What comes to mind when you hear the word brand?
Probably some familiar names like Coke, Nike, Tide or McDonalds
...easily recognized names and their various slogans over the years such as "Coke Is It", "Just Do It", "Tide's In; Dirt's Out" and "I'm Lovin' It", right?
Brand development has become increasingly important over the years as the global competition has increased and getting your message out about your product/service "brand" (which also includes your logo) to ensure you are seen and recognised.
It's a concept that has been around since the days of cattle ranchers when cowboys marked their livestock with their ranches "brand" to set them apart from those belonging to others. (Now you know why or how we've moved between brands and logos)
It's something that local small business and family owned mom & pop operations and kitchen tabletop entrepreneurs should be eager to embrace because it can be a huge part in the growth of your business and helping to increase your bottom line especially with a solid online marketing strategy. (Web site and social media marketing in particular!)
A brand is so much more than a product. It's the brand and slogan (which is also part of the branding process) that people remember about your product or service.
McDonalds is recognized for their big "M" (The Golden Arches) and for the phrase "I'm lovin' it." They've gone even further by also having a clown and other animated characters like the "Hamburgular" that represents fun.
Their brand is also about quality ingredients, fun, fast food and even their charitable organization Ronald McDonald House.
Good branding helps your products/services to get recognised and, helps them stand out whenever someone talks about your business niche or category.
Take a moment to consider a local favorite Kamloops shop...what come to mind? Whatever it is that you just came up with in your "minds eye", the qualities that you associated with that particular retailer *that* is all part of their branding strategy.
Different components come together when creating brand awareness.
Depending on your resources, your branding efforts and priorities may include:
A brand identity is a way to set yourself apart from the competition and it helps your potential customers distinguish уоur unique product/service from similar products that are available for sale within the marketplace.
Most everyone has experienced the price of a product (say a pair of jeans), that is more expensive at one place than it is at another... That's also branding!
...For example you may go to an long established store that "brands itself" as being "The Place Of Quality And Service" while the other store's "branding" is "We Sell Everything Cheaper Than The Other Guys Do!"
Study the impact of building brand awareness in terms of monetary benefits and уоu will realize that branding helps generate more word of mouth (WOM) advertising which in turn can lead to more customers and greater profits.
Branding your business is an intelligent and strategic way to create awareness and position your product/service in your chosen marketplace be it online or locally.
A strong branding strategy will put your business "Front Of Mind" when searching for your product or service and also enable you to potentially reallocate your sales and marketing budget to other areas of your business such as increased online promotions once you've fully targeted your ideal client (That's where you'd hire me!)
If you start noticing the various branding strategies of businesses in and out of your specific niche, you'll be able to see what they are doing, especially your competitors. You'll also get a better understanding of the importance of building brand awareness.