This month’s topic “Branding Basics” comes from Dena Smith. Congratulations Dena! She just won a credit for 100 free business cards.
Branding Basics: Starter Questions and Tips
“The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a ‘name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.’”1 Good branding will help the customer see that your company is the best solution to their desire or problem.1 Everything you do as a company is part of your branding – it’s your image. And today branding is more important than ever because a consumer can go online and see all your competitors lined up in a row for easy selection. Consumers need to feel good about your brand so they’ll pick you.
Your First Question: What problem does your product or service solve or need?2
Once you can answer this question you have the basis for your branding and you’re on your way to differentiating yourself and standing out from the competition.
Questions about Your Target Audience3
If you’re going to convince customers that your brand is their best solution then you need to have your target audience clearly defined so you are “talking specifically to them.”
- Who are they?
- Are they a business or consumer?
- Where are they?
- What do they think about your brand right now?
- What do you want them to think about you?
- How are you going to attract them to you?
Questions about Your Competition2
- Who are your biggest competitors?
- What can you do better than them?
- How will you set prices and how will it compare to theirs?
Branding and Social Media4
In today’s social media market you can, and should, use these tools as part of your branding campaign. When monitored and used well “can become a forum for consumers to convey passions for brands.”2 However, make sure you don’t just use these channels to shout out what you’re selling, you have to listen to what people are saying and respond. This means addressing problems, saying thanks, and being interested in what others are saying. And it’s important to keep your information updated, fresh and timely, or those who follow you on any of the social marketing sites are likely to lose interest.
Once you decide on your prime target audience, the basic traits and images that are integral to your company, then you can begin putting your brand out there in a consistent fashion. Stay true to your brand across all areas of marketing – online and offline. This means your postcards http://www.nextdayflyers.com/postcard-printing-marketing/ and business cards, http://www.nextdayflyers.com/business-card-printing/ as well as your web pages, Twitter, blog and other online components, should have the same look, feel, and voice.
- What is Branding and How Important is it to Your Marketing Strategy?
- About.com: Discover and Crush Your Brand Barriers
- Focusing on your Target Audience
- Effective Branding Tool, If Monitored