“Branding is the art of becoming knowable, likable and trustable.”
- John Jantsch
Lean entrepreneurs and marketers are always going on about the importance of branding and how it is crucial for your business in the long run. To an average person, branding might not seem so important because after all, your goal is to sell your products and services, right? Who cares about what your company logo looks like? And who in their right mind would give any thought to the color of your packaging? This is what an average mind thinks like. But, marketers want businesses to have unique identities. Not many people realize this, but branding and promotion are deeply linked to one another. Establishing a brand means that you are giving your consumers something to relate to, something which they can proudly associate with openly and stay loyal to, in the long run, helping you grow your business to amazing heights.
If you have an outstanding business plan in your mind and have questions regarding promotions and branding which you are afraid to ask out loud, then keep reading! In this blog post, we will teach you the basics of not only branding but promotions as well, to give you a better understanding.
The Basics of Branding
Simply put, branding is the act of giving a unique identity to your business. It includes all the factors which people can use to recognize or recall your business. For example, when we see anything related to innovation, sleek designs, and out-of-the-box thinking combined with the color black, Apple comes to our minds. On the other hand, a picture of cars on a green background reminds us of Careem. That’s the power of branding and that’s what you should be aiming for! You can’t expect to become a recognizable brand overnight but it’s important that you get everything straight right now. Here is the entire branding process, simplified for your understanding.
ü Plan Out Your Business Strategy
This is a no-brainer. To create a brand, you obviously need a business plan. This business plan needs to be properly sketched out. It should include all the strategies that will define your core business. The following questions must be answered in your business plan:
- What am I selling?
- What are my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT)?
- In what ways am I going to earn my revenue?
Design a Marketing Strategy
Now comes the exciting part. Your marketing strategy will be based on your business strategy. First of all, it should answer the following questions:
- Who am I targeting?
- Where am I going to sell my products/services?
- What channels am I going to use for my marketing efforts?
Then, you need to develop a brand guideline. This would include the following:
- Design a captivating logo.
- Create a theme.
- Develop a tagline.
- Set a tone for your promotional material.
- Develop a messaging strategy.
- Create stationary (business cards, etc.).
Finally, you need to be patient and let your brand guideline do the talking. People will eventually start recognizing your brand. For that, you need to work on smartly promoting your business.
How Do I Promote My Brand?
There are many ways in which you can effectively promote your brand. However, choosing the right channels and the right kind of messages is what will determine the success of your promotional efforts. For this reason, you need to consult your marketing strategy and start creating material that will help you stay ahead of your competitors. Here are some tips to help you with that:
ü Do Some Networking
Attend different workshops and networking events and meet up with different professionals and leaders within your industry. Having a strong professional network could help you a lot in signing great deals with other business owners. Don’t forget to keep your business card with you at all times and start creating awareness of your brand within your industry. Also, focus on getting to know other professionals – get to know their history, where they work, how they’re doing, and indulge in small talk to get to know some personal details (hobbies, interests, etc.) which could help you in approaching them later on. Finally, create a LinkedIn profile if you haven’t already and connect with the relevant people.
ü Create a Strong Social Media Presence
Social media is the most useful and one of the cheapest marketing channels at your disposal so make sure that you take full advantage of it. But first, determine which social network you should work on. For example, for B2B businesses, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ are the best options. On the other hand, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are considered the best for B2C. Learn about the interest of your target market and start sharing relevant content. Promote your brand, start connecting with your audience, and give them something to affiliate themselves with.
ü Start Advertising
In the wise words of Henry Ford, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” Set an advertising budget and determine which channels you are going to use. Do you feel that you should just stick to online advertising (email marketing, Facebook ads, search engine marketing, etc.)? Or do you want to go to the next level and advertise to the masses via TV, radio, and print? It all depends on your product, the target market, and most importantly, your advertising budget. Think deeply and take help from a reputable ad agency, such as Mega Marketing Network, if you lack connections.
ü Come Up with Campaigns from Time to Time
A campaign is a vital tool for customer engagement. Instead of offering plain old sales and discounts, come up with unique ideas to get the consumers involved (such as competitions, online surveys, etc.) to promote your products and reward the customers for being a part of your campaign.
Branding and promotion take patience, critical thinking, and a lot of research. But once you get it right, it all pays off. So, take time in developing your branding and promotional strategies and thank yourself later!