Whether your business is large or small, or caters to the consumer or other businesses (B2B), branding is one of the most important aspects of your operation. Creating an effective brand strategy can give you the creative edge you need to dominate in increasingly competitive niche markets.
But what is branding and how does it affect your business?
Simply put, effective branding is an unbreakable promise to your customer. It effectively communicates what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offer from that of your competitors. It is derived from who you are, who you want to be and how people perceive you.
It motivates buyers, reinforces loyalty and establishes value behind your business.
You can’t be all things to all people, and your brand will somewhat be based on who your target customers want and need you to be. The key in that statement is “target customers” – a select group of individuals within your niche.
Building a Brand Strategy
Where marketing and branding are concerned, strategy is critical in order for your efforts to be effective. That strategy includes the how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on engaging and delivering your brand messaging to. Also included is where you advertise, what you communicate visually and verbally, and the channels you use.
The Benefits of a Strong Brand
From a developed strategy comes consistent branding, the source of building strong brand equity. That equity brings added value to your company, the products and the services. This is what draws customers to you over identical, unbranded products within your market.
A striking example is Coke vs generic soda. Customers gravitate to Coke and are willing to pay more for it over generic soda because the powerful brand equity that Coke has built over the years.
This is where the benefits really come into play for creating a strong brand. The added value from brand equity is often scene in the form of perceived quality and even a strong emotional attachment to a brand. The most obvious examples are in how Nike, Reebok and even Redbull associate their products with star athletes and power performers. These brands are betting on customers transferring an emotional attachment from the athlete to the brand. Where celebrities are used, the customers often perceive quality when big names utilize a product and in turn they are more likely to trust the brand. In the case of Nike, it’s more than just the features of the product that sell the audience on the shoes.