You have no doubt heard the term ‘branding’ or ‘brand’. You may still be unclear about what branding is or whether it is of importance to your business. Having become such a relevant term, the American Marketing Association (AMA) has officially defined the term as meaning ‘a name, term, sign or symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers’. What exactly does this mean to your business? Simply it means that you as a business need to know that it is not about getting your targeted market to choose your product over your competitor but to get your targeted market to see you as the only business that can solve their problem.
A good brand strategy has several objectives. First, it gets your message out to your targeted market in clear and understandable language. It must also confirm that your brand is credible. Your brand must also connect with your targeted market emotionally. Studies have shown that many of today’s consumers make emotional shopping decisions. There has to be a connection between your product or service and the market you target. Besides that emotional connection, your brand will need to motivate your targeted market to buy your product or use your service. Without motivation you will have a hard time sustaining your brand. Most importantly, your brand has to cement user loyalty. Your targeted market needs to be made to feel that they could never go to anyone else for that product or service.
How does one accomplish these objectives in branding? The best answer is that your business has to understand the needs and wants of customers and potential customers. Every point of contact with your customer has to be influenced by uniting your brand strategies. Branding is not tangible, so to speak. It is an emotional connection that resides in the hearts and minds of your targeted market. In plain English, it is their experiences and how they see your product and/or services. It can not be completely influenced.
So when it comes to building your brand, it is well worth your time and efforts to research, define and build your brand. You need to know what it is you are promising your customers as well as your potential customers. Branding is the first brick in the foundation of your marketing strategy and the brick your business can not stand strong without.