One of the most valuable assets that any firm or organization can have is the brand names which is associated with their products or services. In our complex and dynamic world, the decision-making process requires a fast action for making a decision but yet reasonable, beneficial, and of low risk.
As a consumer or as a business owner, you will continuously face lots of choices before taking an action, you will evaluate and compare the best winning brand choice.
While making the decision here is exactly where strong brands take place, and here is why branding important; importance of branding appears when the brand becomes able to simplify decision making for customers which is invaluable, without the fear of risk and with high expectations.
What is branding: The professional guide for branding definition in 2021
“Branding is about endowing products or services with the power of brand equity” (Kevin lane keller)
Branding definition: To define branding, it is the sequence of actions or processes that aims to build an image and provide meaning for a company or organization’s products or services to associate them that they are “best of the best”.
Branding objectives are not about reaching your target market, make them buy your product offering, however, Branding is actionable in creating a brand with a meaning inside consumers’ minds in which a company creates a branding strategy to make their target audience be aware of the brand, experience the brand and prove valid reasons why should someone choose your product rather than your competitors
Achieving a successful branding strategy
What is a branding strategy?
A branding strategy is a long-term strategy or a plan to achieve a brand emergence ( successful and well-known brand) aiming to reach specific brand objectives. The brand strategy, if well-executed it will include other business aspects linked with, where a successful brand strategy is directly related to consumer needs, emotional feelings, and the competitive environment.
What are the components of a branding strategy
1- Brand purpose
Every single brand must have a clearly defined mission statement and brand objectives. Branding meaning is defining your brand’s purpose, it is the reason for the brand existence beyond making profits, of course, all brands in every industry aims to generate revenue but, it is not all about the money your brand earns it is about “why do you do what you do” as the brand mission and objectives go beyond profit.
Why does your brand event exist? why should your audience engage with you? Why should they trust you and believe in your company? What are the pain points that your brand is here to overcome?
If you are a business owner or a brand manager, make sure to communicate your brand purpose to your employees and create for them the same desired knowledge you want to communicate with your audience.
2- Brand consistency
One of the most important aspects related to branding strategies is brand consistency, it is the way to achieve successful brand equity. Brand consistency is crucial to maintain the strength and favorability of brand associations; which comes to consumers’ minds when they hear your brand name.
Consistency can include your product offering, the brand’s social media, advertising, tone of voice, brand identity, and the brand appearance in the digital world yet, the brand’s imagery, the brand’s website, and its mission statement. All must be aligned and heading in one direction.
For a brand to become consistent, it doesn’t mean that marketers shouldn’t make any changes to their marketing programs ( plans ) however, for maintaining brand consistency you will be vulnerable to changes across your tactics to the strategic thrust. Try to avoid inconsistency to avoid being unorganized.
As humans we always make decisions that satisfy our emotions, consumers aren’t rational decision-makers yet consumers are affectionate in choosing a product or service..etc
Affection, close relationships, and powerful bonds are part of human nature, as people tend to love & hate each other. People tend to love brands as well and not just love it’s beyond that.
Provide solutions to your customers to build a deep connection with them and trigger their emotions to love your products which will participate in creating brand associations that will benefit your brand.
4- Competitive environment and situation
Challenge yourself and analyze your competition, understand their sources of equity, and know what their branding strategy is.
A deep analysis of your competition is an essential section of your branding strategy. What are their points of strengths and weaknesses in comparison to yours? Are there any possible near threats? A sudden move that might kill your brand?
On the contrary, are there any valid opportunities that you might make use of your strengths to maximize them for your benefit?
All these questions can help you define your own strategy, primary differentiator, and overall corporate branding. This will assist you in understanding what is the value proposition of your top 3 competitors and their missing tactics.
Without doing the previous analysis, you are most probably going to provide something that several brands are already doing.
But don’t let your rivals get you out of the track, monitor them when needed but put all your efforts into your unique selling propositions and brand development.
5-Brand adaptability ( flexibility)
In this dynamic and changing world, your brand needs to be flexible and adaptable in many things.
You might have questioned yourself how should a brand be flexible and consistent at the same time, is this option valid? Yes, while consistency as mentioned above aims to make a guideline and basics for your brand to follow.
Flexibility ofyour brand is ensuring that you’re at least following up with the changes however you should always create to inspire. Being adaptable means being open to adjustments until you are set to catch the interest and make your audience ready to slide across the funnel.
6- Brand Audience
The question which comes at the beginning of most branding strategies is, who are my target personas? By clearly defining your target audiences, you are moving ahead!
Defining your buyer persona is a primary step in your marketing planning, clear, concise, and correct targeting is invaluable. Define your audience and build a buyer persona for each potential buyer of your business. Begin with identifying the common characteristics and common questions of your ideal buyer.
There aren’t any ideal numbers for buyer personas, build personas as long as you feel that is fine.
You can start by asking the following questions:
- What are the needs of my target audience?
- What are the pain points of my target audience?
- What are the barriers facing them?
- What are their demographics? And the geographical location?
- What are their common interests and background.?
7- Employees role & involvement
Like engines are the heat of cars; They convert heat into force that allows for a car motion
Employees are the engine of your brand, they are the ones who convert the overall brand purpose and value to achieve brand objectives.
A smart move is to attract energetic and fast movers for your brand, they are the reason behind your brand moves. Your employees should believe in your brand mission and core values to be always inspired and have a reason to act every day while going to work.
Without your employees’ love and support, your company will face difficulties to grow, acquire new customers and retain them.
Because branding isn’t just about selling a product of your brand, it is extremely beyond that. The importance of branding objectives is to be aligned with your brand promise and the expectations set from your audience upon your brand marketing programs.
Simply, clearly understand the needs and wants of your target customers and prospects, create a valuable product that meets or exceeds their expectations and follow up with them.
By implementing a branding strategy your company will be able to attract new customers and put efforts to retain them by continuously innovating and again exceeding their expectations. Let us resolve the conflict between brand and branding
What is a brand
According to “The American marketing association” (AMA), A brand is a name, sign, symbol, terms, logo, design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods and services of one seller to a group of sellers and to differentiate from those of competition. So whenever you create a logo or a design or define a term for a product or a company, you created a brand for business.
Brand Vs products: The difference between branding of a product and a brand
A product is anything that can be available in the market for the offer, use, attention, and consumption that might satisfy a need or want. Branding of products might be for a service such as an airline, theatre ticket, banking service while a product is a physical good such as pizza, laptop or a book. Thus, a product may be a retail outlet, a person such as a public figure, a place including a city, or a state.
5 levels of meaning for a product
1- Core benefit level
The core benefit level is the basic need or wants of consumers to satisfy when consuming your product or service
2- Generic product level
It is the basic version of a product or service that contains only the attributes that are necessary for it to function without any differentiable product features
3- Expected product level
Is the group of product attributes or characteristics that a buyer normally expect to find when he purchases the product
4- Augmented product level
A product or service that includes additional or extra features and benefits that is unique and different from those of the competitors
5- potential product level
It includes all the potential product changes or points of improvement that a product may have later in the future.
According to the previous, a brand is therefore different from a product because it goes beyond the physical thing; a brand is intangible, emotional, symbolic, and different in terms of dimensions. A brand is evaluated by what the brand represents rather than the product that is evaluated by the performance.
Branding a product
Brands are definitely important for both end-users and firms. As the success of the brand is crucial for the founders, when branding a product or creating a brand, firms provide all power for marketing programs to boost brand awareness and brand favorability. However, a brand is something that resides inside the mind of consumers, it reflects the mental perception of a group of people.
“The key to branding your product or service is that consumers perceive differences among different brands in the same product category”
Accordingly, To brand a product, it’s an initial step to teach your customers about it. You should identify questions like Who the product is? By giving your product a name. What does the product do? By explaining to your customers what are its function and the features, advantages, and benefits ( FAB) of your product And why should your audience care about your offering? As a marketer, you should identify your selling points and points of difference for your product or service.
Can anything be branded?
Branding is everywhere and for everything; The most common branding examples in the universe are
Physical goods are traditionally associated with a brand, it includes consumer products, industrial products, and durable goods. physical goods include business-to-business products and technology high-tech products
Branding is priceless to service providers to overcome intangibility and the service level variation. The reach of service providers has increased witnessing lots of sophisticated brands. A difficulty that faces service providers is that services are intangible and yet may vary in the service quality level at each time. As it depends on a person or a group of people providing consumers the service
It is most important to create credibility for your brand, to have your audience’s trustworthiness, trust and to boost your corporate expertise.
Retailers and distributors
Retailers can also create brands and manage their product assortment, merchandise, and prices to create unique associations about their service level.
Online products and services
Some of the most important and powerful brands recently were born online such as Facebook, google, youtube, Instagram ..etc
Online brands positioned themselves well for uniqueness and have found features that satisfy consumers’ unmet needs. By offering unique features and services to consumers, most of the online brands are avoiding paying a lot of advertising budget to increase their promotions, relying more on publicity or word-of-mouth.
Yet lots of things can be branded such as people and organizations, sports, arts and entertainment, geographical locations and ideas & causes.
To conclude, branding your products or services will help create a mental perception about your brand, and more it will help your audience increase and organize their knowledge about your offering in a way that will facilitate the decision-making process for them.