Branding 101: Why Is A Brand Important?

All companies should have at least one brand. A brand represents your product or service as well as shapes the perception of your company. How do you establish a brand name for your company? Why is it important and what does it actually represent? Should you have one brand or multiple brands? Here are few key actions to take to get you on the road to making a name for your company.

 

 

Let’s face it, as a small or medium business you probably don’t have the resources to broadly advertise your brand. Developing a company logo is a start, but it takes more than just a logo to create and establish your company’s brand. So why is a company brand important to your business? Because a brand is not just a logo, it is your identity that establishes your reputation and associates your product or service with your company. 

Of course, you must develop a logo and a company name for your business. When you do, make sure that you consult a legal professional to establish a legally protected brand also known as a trademark. These initial steps will provide a framework for you to expand your business in the future, enable faster recognition of your products/services and distinguish you from your competitors as you grow. 

Your brand represents you and your promise to provide a product or service along with specific benefits. Dedicate time to define your company values, what you stand for and unique attributes that will provide a strong foundation for that promise. Also develop a vision of what you want your company to be known for.

 

Start by focusing on a select niche so that you can clearly position yourself in the marketplace. Resist the temptation to create multiple brands or sub-brands. In my experience it’s most cost-effective to focus on your company brand and invest your time and money in maximizing its exposure rather than in parallel promoting specific product or service brands. This also means that when naming the various services or products that your company provides, they should all fall under your company’s name/brand rather than being separate from your company brand. For example think of Ford; their products include the Fiesta, Focus and Mustang sub-brands yet the Ford brand is strongly associated with each model due to the consistent use of the company name before the model name. Similarly with your business think about how you can drive consistency by using your company name in all of your customer touch points.

Once you have developed your company brand, consider how you want to market your brand. Successful brands target a specific audience to build a connection with their product or services. Take a look at a prior post by Michael Nordstrom to gain additional insights into marketing your company brand. 

 

Cheers,
Fred

Comments
by Yaron on ‎12-15-2010 09:00 PM

Building a brand is the cornerstone of connecting customers to your product/service/company.  Finding that connection is integral in a business success.  If you are a small business and need help building your brand feel free to reach out to me at yagi100@yahoo.com. - Yaron

 

Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind – Walter Landor




 

 

by Ken Guthrie on ‎03-03-2011 07:49 AM

Branding is not only in the mind of the "brander", but in those to be branded with your message. There are some simple rules I've applied over the many years in marketing:

 

1. Make sure your brand carries weight. In other words, create a brand that not only is characterized by the actual name, but the image it represents, both physical and connotative. Apple computer, in once sense, violated this premise by the founders' selection of a name that did not provide the audience a connection to what it was (Joe's Pizza Parlor; Mobile Oil, etc.), yet broke through the barrier because of it's difference and continued support throughtthe visual image that accompanied the name - an apple.

2. Repeatabilty is also important. The name should be simple enough to be easily remembered and, if possible, associated to a physical attribute or concept. Palm Pilot is a great example when it appeared on the scene. The brand name, said what it did in three syllables - fit in the palm of your hand and piloted you through your day with its PDA features, long before Outlook became dominant.

3. Finally, don't make the mistake of creating a name that is either so disassociated with what an organization does (particularly a service provider or manufacturer) that no one understands how it is related, is hard to pronounce, or seems to be artifically created in some marketing lab by one mad advertising or PR scientist. Accenture comes to mind (although in hindsight, at least they lucked out by not including Arthur Andersen in its name).

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