Just yesterday I was talking to marketing head of an eCommerce company and he shared lots of insight about Branding. He talked how his company is more focussed on building the brand and retaining the loyalty of customers than actual selling. A brand carries that strength and it takes a lot of effort and time to reach there "on the pinnacle". Brand building is the most important factor to pay attention if we want to exist in long run.
What is Branding ?
Is marketing equivalent to Branding ? Maybe yes , maybe no . Everything a company does contribute to its branding and Marketing is a function which aids in visibility of those activities. If I want my customer or end user to be advocate of my product or services, I need to brand that. I need to etch in their mind our values and worth. Brand is an image of our product in consumer's mind and branding is a process of creating that image. If we follow this process of seven steps religiously, we can be sure of building a great brand.
Build your brand in the minds of consumer
A brand is not just a name that possess unique identity. Power of brand lies in its ability to influence its consumer to buy. Power of brand lies in creating that loyalty in our consumer's behaviour. As a consumer I may not be able to differentiate between taste of different breads or maybe different packaged drinking water, but still I prefer one above the other.
Its because that product has followed the branding process better than the other.
Be specific -Don’t be everything to everybody
Branding curtails the thinking of “ being everything to everyone “ There should be a differentiation, I may be very good at selling cake but if I end up bringing chocolates, wafers, soft drink, cookies everything in one name, I would lose the charm. It confuses our customers about speciality. Don’t expand your umbrella to bring everything underrate. It would gradually decrease the viability and undermine your brand name in consumer’s mind.
Focus on your speciality
Every town has a coffee shop but when we think about a brand , we think Starbucks. If I want a doughnuts I would prefer MOD or Dunkin Donuts. Your consumer should think of you when it comes to that category. Just be excellent in not think, specialise in that one skill and you will be forever etched in the minds of your consumer. Branding can also be synonymous to dominating the category.
Publicise your brand
Why XYZ and not ABC is a big question. In a startup phase you cannot reply on advertising. You are just born and you need to be in news for good reasons. Reach out to people, travel, interact, discuss and debate around your idea and it will attract the consumer to your brand. To develop a great brand, scare away from negative news. What others say about your brand is a big way to publicise. Help your consumer in having a good experience. Their experience will generate loyalty and that would help in massive branding.
Advertise as a leader
Spending on an advertisement is like spending on a good security system for your house. It helps you lose against your competition. When you have done things discussed above , you have paved the way to good advertisement. Leadership is a great way of projecting your brand . Advertise yourself as a leader in the category/domain.
Who sells the best Penthouse
Who delivers pizza fastest
Who kills mosquitoes in most harmless way
Chose your strength and play around it.
Own that one word
Branding means owning that one word . that one word should generate something in your mind.
If I talk about building a brand , I would focus on etching that word in consumer’s mind. It should create an image and should be synonym of something to focus on.
A Five Star hotel name should portray luxury
A baby shop should portray care
A health drink should portray nourishment
That word is the key to brand building . If I want my health drink to portray nourishment , I would add the most nourishing ingredients and also find a code word for nourishment and finally play around these two things to create a nourishing image .
Build the credibility
Customers are suspicious, they tend to see a company as a profit maker and as a brand we need to work on reliability factor. When we advertise on leadership factor , we equally need to validate that point. We have to get our credentials correct. If we want to be successful brand we need to do everything it takes to reach there.
Do you mind waiting for a table outside that leading restaurant for lunch ? No we don’t? the link of customers waiting outside has paved the way of its credibility. Be authentic and build on your credentials.