The concept of ‘branding’ is widely used…but often misunderstood. A brand is how people perceive your company. It’s more than a cool logo and a catchy slogan. It’s the sum total of your name, messaging, TV ads, community involvement, product quality etc. Your brand is a positive (or negative) image of what your company stands for and it is reinforced at every consumer touch point.
Your brand not only identifies your product, it creates an emotional reaction. For years, Ford claimed that quality is Job #1. But car buyers didn’t believe it and Ford’s sales slumped. Since the social media explosion, brand perceptions are heavily influenced by opinions of the people you trust. So, your brand’s image is ever-changing and requires constant care and feeding.
So, is your company a valued brand? Take the following test:
1.) What are you famous for? How does your product/service offer real value to your customers? Do you make their lives easier, more productive, safer, happier etc.? Walmart stands for low prices. Red Bull gives energy. ESPN delivers sports news. What single thing is your company famous for?
2.) Do you have a powerful presence that creates impact? The Energizer bunny epitomizes long battery life. Allstate is credible as the good hands people. But Kmart’s edgy new campaigns (Ship My Pants & Big Gas Savings) don’t synch with their image. Consistency is vital to creating a strong brand.
3.) Does your company connect on an emotional level? Starbucks created an experience that’s so desirable that people want to stay and pay for the overpriced coffee. If you sell people something that satisfies not only their physical needs but also their emotional needs, they will feel the need to identify themselves to your brand.
4.) Do you have ‘brand advocates'? Do people love your product? Are they likely to tell others? People believed in the Apple brand so passionately that they lined up to buy products sight unseen. If your company improves peoples’ lives, they will be your strongest sales force.
5.) Do you empower brand champions? Is branding a companywide effort? Are your employees brand ambassadors? Is there a common company culture that is woven through messaging, actions, products and services?
If you need help establishing or reinforcing your company’s brand, contact Beau Phillips. Beau is the President of Rainmaker Media and has years of experience creating successful marketing plans through the use of effective positioning. Contact Beau at Beau.firstname.lastname@example.org.