So you have “it” – that singular product or service that you are absolutely sure no one can live without. The problem, of course, is that you have to let everyone know that it exists. That’s where marketing comes in. But before you can even start talking about advertising or public relations tactics, there is an absolutely vital step that cannot be overlooked: branding.
Business branding encompasses several different elements, but overall it is the name, symbol, or design that identifies and differentiates your product from other products. It is the expression of your most essential values and communicates those values, clarifying what your particular brand is and what it is not. Branding must precede and underlie any marketing effort, because defining your brand creates the foundation upon which all of the other components of marketing can be built. It is the strategy that comes before any marketing campaign and the idea left behind in your customer’s minds after all the advertising efforts are done.
Marketing is all about getting your customers to buy what you’re selling, but branding goes far deeper, establishing the relationships that will develop into a long-standing base of loyal customers. Branding your business is an integral part of customer relationship management and ensures that even those with whom you have not done business will know what you’re about. It helps you to make sure that, when the time comes that they need your product or service, your company will be the first to come to mind. Successful branding makes your sales people more effective and encourages customers to become advocates for your organization.
Seriously considering the decisions that go into branding is an essential first step in any marketing strategy. A stable brand can convey the image of reliability and longevity, but having to change elements later on only muddies the waters. You should not only pay attention to your name and logo (brand icon), but also to graphic design elements like the colors, slogan, and packaging. Even the sound of the brand can play a role. Every element that contributes to your overall look and feel will have an eventual impact on the brand’s position and experience.
Above all, in order to truly succeed, your brand should speak to the needs and wants of your customers and prospects. It will stand as a symbol, in your customers’ minds, as the sum total of their experiences with and perceptions of your company. If you’re interested in starting the journey to effectively marketing your business with us on social media and beyond, contact us today. Be sure to connect with us, McCauley Marketing Services, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.