea of branding is to tell a consumer in as few words as possible how you will fulfill their needs. Knowing their needs is the first part, and communicating how you intend to fulfill those needs is the second.

Who are my competitors and why is my product or service better? – Sometimes looking at the competition can give you food for thought. You can see what is working for them and what is not working, and keep that information in mind as you create your own brand. Study people’s perceptions of other businesses. Use your personal experience as a consumer to guide you. Emphasize what is unique about your business that makes it a better choice than the competition.

Seven Steps for a Brand Strategy

Successful brands are built on the twin foundations of awareness and relevance. If target audiences are not aware of you; if they don’t notice your message in the cacophony of messages they receive each day, then you will never have a chance to be relevant. And if they become aware of you—if you capture their attention—and fail to deliver relevance,then they will learn to ignore you. The seven-steps branding strategy outlined here will help provide the structure you need to assess and develop relevance and create awareness.

Continue reading

The Internal Impact of External Branding

Conventional wisdom says branding is for external communication; it aims to influence current and prospective customers. But this view of branding is too narrow, especially when a company is trying to fundamentally redefine its business strategy.

Nowadays, companies in the throes of change need brand communication to affect their employees’ actions as much as it does their customers.

Indeed, for the many companies attempting to make the shift from selling lower-margin goods and services to offering higher-margin customized solutions, branding can serve a powerful internal purpose. When we are faced with this very challenge, the branding strategy is critical in uniting formerly divided business-unit and product-oriented management factions behind new shared goals and strategies to deliver solutions.

Continue reading