A brand reflects the perception of how your market, clients and customers, think of your business. A brand also represents the immediate tangible and intangible images, emotions, or perceptions people have when they think of you. Brands create a perception in the minds of the customers that there is no other product or service on the market that is quite like yours. A brand promises to deliver value upon which consumers and prospective purchasers can rely to be consistent over time.
Here are just a few benefits you can enjoy when you create a solid brand:
• A strong brand influences the buying decision and shapes the customer’s experience.
• Branding creates trust and an emotional attachment to your product or company that then influences your market to make decisions based, at least in part, upon emotion– not necessarily just for logical or intellectual reasons.
• A strong brand can command a premium price.
• Branding helps make purchasing decisions easier.
• A strong brand signals that you want to build customer loyalty, not just sell product.
• A strong branding campaign will also signal that you are serious about marketing and that you intend to be around for a while.
• Branding builds name recognition for your company or product.
• A brand will help you articulate your company’s values and explain why you are competing in your market.
Branding consists of three layers:
• Brand awareness is an understanding of what sets you apart from the competition.
• Strategic awareness occurs when not only does the person recognize your brand, but you have differentiated your brand in the mind of your market.
• Brand preference occurs when consumers connect emotionally with your brand, making a decision that your brand is superior to others for some reason or combination of reasons, and choosing it over competing brands.
Some branding questions to ask yourself:
• Who are the leaders in your market?
• Where is your product or service positioned?
• Who are your closest competitors?
• What so they provide that you don’t?
• What do you provide that they don’t?
• Do your customers understand your product or service well enough to be able to describe your product or service clearly?
• Do your customers understand what makes your product or service special?
• Do your customers value your product or service so much that they are willing to pay more for whatever it is that make it special?
• Do your customers feel so strongly about your brand that they are willing to defend it, even at a higher price, when it comes under attack?