Your company’s brand can be one of its greatest assets if managed properly; the success of which will determine your business’s identity. Consisting of who you are, who you’re trying to be, and how you are perceived by others, your branding is a preview of what your company can do for customers. What your products and services are, their quality, and how trustworthy you are will also influence your brand. Are you the queen of innovation or the king of stability? Are your products high-cost or high-value? You can’t be everything at once but that doesn’t stop some companies from trying. For those without bottomless pockets, you’ll want to specialize where the demand is once you’ve settled on a market. However your brand turns out, it must be based on your company’s strengths and your target audiences’ shopping habits. Prospective customers will differentiate you from your competition based on these factors for better or worse, so it’s best to invest in your brand early and often. Failing to do so will make it so any ensuing blunders could hinder your company’s growth for years.
Building A Brand
The companies with the most successful brands will dominate the market of their specific, primary product or products to the point in which they are difficult to distinguish from the industry themselves. Some literal examples are Band-Aids, Frisbees, Q-tips, and Kleenex. Brands at the top of their markets present themselves as the only option when you need a specific product or service and have won over the hearts and minds of their customer base. The best company identities market themselves and have a life of their own. Their progressions can be observed through the changes in a company’s logo, products and public perception.
Your brand must infiltrate every facet of your company from how your employees answer the phone to what they wear on business trips. Be sure to integrate it in each step of your company’s operation. The creation of a brand that can hope to be self-sufficient one day requires a little soul-searching. This often starts with a logo that intuitively conveys your identity. Color, size, shape, style, etc. all must be taken into account. Incorporate the same aesthetic into your company’s design standards for all marketing materials until a new direction is inevitably taken. It’s okay to change as your company grows, but try to keep those changes consistent. The following questions also need to be considered:
- What does your company hope to achieve?
- What can your products or services offer potential customers?
- What do people already think about your company?
- What is your company’s “personality?”
Don’t just extrapolate your customers’ perception from their behaviors, take their word for it. Include some type of customer feedback element in your services either in the form of surveys, questionnaires and/or product reviews. A well-constructed brand that, among other things, takes its customers’ opinions into account, can enable your company to raise prices without losing revenue. For example, many consumers would pay more for a product of a company with a brand they know and like than a brand that they don’t or without a defined brand at all.
Brands can also shape how customers recall their experiences with your company, depending on their perception of your brand, they might recall encounters more positively or more negatively. Companies with a cogent identity are able to form more meaningful connections that result in a more devoted clientele. Much of the value of this type of strategy stems from the perceived quality or emotional attachment to a well-known brand.
Branding As Seen in Real Life
Examples of companies that have successfully leveraged their brands into high-performing, passive marketing tools are:
- Apple: Promising a hip, spontaneous lifestyle full of supposedly cutting-edge technology and sporting a zealous fanbase, Apple’s brand does most of the heavy lifting featuring products that nearly sell themselves.
- Coca-Cola: A big part of branding is about what your products mean to your customers, and Coke is all about associating drinking their products with feeling good. Coke excels at consistently hitting this point in all of its marketing efforts.
- Pixar: This animation studio aims for as wide of a target audience as children’s movies can have, boldly betting it all on a quality over quantity approach necessitated by the purported five-year production cycle on each film.
If your company is disruptive, meaning that it has the capacity to reorder the structure of its market, that principle must be fully integrated and emphasized within your brand. Disruptive companies embody innovation, bringing a previously unknown or unpopular, variation of the standard technique to prominence. For example, telephones eventually made telegraphs obsolete, plastics changed the way that we use wood, metal and glass, and word processing relegated typewriters to a niche industry.
Successors of standbys often start out as unconventional outsiders, however, their effectiveness determines their degree of success and often shapes the later development of the industry. Companies that have acted or are currently acting as catalysts of a paradigm shift within their industries are Tesla with automotives, Uber with public transportation and Airbnb with hotels. It’s commonly an advantage to be an ascending little guy given our tendency to root for the underdog, so if you qualify, be sure to milk it for all that it’s worth.
If your company isn’t picking up the amount of traction that you’d envisioned, perhaps the issue lies in its branding. From public perception to logo design, a business’s brand can have far-reaching effects on numerous performance-related issues. Mary Pomerantz Advertising can help your company achieve its goals. We are a comprehensive, marketing agency offering a wide variety of branding services, from corporate identity to campaign development. Please give us a call today at 732-214-9600 to learn more.