There’s a lot of confusion surrounding branding. Some people think that you just need a logo and voilà you are instantly ‘branded’! Others back away from it altogether, assuming it is something that only big businesses do and that involves a lot of money and effort.
While it’s true that branding is more than slogans and TV ads, it’s certainly not the preserve of big business. It needn’t be costly or complicated, either.
Branding, in a nutshell, involves making your product or service known – on a consistent basis – to as many potential buyers as possible while effectively using your time and other resources.
Too long a definition?
How about: Branding is about creating a picture in your prospect’s mind that they can’t easily forget?
That ‘picture’ could be one that paints you as someone trustworthy with whom to do business. It might be a certain belief… Or a big benefit… Or it could simply represent a feeling. And the better the experiences your consumers get, the more likely they are to result in sales or referrals.
Given that brands have the potential to create effortless referrals as well as consumer loyalty and even new business, wouldn’t branding benefit ANY business – large or small, offline or online? And especially your business?
A truly great brand will, over time, build desire for your product or service. That is, what it means to your customers beyond function or use can help inspire them to make your product or service a part of their professional or personal lives. The emotional attachment or connection one can have with a given brand can dramatically increase the perception and, in time, sales of the product or service the brand represents…
If you’re a solopreneur or one-man band, then ‘personal branding’ can be a great way of adding a bit of oomph to your career, your online business, your job search… your everything, really. The processes are similar to those that come with product branding. Only instead of promoting products or services, you’re the one who’s taking centre stage. And let’s face it, in today’s noisy, overcrowded marketplace anyone has to do more than simply shout to get noticed.
So I like to think of a successful brand as a big personality – out there to offer something novel…to win friends and ultimately make sales.
What do you think? What are your thoughts on branding? Do you have any personal experience – good or bad – of branding?
COPYRIGHT © 2007, T Dooley