1. The What is> branding?
Branding is defined as a name, term, sign, symbol or a 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. Your brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. It is the sum total of their experiences and perceptions.
The signs of a good solid brand; delivering the message clearly, connect your target audience emotionally, influencing the buyer and establishing loyalty; Integrating your brand strategies through your company at every point of public contact.
A strong brand is invaluable as the battle for customers intensifies day by day. It’s important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. It’s a foundational piece in your marketing communication and one you do not want to be without. Moreover be vigilant; marketing develops the awareness and associations in consumer memory so that customers know (and are constantly reminded) which brands best serves their needs.
I’m learning an evolving everyday but I tell you what I do consistently, research and I’m constantly creating material that exemplifies my brand.
Here’s an analogy, let’s say you’re meeting someone for the first time that you’re interested in dating you don’t want to say one thing and then contradict yourself five minutes later, you say it, do it, and be about it because actions speak louder than words. So use the words to enhance support and clarify your action so everything works in concert with one another. But take action; be proactive, if you keep doing the same thing and it’s not bearing fruit, you will keep getting the same results that’s why it’s important to think outside the box.
Consistency and I can’t say it enough is one of the most important aspects of branding; producing content on a regular basis that influences your prospects or better yet communicates what you are all about just like when you meet a significant other; what does the conversation consist of, you convincing that person that you are the best choice as far as selecting a mate why… because you’re never late always on time, you dress nice, when you say you’re going to do something you do it and last but not least when you do it, you do it a certain way that they like, then what happens next; you get married-you have a customer.
Okay now let’s take this a step further now that you’re married that doesn’t mean you have reached your pinnacle you still have to keep the perception, continue to reside in the heart and mind of your significant other-the customer client or prospect . Your brand is your face, it’s you. Just like in life nothing stays the same so you have to be flexible as the economic climate changes you must change along with it or get left in the dust, this is a fast moving world.
Branding is an important part of Internet commerce as well why… because branding allows companies to build their reputations as well as expand beyond the original product and service, and add to the revenue generated by the original brand.
Without getting too far into the logistics of branding let’s just touch the surface; again everything in your brand must coordinate; logo design, name of company, website address, search engine optimization these are the details that need to be worked out before branding your new company, these components lend identification to the idea or image of a specific product or service, which in turn lets visitors easily discovery the new brand.
When working on branding, or building a brand, companies that are using web pages and search engine optimization have a few details to work out before being able to build a successful brand. Coordinating domain names and brand names are an important part of finding and keeping visitors and clients, as well as branding a new company.
2. The What is> re-branding?
Rebranding is the creation of a new name, term, symbol, design, or a combination of them for an established brand with the intention of developing a (new) position in the mind of current and potential clients as well as stakeholders’.
This may involve radical changes to the brand’s logo, brand name, image, marketing strategy, and advertising themes. These changes are typically aimed at the repositioning of the brand/company, sometimes in an attempt to distance itself from certain negative connotations of the previous branding, or to move the brand upmarket; in other words expand your base to an upward echelon. However, the main reason for a re-brand is to communicate a new message for a company, something that has evolved, or the new board of director’s wishes to communicate.
Rebranding can be applied to new products, mature products, or even products still in development. The process can occur intentionally through a deliberate change in strategy or occur unintentionally from unplanned, emergent situations, such as a “Chapter 11 corporate restructuring,” “union busting,” or “bankruptcy.
Now let’s take it a step further; branding isn’t something we always get right the first time in a wonderful world yes we keep driving the point and marketing the brand until it shows signs of success and furthermore, generating revenue, knowing our target market and using the proper advertising channels to properly market the product; even if we do all those things right sometimes the concept just doesn’t fit with the product. In a case such as this we would then need to perform a rebrand the creation of a new name, term, symbol, design, or a combination of them for an established brand and start communicating that new message for your company or product by changing the visual identity and brand strategy.
3. When Should we> The why?
Changes are taking place on a daily basis that include competition, consumer’s need, distribution, and above all technology. Therefore, it only makes sense to continually look for ways to modify and better the brand of product or service with new perspectives and ideas. Other reasons why a business should consider re-branding are lack of interest which equates to a decline in sales, the brand name may not match the product, another instance when there’s too much of the same type of product you may need to further differentiate your product from the competition.
4. Is it worth the> Gamble?
Due to the tremendous impact that renaming and re-branding a company can have, it is critical to take the client through the process with great sensitivity and care. The new company identity and brand should also be launched in a way that doesn’t run old customers away and at the same time attract new clients. Memorable visuals and personal interactions, all of which must speak in unison for a customer to place full trust and invest their emotions in what it is you are offering.
Although there is a new look, strategies must be devised so that the customer’s attention instead of being drawn away by the changes is refocused on the product and how it can best serve their needs. After all, it has to be a marketing approach that presents a product with great qualities, competitive pricing, value, and distribution that is efficient. This will ensure that the brand remains at the top of its category.
If your image hasn’t been updated in a very long time, if your logo is confusing your customers, or if your message doesn’t correctly portray your company or its products and services, rebranding may be just what you need or as I call it an Image upgrade. You then need to determine what kind of messaging will highlight your products and services. And most importantly, you need to determine the goals of your rebranding efforts. If you go into rebranding efforts without considering these things, your efforts will not contain any focus.
However rebranding is not an easy process, and it does not ensure that you will have success. Like any other business venture, there are plenty of risks involved, and you need to consider them before jumping in to rebranding efforts head-first.
By Rod Hope