What does a person remember whenever they think of their favorite book, restaurant or even a celebrity? The brand! Yet what is a brand? A brand is a name or symbol thatís commonly known to identify a company or its products and services and separate them from their competition. A well-known brand is the one that people will recognize, even if they donít know about the company or its products and services. These are usually the businessesí name or the name of a product, although it can also include the name of a feature or style of a product. Yet still, few only know its marketing function or the meaning of branding itself. Well, thereís a huge connection between the two and this might help you improve your business.
ďBrandingĒ is a basis for marketing and can not be separated from your businessís action plan. Itís more than just a fancy label that you give to a product. A business, law firm, school, museum, celebrity, perfume, a country (yes even a country!), or even YOU can be regarded as a brand. When marketing to customers, you must win both the logical and EMOTIONAL argument. Winning the emotional argument is what branding is uniquely designed to do.
Branding is both an art and a science. One of your goals is to link your brand with the emotions, feelings and memories of the positive experience that your customer has when then buying your product or service. You can also link the overall Ďbrandingí of your company or product to a logo, symbol, or even design features that identify your company and/or its products/services. Remember, people buy brands not products and services.† A brand promises the same positive, consistent experience every time.
So how do you determine your brand? Hereís a simple branding exercise. Ask yourself, ďWhat do my customers experience when they use my product or service?Ē Write everything down that comes to mind. As you do so, youíll see your brand take shape.
Answer questions such as: Do they feel more comfortable, do they believe that theyíll be more popular, do they believe that they can run faster, work more efficiently, will they experience more reliability, will they feel happy, satisfied, sad, more sensual, etc.. This exercise is useful because, you may also detect some areas in your brand that may need improvement.
In closing, your brand resides within your customerís hearts and minds. It is the sum total of their experiences, perceptions and expectations. Some of which you can directly influence and some you cannot. By clearly defining your brand, youíll clearly define what you REALLY offer to your market. And having done so, youíll now stand out heads and shoulders from your competition.
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