Branding is a marketing technique that has the potential to elevate your business to the top. It involves helping your customers to form a recognizable association with you. So how to develop a brand strategy?
Link your business with a design, logo, slogan, and/or color and observe the positive results.
Brands create a feeling of familiarity. If customers have seen your logo, insignia, or company name, they are more likely to continue to select your product or service. Also, they are more apt to suggest them to others. Referrals through word of mouth can be an extremely powerful form of advertising.
A brand helps possible customers remember your business. People may know little about your philosophy or reputation. However, if they can recognize your brand, the chances are greater that they will do business with you. Branding creates a memory in the mind of the public.
When the public remembers your brand and familiarizes themselves and others with it, they will come back. Customers are more likely to remain devoted to your business and are apt to buy further products or services from you based on the brand of the initial product with which they had success.
People are willing to pay more for products or services that they highly regard. This means that customers are likely to pass up cheaper prices with competitors if your brand has made a positive impression on them. If clients believe in your product, they will pay for it.
When you have distinguished your business through branding, the marketing has the capability of becoming so profound, that little else is necessary. Developing your brand takes time and effort, but after it has been solidified, and after customers have had the chance to identify with it, your sales can increase naturally. You won’t have to spend as much time planning marketing strategies to attract the public.
Personal Branding is about honing your skills, narrowing your focus, and getting clear on what you’re passionate about.
Branding is not just about you being better than your competition. It’s about getting your prospects to choose you as the ONLY solution to their problem.
Initial Steps of Branding Yourself
Branding is much more than just a thoughtful logo or slogan and it’s more than just a unique color scheme. Below are the initial steps that need to be taken in order to start your successful brand image.
Step 1: Examine the Competition
One of the keys to creating a successful brand image is to separate yourself from your competition. You will need to know how consumers see your competition. You need to recognize how your competitors differentiate themselves from others. Also, you should know your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. Your business can benefit from knowing this information by learning from their weaknesses, and learning how to differentiate your company from the competition.
Step 2: Identify Your Strengths
Now that you know your competition’s weaknesses you can begin to focus on your company’s strengths. Perform a target market analysis, learn from it, and use it to your advantage. This is a useful tool to confirm your company’s strengths are in fact important to your target market. Once you’ve realized your strengths, and what strengths are important to customers, you can think about ways to successfully market these to the public and involve them in your branding campaign.
Step 3: Know Your Customer
Learn more about the customer. Know their purchasing behavior. How often do they buy? Do they buy only during sales or promotions? Do they buy an array of products or services or just a select few? These are questions you should ask to better market to your customers. Also, know your customer’s lifestyles, needs, mindsets, and attitudes. Knowing and working with these personality traits are also key to marketing success.
Step 4: Be Your Brand
Make sure your company truly represents what your brand identifies you with. For example, if one of the traits your brand identifies your company with is politeness, be polite. This means every employee from the receptionist all the way up to the CEO needs to live your brand.
Personal Branding for Success
Everyone is not your buyer. There may be a mass amount of people that purchase your product, but that’s not everyone. Dig deep and research your audience. Find the answers to these questions: What are their spending habits? Values? Concerns? Needs? How does your product/service fit into their life?
By answering these direct questions you will begin to win over your key customer. The closer the focus the more connected the buyer will feel with your brand. You want them to think that you designed the brand specifically for them.
It is imperative when communicating that you exchange information about the product, in the same way, your buyer talks. For example: if they are high class, intelligent and money filled speak to them with sophistication and parallel their first-class style. Or for the free-spirited young adults don’t confuse them with big words, or Robert Frost like metaphors; simply connect with your audience on their level.
Employees, community members, friends, and clients must know the personality of your business. Everyone needs to be familiar with and carry out the persona inside the brand. Some great ways to do this are to hire those you believe already possess the desired traits, company parties, being a part of community events, and relaxed company meetings on implementing the brand through its employers.
Next, use your brand, logo, and tagline on company material. These are web sites, marketing, advertising, public relations, e-mail, letterheads, business cards, and product packaging. Place your brand on any objects related to your products or services.
Society is always changing. With that said, it’s important to evaluate and re-evaluate your brand. Simple changes without changing the overall message are needed to survive. Grow with and ahead of your buyer. Don’t let your brand get left behind
Your brand is what makes your business unique. It’s what sets you apart from all those other businesses out there who do what you do.
One important part of branding is the image you yourself portray. Developing a likable personal brand is essential for succeeding. If you want to rise to the top of your particular arena, you need to first be able to sell yourself to your potential customers.
Think about it. Would you rather do business with a person who smiles and comes across as friendly or with one who snarls and ignores you? The first impression a potential customer receives is from you. Make it a good one.
How can you accomplish this?
1) Become an expert source.
2) Become a great communicator. Research shows communications skill is the top determinant for upward social and professional mobility.
3) Draft a marketing plan for yourself annually, and review it quarterly. Include specific goals, strategies, action steps, and a timetable.
4) Develop an ‘elevator speech.” Within the time that it takes an elevator to travel one floor – about 60-seconds – be able to deliver a succinct description of what you do, how you do it differently, and the benefit it provides.
5) Build your Rolodex. Make new business contacts and stay in touch with them. Most people with powerful brands have powerful friends.
6) Balance your individual style with clothing that will appeal to those you are trying to impress.
7) Learn good business and social etiquette. Buy elegant personal stationery and send hand-written notes.
8) Give something back. Giving your time, talent, and money to charitable causes is a brand-builder especially when it complements your brand strategy. Find a cause you are passionate about.
Your personal brand is one of your greatest business assets. Put as much time and effort into it as you do in branding your product. In the end, if you can’t sell yourself, you’ll find it nearly impossible to sell your product.
Here Are Five Great Benefits Of Personal Branding
*One of the greatest benefits to you of having a strong brand is that it creates a sense of individuality and “separateness” in the marketplace so that your clients are able to easily differentiate your company from your competitors.
*The goal of personal branding is to be known for who you are as a person and what you stand for. Your brand is a reflection of who you are, your opinions, values, and beliefs that are visibly expressed by what you say and do, and how you do it.
*The branding process allows you to take control of your identity and influence the perception others will have about you and the services you offer.
*A strong personal brand will enable you to effortlessly attract clients and opportunities. You will position yourself in the mind of your marketplace as THE service provider of choice to dominate your market and command higher fees – work less and make more!
*Establish yourself as an expert and become a celebrity in your area of specialty. Gain name recognition in your area of expertise where it counts the most – in your customer’s mind. Make a lasting impression and be super-rewarded for your individuality.
Trust, respect, and admiration will follow when your name and message are embedded repeatedly into the consciousness of your target market. You will be perceived as an expert the more you are visible to your target audience. Your brand will propel you to the top in your marketplace.
Promoting Your Brand
Remember the importance of branding. If you haven’t already initiated a brand for your company, now might be just the time. Use these simple techniques in the promotion of your special brand
Make your brand as unique as possible. Catch the eye of the public by creating something different- something that people have not yet seen. Instead of doing what has already been done, go the opposite direction and be creative. Don’t forget the legal dangers of copyright infringement related to borrowing or stealing from another firm’s design.
Display stability. Take time in the development process to establish your brand and accomplish the look you really want. It’s better to spend sufficient time in the beginning fine-tuning your design to the desired outcome, rather than to play with it after it’s been revealed to the public. Changing your brand, and all that’s involved with it, including colors, slogans, logos, and tag lines, doesn’t support an image of reliability and long-lastingness
Stability should be maintained with branding. If you have integrated a brand into your company’s marketing, then use it all over the place. It should appear on all of your marketing materials, business cards, web site, and printed items. The same is true for your packaging. Your brand should appear on all of your products. .
Give your brand away to the public with diverse promotional products. You can help your brand to saturate the consumer population by handing out precious, yet low-cost, items. Promotional products encourage possible customers to keep in mind your brand and your gift every time they are used. Consider useful devices such as letter openers, flashlights, first aid kits, and CD cases.
Brands are an extremely effective marketing tool. When working with your concept, consider the above to ensure the development of an effective brand.
If your online marketing material stimulates an image in your mind that is just not you, likely you’ve been trying to model your approach after someone else or you’ve been using work produced by someone else without giving them the benefit of knowing you, learning your approach, sharing your ideas and interjecting your personality into the material.
So, what’s the solution?
The solution to this dilemma is to be yourself and let your personality show through in your online marketing materials.
If you are writing a blog entry in the midst of a snowstorm and it is “a bit nippy outside” don’t hesitate to say so. When you let your personality shine your image will be your own, not one you have crafted that will change from day to day depending upon what you have read most recently.
There’s lots of talk about branding in regard to online marketing. The basic principles of branding are to decide on the image you wish to portray and what message you want to drive home.
While some people could write a book on how to brand your business, there are really only a handful of factors to consider – your image, your purpose, and your message. The purpose of a brand is to craft something that will stick in the minds of people and help them to remember your business.
Creating and building a strong brand does not have to compromise your personality. The only real decision is whether you want to be casual or professional. In the world of online marketing, retaining your personality and your identity will go far in branding your business. You’ll be much happier with the long-term effects of your online marketing if you don’t try to be someone you are not. Be yourself and have fun.
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