22 Aug The Importance of Developing a Brand
What is a brand? In truth, it is much more than just what people see, it is what people think when they hear or see your brand. Brands speak to the consumer about quality, consistency and experience. Do you need a brand? Absolutely, 100% whether you provide a product or service, you need a brand.
Brands Outlive Products
When you have a well developed, professional brand, it can and will outlast the products you offer. Products have life cycles, but your brand will continue well past the expiration date of a particular product. This is good for a number of reasons. One, it means once a product has fizzled out, you can still inspire loyalty for other core products.
Brand Equals Perception
What do you think of when you see the brand Coca Cola? At its base, it is simply a fizzy caramel refreshment but through branding, they have become a leader in the fizzy refreshment realm. There were multiple steps in this process, starting with creating a consumer driven recipe, developing a catchy yet different logo (Spencerian script) and a proprietary bottle. Since its inception in the early 1900s, the recipe has not changed.
What can you learn about the necessity of a good brand from Coke? Beyond the requirement for having a product or service people want, you need a professionally designed logo. This will be the visual representation for your company/ business for the foreseeable future. Coca cola finalized their logo in 1923 and though packaging may have changed with the times, the logo has remained constant. Today, the iconic bottle design and logo combination communicates the same message around the globe that this is a quality carbonated beverage and will taste the same in Bangkok or Atlanta Georgia.
Go it Alone
If you are in the early stages of your business, you may be tempted to go the economic route and develop a brand on your own. Now, if you are experienced in logo design or website building, this could be a viable option. However, for the majority of businesses there is no in house talent to create high quality business cards, logos or web pages. It is an investment, make no mistake, but considering the potential return on this investment, it is well worth the money spent.
Look at it this way, someday your brand could be worth more than the totality of your physical assets. What do you think Kraft was really investing in when they purchased Cadbury for several billion dollars? It was not the manufacturing, recipes or anything else. It was the brand.
Tips and Tricks
- Consistency- deliver the same quality and service to each and every customer
- Accountability- stand behind your product. If you do not believe in it, no one else will either, so offer that money back guarantee and then follow through when needed.
- Monitor Media- used to be print ads and word of mouth was the only advertisement. That was before the internet, friend. Today, you need to monitor your brand on social media consistently.
- Accentuate the Positive- what makes you or your company different from all the rest? This will be key to branddevelopment and eventual brand loyalty.
- Connect- whether via offline networking or online, connect with your customers and others in your field.
You will have a brand whether you intend to or not. Whether it is good or bad is completely up to you. Firmly align your brand with your core values as a company and reach out to give your target market what they need or want. This way, you will begin establishing yourself as a trusted resource and business will boom.