Whenever we hear the word brand, we get a little bit confused. Is it like the logo that the company has or the colors or name it represents? Or is it the perception it has in the marketing or business world, along with the identity or philosophy as well?
The point is, even though people use the word “brand” again and again, there sometimes are misunderstanding regarding the actual meaning of this word. Most of the marketers know it very well that branding is the core of a company but many of them don’t really know how to clearly define what a brand really is. So before moving further about brand marketing, let’s have a look at the fact that what the term brand really means.
What is a Brand:
There was a time when the meaning of the brand was not very complex at all, it basically referred to putting some kind of label on the product that a company or an organisation would serve people. The purpose of doing such kind of activity was quite simple as well, mostly indicating that this particular product belongs to me or my company.
The situation has changed dramatically during the past few years. Now the meaning and the significance of branding is very important to focus on. Nowadays, if you want to represent yourself as a strong brand, then you will be required to show a personality of your own self as well as of your brand, that will be able to resonate with the audience who are your target customers, and while doing so, you will also have to keep in mind that the whole process of branding will have to be done in a very synchronised way across various types of platforms such as social media platforms, billboards and it is applied for criteria like packaging the product too.
So it is absolutely clear to us that branding is not anymore about the logo of the name or the slogan, rather it is more about representing a company in such a way that clarifies queries like who they are, what level of quality they are able to offer, what they do or what is their reputation.
What is Brand Marketing:
As a marketer, your ultimate goal would be to promote your products or services towards your audience in such a way that it highlights your overall brand and that is exactly what brand marketing does. When you are doing brand marketing, you are ensuring that there is being made a specific link between your identity, values and personality and your communications that you make with your audience.
You have to remember that brand is like a bridge between the product and the customer. However, brand marketing doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to try to put your logo and your business name in as many places as possible so that you can generate sales. Rather, it means ensuring a perfect combination of communication across all possible platforms with the customers.
Remember that brand marketing is something that is going to take a long time to be done effectively. Since it takes time, many times, marketers tend to overlook the importance of it. Some of the marketers show a tendency to focus on short term goals rather than nurturing long term goals like building a brand but ultimately, it is seen that long term goals like building a brand are the ones that actually have the potential to impact the entire business in a positive way.
The Significance of Developing Strategic and Consistent Brand Equity:
The reason why brand equity is very much important is because it builds your company’s reputation trustworthiness and market outreach. And consequently, it makes it possible to add higher value to your products and services to a great extent.
Apple can be considered as a perfect example of a company that has been possessing long-lasting brand equity for a long time. Since the beginning of tt, Apple positioned itself as an innovative maverick in the tech industry and thus it has built an authentic brand. The brand’s focus is not only on the quality of the product but also on making a distinct and creative communication with customers so that both the sales of a specific product as well as the overall brand can be strengthened simultaneously.
Building a Brand Marketing Strategy that Aligns with your Business:
Building a brand is absolutely a very long process and while doing so it must be guided by establishing a company vision, creating consistency, communicating emotion and determining a perfect target audience.
1. Establishing a Company Vision:
Before jumping into making the strategy of building brand marketing, at first you should identify what it is that you want to be known for and only then you should start crafting the perfect strategy to pass a particular message from your brand through all the marketing channels that are available out there.
Let’s have a look at some real-life examples here. Apple, for instance, has the image of a leading innovator in the tech industry. Coca Cola is a brand that consistently spreads joy and happiness among people. Nike is a brand that is considered to be a great power source for the athletes and then there is Walmart that is a provider of all things with value.
Finally, there is Monster Energy, an energy drink brand that collaborated with popular Formula 1 drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Valentino Rossi. Now, this brand wants to be known as a very special kind of energy drink brand which is edgy and adventurous and that’s the reason for which they are representing themselves as powerful and Fearless as Formula 1 drivers.
2. Identifying a Strategic Target Audience:
Now the next step is identifying your target audience. Unless you can be very specific at this certain point, your further brand marketing efforts might fail because identifying a target market is not only the understanding of basic demographics. There are many marketers that fall into a trap, they consider targeting anyone who wants to buy their product but targeting the audience in this way is highly likely to be ineffective in the long run.
Suppose that you are an all-natural ice cream brand starting a new venture, and your target customer segmentation is basically mothers with young kids. But you cannot target your market so vaguely as it. Rather, you have got to do it in this way-parents who are aged between 28 to 38, who have children going to elementary schools, who centres their purchases on sales and markdowns but also place a value on the ingredients of the product before serving their children. So, this is how specific you need to be while targeting your audience and don’t forget to have multiple buyer personas within one target market.
3. Being Consistent:
Consistency is really important for building trust and loyalty. The way you maintain your product and service quality of your company, your creative way of taking care of your customers, your communication methods with the audience, your values and your message or visual aesthetics throughout a very long period of time matters a lot for the people to consider your brand as a consistent and trustworthy brand.
For instance, we can consider the example of McDonalds. This brand has always been standing for inexpensiveness, easy to access and quick purchase of fast-food. Even though we all are not McDonalds, we have to keep in mind that by being consistent like it for a long period of time, we can create reliability for our brand among people and represent ourselves as recognized and trusted.
To do so, you can consider using your logo and design element consistently and provide access to your employees. You can select a right or trendy topic for your brand’s content calendar. You can also incorporate your offline marketing events into your online marketing efforts. You have to keep your brand’s tone and personality consistent across channels. You might also be required to participate or engage in platforms and channels that align with your brand’s identity and your prospects’ and customers’ preferences. Also, don’t forget to align your brand with the right influencer. Finally, partner with the sales team on the development of a sales playbook.
4. Making Sure Your Brand Marketing Follows through in Real Life:
At this stage, your company has already done lots of stuff as part of the brand marketing strategy. But, the thing is, your utmost priority should be given to the quality of the product or the service that you are going to provide your customers and this is actually the most significant issue that has immense value ultimately.
No matter how creatively you advertise your product or services throughout multiple channels and increase marketing outreach if your forget to maintain the quality of the product or service that you have agreed to serve previously, the customers are going to lose trust and they are going to start considering your brand as fake and unreliable. In such a situation, it is almost impossible to divert their perception from that point. So, it’s better not to even think of doing something like that and put the best effort to maintain the best quality of your product or service.
5. Drawing Emotion:
After you are done with all the previous steps discussed previously, now give it a final touch by creating an emotional attachment between your brand and the audience. Don’t worry, there are numerous ways of doing so, till now, famous brands across the world have done it by making extraordinary budgets, providing great customer care, randomly surprising customers and so on.
That brand marketing is going to require lots of effort is a fact, but don’t be discouraged by it because once you can comprehend the long term benefits it is going to bring for your business, you will be highly interested to create your own brand marketing as soon as possible. Just don’t be overwhelmed by the idea and keep your patience, and try to maintain the quality, it is expected that by doing so, your brand will flourish and your business will boost up in the long run.