When I’m networking, people often ask me why I talk so much about effective branding rather than just marketing.
Typically three questions follow:
- What is branding anyway?
- Does it really matter to a business like mine?
- And where does it fit relative to marketing and selling?
So, What Is Branding?
Contrary to first thoughts, Branding is more than the graphic in a logo. Indeed, we often consider young businesses as successful, and their brands as desirable, before they have a pretty logo! And a logo is meaningless until the brand is clear in the heart and mind of its owners and champions.
A brand is what a company (or product or service) stands for, from two perspectives:
- In the head and heart of its customers and consumers.
- And in the head and heart of the brand makers, marketers and sellers.
Branding deals with aligning those two views perfectly, in a consistent unique way that helps the organisation grow profitably and sustainably.
And How Do You Achieve Effective Branding?
Effective branding is the art and science of Delivering a Desirable Differentiated Experience to your ideal customers, prospects, agents and staff. It is about driving how they KNOW the brand, LIVE it and LOVE it. To be effective, your branding must start with understanding and caring for your ideal customers and actors.
Think of an iconic brand like Apple: Many of its customers are deeply attached to Apple, they are its champions, regardless of price, or competitor’s advances.
- What is the unique Apple brand experience?
- What story has Apple been delivering consistently across its growing range of products?
- How has it connected with our hearts?
Yes, Branding Matters To A Business Like Yours
“So what?” do you say? Well, you too can consistently tell a compelling brand story. And you too can deliver a brand experience with which your ideal market falls in love. Surely, that would help any business, yours or your clients’?
Any strong brand shares four key elements with Apple:
- The brand is and feels unique and differentiated
- It has a clear purpose and value promise; and these are anchored on clear customer needs
- The brand experience and message are totally consistent
- And they tell an authentic brand story showing who the organisation really is and wants to be.
Personally, I see Effective Branding as the result of a key strategic decision. For me, it is a mindset that you must convey in everything you do.
Like it or not, you have a brand image: good or bad, weak or strong, it exists. Whatever your industry, market, business age and size, you have a brand!
So your choice is simple: Be a passenger or be a driver.
Be Aware Of 5 Risks From NOT Proactively Building Your Brand:
- It says that you don’t care about your customers’ needs, which is not a good message!
- Plus you don’t fuel your audiences’ loyalty. So they can’t be solid brand ambassadors. And that weakens your brand
- Naturally your sales people develop their own versions of the brand story; that too weaken your business
- By acting just tactically to get sales, you expose yourself to costly price wars, and may get stuck in survival mode.
- Finally, you reduce your chances to attract your ideal customers, the best employees, and maximise trade support.
Enjoy 5 Big Benefits of Effective Branding
- You increase your ability to achieve durable success through the economy’s highs and lows, and market changes
- Also any attack by low-price competitors hurts you less
- Your focus on your brand’s enduring competitiveness keeps your whole business effective, especially your marketing and sales activities
- And You are in a stronger position to partner, merge with, acquire another organisation.
- That also puts you in a stronger position when you sell your business< and it lifts your business value./li>
How Do Branding, Marketing And Selling Fit Together?
Everyone’s behaviour in the business contributes to the brand experience and image. Indeed, your branding and your business culture link tightly. A good business strategy and plan integrate branding throughout.
Effective branding is the cornerstone of good marketing. Your marketing strategy and plans bring together how you are going to build your brand(s) effectively. And your branding strategy gives you the checklist to assess your marketing options and tactical choices.
Your sales team must understand how the brand works. Only then can they deliver the desired brand experience.
Could you imagine a premium quality brand being truly successful if the sales people had their individual ideas of the brand? And if it did not deliver a premium customer service? Or if it downgraded the brand through reckless price-cutting? Of course not!
Here Are 5 Good Reasons To Chat Together About Effective Branding Now
- You want to feel again the passion you had for your business when you got started.
- Or your business has changed, through a merger for instance, and you want to be clear again about your new brand.
- It is time to put everyone in the business needs to be on the same page
- You feel that your marketing and sales efforts could be more effective
- You want your trade partners/ your channels to your end market to be enthusiastically on your side
Could this be scenario faced by one of your clients?
Contact Françoise now to book an obligation-free conversation about your brand or your client’s.