We all know Coca Cola, BMW, Virgin Active, Mrs Ball’s Chutney, Mac Donalds and countless other brands and yet we struggle to realize the importance of ‘branding’ our businesses, so that every time someone thinks of a particular product or service we offer, they will think of OUR particular name!
Branding is a process involved with creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through marketing campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.
In order for your company to have a brand that customers/clients will remember, it is important to have a strategy in place in order to do this. It is pointless, doing haphazard campaigns over a short period of time and reckon that your marketing and branding is done for the year.
Companies like Coca Cola, Virgin Active (although they are household names), continue to raise further awareness about themselves through their marketing, advertising and signage. All this is done, not to increase profitability in the short term (although obviously this is one of the reasons for branding!), but raise the level of awareness in the customers mind, so that come the time you decide to join the gym, you think Virgin Active. The next time a customer is shopping for cold drink, it is easier to take a Coca Cola as opposed to all the other options.
It is important to find a business partner that works with companies to determine their Branding Strategy and when to effectively carry out the strategy.
It could start with simple aspects of the business such as creating an identity for the company, which people will relate to and remember the company by. It could be the stationery, signatures on emails, business cards, signage for the company and even banners for when they attend events! Even larger ‘walls’ can be made to make the company really stand out! Branding a company does not end there. So what goes into building your brand?
• Consistency in your advertising. From your strategy, decide what you can do for your customers and promote those points in every advert or campaign. Create a “buy line” that defines your company and use it.
• Customer service. Once a customer is ignored at the counter or treated poorly on the phone or on the sales floor, you’ve lost not only that person but everyone else that hears about the unfortunate experience, so only employ people who can get on board with your brand, and make sure that each person understands their part in building it. Word-of-mouth can help, but it can also hurt
• Public relations. Never disappoint your customers with what they find once your advertising gets them through the door. Make it easy for them to make purchases and returns. They should leave smiling. Pay your invoices on time. Be a good citizen. Get involved with community projects where your business can do something positive.
• Your willingness to use the internet. A company nowadays needs to have a web presence. Get it done now.
Do you have your Marketing and branding strategy in place? Contact Dynamic Exposure who is an established, reputable company (for 17 years) that can assist you with your Branding Strategy.
Written By Zara Winterbach, Dynamic Exposure