Right now, the economy and market are tougher and more competitive than ever. With so many options, you have to be able to ensure that your company and brand stands out above the rest when customers are choosing where to take their business. Consumers are going to be conducting research on all aspects of your business and even if no one has time to investigate every single business thoroughly. This is where brand marketing becomes vital and powerful tool. Establishing your brand will inform your customers in moments of your reputation and integrity, thus passing on to your products or services. Through brand marketing, even the very mention of your brand or the sight of your logo will surface your customer’s perception and/or experiences with your company, regardless of it is positive or negative.
Many small business owners and corporate powerhouses alike have a misconception of what “branding” is. It far supersedes just the products (i.e. “brand name” clothing) a business may provide. Your brand is your identity: who you are, what you do, what level of quality you provide, your reputation, and every other facet that could possibly be used to judge your company by the general public. Every purchase or interaction with a customer contributes to their perception of your brand, whether it is the purchase of a supermarket’s “generic” brand of Cheerios or the real deal.
Brand marketing is most efficient and effective in creating repetitive business with returning customers. Customers who have had previous experience with your brand will be able to draw on their past experience as a guiding hand in future purchases since they have a general image of what your business is all about. For example, any parent who might be looking for a family friendly movie can safely rely on any Disney movie to be appropriate and entertaining for the entire family due to previous experiences and their exposure to the Disney brand. Many can safely agree. Brand marketing allows for you to be the forerunner in the market for returning customers since they already know the aforementioned aspects of business without having to do extensive research.
The only way to build an effective brand campaign is to establish and share a reputation with the consumer population. You will have to convey what your company does or sells and the quality in which you do it, all wrapped up in a way of that will instantly come to the forefront of the consumer’s mind instantly. One way of conjuring the connection in moments is through a sign, banner or slogan that will appear on everything that your company owns and sells, whether it ranges from an email to product packaging. This way whenever a customer sees this sign or slogan, it will automatically connect with their knowledge of your reputation. By establishing a brand, signage and other traditional forms of media become even more popular.
Above all, when you are pursuing a brand campaign, product and service quality is of high priority. This is because a customer’s perceived reputation of the company comes from their experience. Therefore, any lack in quality will remain ingrained in the consumer’s mind until is overridden by the contrary feelings. You must extend quality not only to your products, but the service by your employees and every other aspect of the customer’s experience in order to enhance public perception of your company and your developing brand.
When pursuing brand marketing, it is important to establish your goals and aspirations for your brand. Your brand is representative of what your company does, who you are, and your intrinsic personality. Do you want to be rugged? Sophisticated? State-of-the-art? You must make these decisions prior to exposing customers to your company. Your brand consists of your purpose, your values, and your culture. Why do you do what you do? What does your company pride itself on -- integrity, craftsmanship, family? How do your employees like working for you? This often times places a crucial role in branding. Note that you do not have ultimate control of your brand. While you may set out to be perceived this way, the public may perceive you differently and that will be your “brand” since branding lies in the hand of the perceiver not the communicator. Think of branding as an individual who is shaping who they are. Your brand is who you are. While brand marketing is simply portraying this to the general public, such as when you are applying for a job or even pursuing a friendship. Now, apply that to the business world.
Once you’ve established your brand, marketing becomes much more effective. It will permeate through your targeted consumer audience far faster since your company and logo sign will already be associated with a certain reputation as many large brands such as Apple, Disney, and Lucky Charms do. It is then your job to expose the general population to your brand as much as possible through a variety of marketing strategies including signage, social media, and public relations in order to bring the connections to the forefront. At the forefront of things to convey to your audience when marketing is your company’s purpose or mission statement, consumer’s benefits, values and platforms, and goals. These are appealing to the general consumer population and also allow them to easily derive your personality and formulate an opinion about your brand quickly.
Like it was stated above, you do not have complete control of your brand. Branding greatly relies on a dynamic between the company and customers in order to create the reputation on which your company will work with to market. It is your job to provide your products and services to the best of your ability while shaping how you wish to be known from the inside out. Getting your employees to buy in and understand the values and goals of your company will greatly contribute to the positive brand you wish to establish, while the opposite will produce an equally adverse effect.
In conclusion, brand marketing is a comprehensive marketing strategy that is highly effective in developing lasting connections with the consumer population. At the core of any good marketing strategy is a strong brand name molded by both the company itself and their customers.