What is Branding?
In the pantheon of business buzzwords, “branding” podiums frequently. Here’s a great definition: “Branding is endowing products and services with the power of a brand.” (The Branding Journal) A brand is a banner, a standard, a symbol, even a cause. Branding takes bland everyday fixture of modern life, products and services, and instills a deeper value. Apple represents Thinking Different. Nike represents Just Doing It. Honda represents being Helpful and Reliable. To understanding it better, branding is not marketing. Marketing is actively promoting products and pushing them tactically. (Tronvig Group) Branding is a series of actions and attributes that pull customers toward your company and keep customers already there. (Tronvig Group) Performing them in tandem creates a powerful machine for attracting and keeping customers. Branding is a feeling that the customer develops toward the company’s goods. (The Branding Journal) To foster loyal customers regularly and reliably, branding is necessary because customers cling to consistent imaging and messaging. Consciously curating those and keeping them consistent yields better long-term results than just “letting it happen.” Coca-Cola fosters a century old brand of freshment and enjoyment. Carmine cultivates an image of reliable GPS Fleet Management. Choose what your cultivate.
Defining your Brand
A key step from the start is identifying your core customer group. (YouTube) Your business attracts a certain kind of person to consume your services, preferably a few kinds, but not everyone. Trying to serve every possible customer’s need will leave you serving no customer’s need. Building your brand around your core customers will aid keeping those customers and attracting similar customers. Next pick your imagery and message, then keep it consistent. (Entrepreneur) Imagery is logos, colors, the kinds of pictures used, and so forth. Message is the writing, style of writing, and how things are said. Picking the right style and keeping it similar over time is key. Lastly, live your brand. Make your office match with your colors and scheme. Dress your workers in a uniform consistent with the brand if possible. Tailor the way they walk, talk, and interact with the customer to be flush with your brand. Example: Mike Diamond Plumbing are the “Smell Good Plumbers.” Dressing clean and acting polite juxtaposes them with the typical view of plumbers as dirty, smelly, and gruff.
Create your Brand
Do things that project your brand out into the world. Create ads and marketing with your brand that existing and potential customers see. Changing your website to reflect the brand is good basic start. Getting on social media is another easy move. Know your brand and post as near to it as possible. Social media can also be a great place to find your brand through experimenting and refine your brand based on customer reaction. Bake your brand into your customer service. Every interaction leaves your customer with a little bit of a certain feeling. Consistency over time instills the brand you are working so hard to project. Example, Carmine has invested years in the colors orange, white, and black as part of our brand to represent our excellence and reliability in GPS Fleet Management.
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