---------------------------------------> from Concepts to Realities
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, retail or B2B.
An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets.
But what exactly does "branding" mean?
Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer.
It tells them what they can expect from your products and services,
and it differentiates your offering from your competitors'.
Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
Brand Strategy & Equity
Your brand strategy is how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and
delivering on your brand messages.
Where you advertise is part of your brand strategy.
Your distribution channels are also part of your brand strategy.
And what you communicate visually and verbally are part of your brand strategy, too.
Consistent, strategic branding leads to a strong brand equity,
which means the added value brought to your company's products or services
that allows you to charge more for your brand than what identical,
unbranded products command.
The most obvious example of this is Coke vs. a generic soda.
Because Coca-Cola has built a powerful brand equity,
it can charge more for its product--and customers will pay that higher price.
Defining Your Brand
Defining your brand is like a journey of business self-discovery.
• What is your company's mission?
• What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
• What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
• What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
Do your research. Learn the needs, habits and desires of your current and prospective customers.
And don't rely on what you think they think. Know what they think.
Here are a few simple, time-tested tips:
• Get a great logo. Place it everywhere.
• Write down your brand messaging. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand?
Every employee should be aware of your brand attributes.
• Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of your business
• Be consistent. I placed this point last only because it involves all of the above and is the most important tip.
If you can't do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.
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