What Is Branding?
Consumers today have more choices than ever when it comes to the products and services they purchase. Companies all over the world fight to compete for a consumer’s attention in a world that has way too many choices and quick decision making. When you think about it, most products are pretty similar when it comes to features and quality. This makes it hard for a company, either national or local, to convince a consumer whether or not only try their product but buy it… and then buy it again. Despite this, there are companies out there that have a loyal following. Their consumers are passionate about their products and are emotionally driven to purchase them no matter the price. What makes these companies different than the norm? The strength of a company’s brand.
If I own a local business is it possible to develop a strong brand? How?
Yes, it is. But first, it is important to understand what a brand is. A brand is defined as the name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. This definition is confusing to many people. It’s not just a slick logo. Not just the name of your business. Not a jingle or a trademark you own. These are components of a brand but a brand is all of this plus much more. It centers around emotion and is something that only exists in the mind of consumers.
A brand is defined for your business based on every interaction they have ever had with you, your company and your products or services. What your television commercial looks like, how your product is positioned in it, how they feel when they walk into your showroom, the interaction with your salespeople…it all matters A LOT. The sum of all of these impressions develops your brand story for the consumer and ultimately determines if they will choose to spend their hard earned money with your business.
But what is branding? To most local business owners when they hear the word branding they immediately tune out. To them, it’s a word that is defined as spending a boatload of money without any hope of return. Simply that is not the case. Branding should be viewed as an investment in your business… after all there is a reason that every time a new iPhone is released (or any product from Apple) people line up in droves to pay top dollar just to have it no matter how much better it is than the one they have in their pocket.