How to Define and Build Your Business Brand
The Sprocket Report
We recently were privy to a discussion on business branding. The debate sparked some varied and emotional responses among marketing professionals. When was the last time you seriously considered your business brand?
We all use the term “brand” on a regular basis, but if you were asked to explain what the term means, what would you say?
Cattle are branded with a symbol that identifies which ranch they come from so you can say “that brown cow is from the Double L ranch and that black cow is from the Flying W ranch.” That’s a great start, in that you recognize and identify the ranch home of those cows. But does that tell you anything at all about which cow is the better choice for you?
If you know ranches, maybe you remember that the Double L ranch is on a rocky slope while the Flying W ranch is a well-watered pasture of green grass. Now you’ve associated influential characteristics with each brand: Flying W cows eat more grass than Double L cows.
Now it’s no longer just the symbol on the cow that’s important – it’s what the symbol makes you think about when you see it. That’s why the most coveted apparel brands put their name all over their product. If a consumer has paid a premium to own a coveted brand, they want to make sure everyone knows it.
Branding can hurt a business as well, if the connotations are negative. When generic products first started appearing in grocery stores a generation ago, most were sub-standard and they garnered a terrible reputation. Many people still refuse products simply because they are labeled generic- or store-brand. Even though some of them are exactly the same as the name-brand counterpart.
Our favorite definition for branding is from the online Business Dictionary:
Branding: The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers' mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.
You and every other business and organization have three branding challenges to face:
#1. Identify what your brand is now
#2. Identify what you want your brand to be
#3. Promote that ideal brand
So what do people think of your current brand? Be honest and maybe ask around. Do they think “Saks Fifth Avenue” or “Old Navy?” One is not “better” than the other – they’re just different, with different clients. Does your brand elicit the identity with which you want to be associated?
Once you identify what your brand is, you can influence how people perceive your brand through marketing. Does the look of your website project the right image? Do your social media interactions show how you want people to see you? Are you displaying expertise and trustworthiness in your marketing content?
We want to be your marketing partner. No “one size fits all” for us! Bring your branding goals and together we can promote the organization you want the world to know. Call us today and we’ll be happy to get started!