A lot of people think that the concept of branding deals with just the image and name attributes of a brand (i.e Logo, Name and Tagline) whereas, branding is so much more. A brand is more than just the logo, tagline and name. Though the logo, icon, fonts, tagline, and name are part of brand elements, they do not in themselves fully define a brand.
Branding is the total perception of you (your product or service) in the market place. Branding is about the most important aspect of any business, without it, no marketing strategy in the world would produce the desired results.
In the following lines, I’d try to explicitly define a brand and tell you how you can effectively position your brand in the marketplace.
DEFINING A BRAND:
According to Seth Godin, a brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories, relationships, feelings that taken together accounts for a costumers decision to choose one service or product over another.
Branding is that marketing strategy that involves creating distinct features (name, logo, experiences and expectations) so as to establish a presence in the costumers mind.
A brand is an identity but more, it is the point of distinction between you and your competitors. Branding is about having features (brand elements inclusive) that distinguish you from others.
Effective branding is not just about getting your target market to choose you over others; it is about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that can provide the solutions to their problems.
POSITIONING A BRAND:
The position of your brand in the marketplace is “where’ in a costumer’s mind that you want your brand to own. It is the benefit they think of when they think of your brand.
It deals with costumers’ perception and receptiveness.
To effectively position your brand, you need to ask yourself some basic questions:
- Who are you?
What service or product do you offer? What are the benefits of your services or products (What need are you meeting?) What qualities or features does your brand possess? What are your core values? What is your Vision and Mission Statement?
- Who is your target market?
What kind of people are you looking to serve? How do these people think and act? What attracts them? What are their needs?
To effectively position your brand, you need to focus on your target market, and fit your service or product accordingly to ensure that your value proposition is relevant to your target market.
It’s not enough to know your brand; you must also know your target market and structure your branding and marketing strategies to fit their needs, locations et al.
- What differentiates you from your competitors?
What features do your brand possess that differentiates you from others? What are those things that can make a costumer choose you over those that have been there before you and those that would come after you? What or where is your spice? What are the emotional benefits that only you can offer to your customers?
There is nothing new under the sun, no matter how awesome your idea is, the possibility that someone else is already or about to do what you are doing or intend doing is very high, so ensure that you have what it takes to be the first and only choice of your consumers. This differentiation question is what makes Coca-cola and Pepsi different; it is what makes Windows and iOS Computers different.
- How do you intend to grow your brand?
What channels do you intend using for advertising? How would you ensure the consistent use of your logo (colours and fonts? How would you integrate your values, expectations and promises to every other aspect of your business to ensure growth, integrity and reliability? How do you intend to maximise relationships and retain loyal customers? What content would you be putting out there? Does your content marketing strategies and means totally represent your brand and gives out the right perception? How does your staff and friends think and feel about your brand? How do you want them to feel, think and talk about the brand? How would you imbibe your brand promise and core values in your team?
When you have succeeded in answering and writing down the answers to these questions, then you can say you are ready to take the marketplace by storm.