Everybody has favorite brands, ones that they always prefer and don’t mind paying a bit more for because they just like seeing that brand name. If you looked at the American Marketing Association’s dictionary you’d see that the definition of a brand is a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” While this seems easy enough to understand, what does it really mean to your business?
Developing a brand is an often misunderstood concept that frustrates business owners as they try to spend their marketing budget efficiently. They sometimes equate more spending with better branding and put their funds on the wrong things. In effect, branding is about making your company seem like the only option. It is about your message as much as it is about how much you advertise.
Branding, to be effective, must:
- Make a connection with your target audience
- Clearly deliver your message
- Build credibility
- Motivates your audience
Another key component in branding is consistency. If you change course every month people never know what you are about and you risk looking unprofessional. Consumers want to spend their money with companies that have their act together, professionals that they can trust. It doesn’t matter if you are in retail, a service professional or run a landscaping business, people want to know you’re an expert. Consistency in your advertising reenforces you as the ultimate expert in your field.
Design is another aspect of branding that cannot be overlooked. Design is something that you may not have much knowledge about, but most people instinctively know good design when you see it. It comes down to clearly portraying your message in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. Designers use time-tested elements that work on many levels with the viewer. This is why you see a Nike logo and need no words to know exactly what company is behind the product.
If you feel over your head when it comes to branding your company, you’re not alone. The famous brands you’re used to have teams of people behind their branding efforts, all experts in their field. Before you make your next marketing budget, however, you might consider getting your own team of experts. A skilled marketing agency can help you do more with your budget and start working on becoming a household name!
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