For every business, the challenge is for customers to see, notice, and remember you amidst the sea of competitors and other products in the market. To achieve this, it is important to create an effective branding strategy for your business.
According to John B. Bloise in his article “Successful Brand Development”:
To successfully position your brand above your competitor’s continuing fight for your customers, you must develop a brand proposition that when conveyed in marketing and advertising campaigns, will provide an attractive, unique, and relevant message to current and potential customers. In addition, this proposition must be realized and consistently echoed by senior executives, customer support, R&D teams, marketing staff, sales staff, and strategic partners.
But what is a brand? Seth Godin defines brand as:
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.
To create a brand, Tamara Monosoff in her book “The Mom Inventors Handbook: How to Turn Your Great Idea Into the Next Big Thing” suggests doing the following exercise to help you come up with the right brand for your business:
- Write down the words to describe your company (e.g. upscale, cutting edge).
- Write down associated images that fit with the description you listed (e.g. Pottery Barn connotes homey and earthy yet high quality).
- Given your customers, what images would encourage them to buy from you?
- Think of the names for your brand that customers can relate to (e.g. it could be your name or the concept of the business).
- Test your name and initial brand messaging (through informal focus groups or email) – preferably on your target customers so you can get their direct feedback.
- Make sure to listen to critical feedback.
- Listen to what your heart is saying. Consider what you are feeling