When you start talking about marketing, one term that comes up almost immediately is branding. While it may be frequently used, it is also a term that evokes as many questions as answers. Branding can be critical to the marketing of any business. But often business owners think branding is merely a logo or trademark. A fully developed branding strategy is more than that and something that can help your business grow.
What is Branding?
Branding is what helps your business stand out in a crowded marketplace. It can be a logo, packaging, reputation, customer service and more. A great illustration is the iconic outline of a Coke bottle. You only have to see the silhouette and you know what it is. No words. No colors. Just a shape.
Branding can not only help you generate future business, but it can increase the engagement with the customers you already have. A well-developed brand can actually trigger an emotional response in customers. In short, it is how the public perceives your company and product.
What is a Branding Strategy?
Simply having a great product or service isn’t enough to be as successful as possible. Getting your name in front of consumers, then managing the company’s reputation takes planning. Strategy is a map for your company’s success.
A good branding strategy is more than thinking about advertising or a logo. A branding strategy is not a single action or single item. It’s not a one-and-done task. It is a continuing process that brings together components ranging from package design to customer service to pricing strategies. All of these come together as part of a clear and comprehensive plan to position your company as favorably as possible in the marketplace.
One tool that is often used to create a comprehensive branding strategy is a branding workshop. These can be effective for new companies as well as for companies that want to bring the various components into alignment.
These are usually key members of the company meeting with the brand consultants. The consultants learn about the company and, in many cases, the business stakeholders learn some things about their business too. Tools are used to help draw out concepts and information about the company and its clientele to refine the goals.
By the end, a brand persona will emerge. Yes, your brand will have a personality. Then that persona is what the strategy is built around. Your audience is also refined. Two companies selling similar products may have very different markets. For example, the bottled spring water sold under the label of a local grocery chain and a bottle of Fiji water are both filled with water from a spring, but they are marketing to different buyers. Then a plan is designed to reach that audience in the most effective ways.
Do You Need a Branding Strategy?
If you want your business to grow, then the answer is yes. But a good branding strategy isn’t only about generating growth. It can increase the engagement with the customers you already have. An effective branding strategy will not just increase visibility, but it will increase trust among your customers. That familiarity and trust often translate to brand loyalty, something that will sustain your business over a longer period of time.
Simple Social would love to talk to you about a branding strategy. Our branding consultants will work with your business to define your brand, sharpen its focus and build your visibility. From new companies trying to find their place in the market to established companies branching into new products or services, our team can help your business move forward. Contact us for a free consultation. We can’t wait to work with you!