The basics of branding
Many people have skills that could bring them success but only a small minority go on to become successful. An effective brand strategy sets successful businesses apart from everyone else.
There are many competing products and services in the market. Think of the world of business as having a field full of sheep. What colour are sheep? Black or white.
What would happen if you were to paint your sheep green or orange? Everyone would stop and look at the odd looking sheep.
Your products or services need to stand out from the crowd if you want to get noticed in the market place. People can only be able to tell your services or products apart from others in the market because of branding.
What is Branding?
A brand is much more than the name of the company. The most important part of a brand is the promise you give your customers.
Customers pay for the benefits a brand promises them. “Lose 5 kilos in 30 days.” “Sleep like a baby” “fast speed Internet” or “remove stains from your clothes in 5 minutes.” The convenience you promise is captured in the tagline and that is what makes your customers choose your services over something else that is similar.
The promise you make is crucial for the success of your business. It is the selling point for your brand and should be the basis for marketing. The logo, colours, tagline, packaging and name are all part of branding and they help your clients to tell your brand apart from others.
Why did you choose specific colours for your your brand? What do those colours mean? For example, some brands that deal in luxury products use a combination of black and gold in their branding because those colours are associated with wealth, power, authority, luxury and material wealth.
Colour red is associated with love, passion, desire and romance. That is why the red colour dominates Valentine’s Day, the day that is dedicated to celebrating romantic love. Brands that deal with services or products associated with love and romance are therefore likely to have colour red in their branding.
The way you present to your prospective clients the benefits of what you have to offer will determine whether they want to try out your products or services or not. Your promise even helps you to determine your price, which does not have to be the lowest in the market.
People don’t necessarily buy because the price is lower than that of the competition but because of the value they will receive. Remember that people pay for services or products in order to either gain some pleasure or get rid of some pain.
Your aim is to provide them with the best solution for what they are looking for. Focus on value rather than just price. Your competitive edge does not necessarily have to be the price.
Will your product or service be easier to use, faster, less noisy, smaller, bigger, softer or more durable? What is that benefit you are offering the customer that sets you apart from the competition? Don’t make empty promises; deliver on your promises otherwise you will lose your customers.
Why is branding important?
Building as strong brand enables you to charge higher prices than other similar products or services. It makes your company stand out as being in a class of your own.There is a lot of competition down in the valley but when you climb to the mountain top, you set yourself apart.
Think of bottled water. What brand of bottled water has built a strong brand and is therefore able to charge higher prices than bottled water that is sold by other companies?
Go back to the part of this article that gives examples of some of the benefits a company can promise customers in order to stand out from the crowd (painting the sheep green or orange). What has this brand of bottled water promised the customers that makes them stand out from other brands of bottled water in the market?
What about cars, computers, fashion items, service-based companies? What sets Apple apart from other companies that manufacture and sell computers and cellphones for example?
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I am in and I need to work on branding for sure. All i know is that I have stuff in me that can make an instant difference in the lives of the those in emotional and psychological pain brought by failed , broken relationships, rogue parenting and other forms of emotional abuse. But my greatest downside is unprofessional branding…I am glad i am in the coaching programme.
Hello Martin. I am glad that you find the content helpful as you work on your personal branding. Thank you for the words of encouragement.
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Keep up the good writing.