Saturday, 1 September 2012

Why Is Branding So Important?

Branding is the process of differentiating your company so it can be identified as distinct from your competitors on the market. Sadly, in today’s highly competitive marketplace it is no longer enough just to develop and produce outstanding products. It’s a fact that even more inferior goods can sell well if they are launched together with a slick branding campaign.

For many companies, creating a strong brand is so important that they will hire in a marketing company especially for that purpose. So what is it that makes branding so crucial? One of the main functions of strong branding is to build a trusting relationship with your client base. For example, think about Coca Cola, one of the world’s biggest known brands: Its logo is instantly recognisable so wherever consumers are in the world they will feel this is a product they can rely on. This is a huge power to have, and Coca Cola have achieved it through a careful branding strategy.

Secondly, of course, branding is intended to increase sales. Whilst strong products are important, it is not quite true that ‘a good product sells itself’. What sells a product is a good perception of it. Consumers tend to buy with their eyes, and it’s well known that they will make the majority of their purchasing decisions within around 10 seconds. If you are successful in creating a strong image for your product or service that appeals precisely to the needs of your target customers, good sales results are far more attainable.

So how do you begin to go about creating a strong brand? Firstly, you need to identify what is important to your customer base and what will appeal to them. Your branding message should be based around this. Also, isolate what is unique about your brand and think about how you can communicate this. What are your brand values? A memorable tag line can work wonders and the simpler it is, the better. Something like Gilette’s ‘The Best A Man Can Get’ has worked very well for the brand.
It’s a good idea to hire in some marketing expertise to help you in these initial stages.

Next, come up with a design theme and logo which can tie all products under the brand umbrella together. Not only will this make your brand stronger as a whole, it will also make new product launches easier as they will already be identified with an established name. After this, you should get your brand out there by any means you can – whether it’s television advertising, online, in printed media, attending trade fairs or one-off promotional events. Everything helps.

Finally, don’t just assume your work is done when the brand is launched. It’s essential to get regular feedback from your target market and be prepared to make adjustments if necessary. If your brand doesn’t seem to be building consumer confidence you have to look at where you’re going wrong.

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