What’s in a brand?
A brand is your businesses’ label in the marketplace – it represents who your business is, what your business does and the values it stands for.
Some may say, “I’ve got a logo – that’s my branding sorted”, but branding is about so much more than a logo – essentially it represents the experience your customers have when they interact with you and your products or services and conveys your ‘promise’ to them of what to expect when they transact with you.
For example, with Apple you know you’ll get the latest in innovative technology and super stylish presentation, or that BMW will always deliver high quality engineering in luxurious surrounds. Remember those names or symbols don’t stand for those qualities and attributes – after all an apple is a fruit you put in your kids’ lunchbox! Rather, these companies have carefully crafted all elements that represent their brand – like the logo, design, packaging, materials, communication style and service to create this overall perception of their brand.
So, in other words your logo and brand represent the values and attributes that people associate with your business and products. So it’s really important to do a good job when it comes to branding – as it not only helps to give your customers a frame of reference, it’s a ‘short-hand’ description of your business and what it stands for.
If your brand is synonymous with good quality and value for money – then everything you do; from the ingredients you use, the packaging, service and all communication need to be of good quality, yet competitively priced. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the cheapest on the block – rather you deliver value for money that your customers are happy to pay for.
So, how do you go about creating and defining a good brand?
First you need to understand who your target customers are, what are they looking for and how they like to be communicated to. This will help to shape the values and attributes you select to represent your brand and guide the way you style the look, feel and experience of your brand.
All good brands have similar qualities:
- they’re believable
- they’re consistent
- they encompass the qualities most important to your target customer
Where do you start?
It starts with you. Firstly you need to look at who your customers are and what they are looking for in terms of your product or service area.
What are the qualities they look for when it comes to selecting a good product or service provider?
Great service? High quality? Reliability? Low prices? Latest designs?
Once you have decided on the qualities (or values and attributes) that are most important to your target customers then you must encompass these qualities in everything you do. It’s not only your look and feel and marketing communications and – but right through your entire operation, so that your brand permeates the whole customer experience – from advertising, to sales, billing and after sales service. This process takes both time and commitment from the whole team – but if you do it well, it will go a long way towards helping you attract, impress and keep your customers.
A senior marketer with over 20 years experience working within the tourism, financial services, telecommunications, professional services and design sectors. Victoria has a good perspective on all aspects of the marketing mix, having held senior in-house marketing positions and worked within advertising agencies. She is competent in brand strategy development and strategic planning with a record of delivering successful marketing programmes for both corporate and SME clients.