The word “brand” is often used but greatly misunderstood.
People identify a company’s brand with its logo; the colors used, the type of font, and sometimes a character that is supposed to represent the business.
However, there is more to a brand than just visual images and a catchy tagline. Your brand defines your business and embodies your value proposition.
In a sense, your brand is your business’ most important asset.
Properly conceptualized, implemented, and managed, your brand can assure the long-term success and sustainability of your business.
When consumers see your brand, the image triggers strong, positive emotional cues.
It will be associated with powerful business attributes; key drivers of success: exceptional quality, top-level value, and great customer experience.
You cannot develop your brand overnight. Just because you came up with the most captivating, thought-provoking design does not mean your brand has been established.
Logos are just an image; brand is the substance.
It takes time to develop the substance that drives the brand forward.
You need a process that should support and align with your business development objectives.
This process is called brand marketing.
What Is Brand Marketing?
Brand marketing is often referred to as the process of increasing brand awareness.
This oversimplification or generalization of brand marketing is one reason why many brand-building strategies fall short of their goal.
It leads them to believe that just by distributing traditional marketing materials and frequently posting online content they can successfully develop the brand.
Designing an0064 implementing advertising and marketing strategies are just a part of the brand marketing process.
However, these are just tools used to create and deliver the most important component of brand marketing and marketing, in general: The Message.
Marketing is all about messaging.
It is a way of communicating with your audience and communication is a two-way street.
If you deliver a message, there must be a response. In order to trigger a response, the message must be crystal clear.
Brand marketing is the process of developing a campaign strategy that successfully delivers the business’ value proposition into the consciousness and belief systems of the target audience; it must resonate, engage, and compel the consumer to action while establishing the conditions for long-term relationships and brand loyalty.
Your brand marketing strategy must go hand-in-hand with your business development objective.
If the brand is your promise to your consumers, then your business development objective must see to it that you deliver on this promise.
How To Develop A Brand Marketing Strategy For Your Business
Do you believe every consumer who reads the product label takes the time to differentiate and understand the purpose and nature of every ingredient?
Perhaps only for new products in the market.
However, for those who have built their brand over time and have created the assurance of quality, the product will just find its way to the checkout counter.
This is why you should develop a brand marketing strategy for your business.
If you’re not sure on how and where to begin, read on!
Here are our tips on how to develop a brand marketing strategy for your business:
- Let Your Customers Know Who You Are
British-American writer, motivational speaker, and marketing influencer Simon Sinek once said, “People do not buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
While consumers still care about pricing and product quality, they could care less by what’s on the label.
The same goes for pricing. While pricing should rightfully be the concern of every consumer, the truth is, it is not the priority.
The late founder and CEO of Apple Steve Jobs understood this when he said, “Pricing does not equate to quality.”
Jobs alluded to the practice of Apple’s competitors lowering their prices in an effort to undercut Apple’s market share.
However, Jobs maintained Apple’s pricing strategy, implying his iPhone was the lead innovator in the industry.
Customers got what they paid for when they buy an iPhone.
Jobs knew who Apple’s customers were.
His competitors made the mistake of marketing their products to tailor-fit the needs of Apple’s customers not their own.
Creating and distributing content about your business; its products and services are great.
Posting “how-to” and list type articles that show how your business can find solutions to problems have value and will resonate with your audience.
However, do not hesitate to tell your audience about yourself.
Let them know who you are; what you do so they can understand why you do it, why you have this business.
Sinek’s philosophy mirrors the thinking of proponents of Purposeful Marketing such as Noble Prize winning psychiatrist Daniel Kahneman who theorized consumers are emotional not rational buyers.
They will align themselves with brands they believe in and patronize familiarity over pricing or product labeling.
Emotion is a key element in brand marketing. Consumers prefer products that are relatable and human.
The logo is nothing if the brand itself has no personality. Consumers want to know the person behind the brand.
If you have a website, the “About Us” page can be a very powerful component of your brand marketing strategy.
It’s not enough to focus on what you have done.
Share with your audience relatable information such as what you do, your motivations behind the business, your goals, likes and desires.
Your social media pages shouldn’t just be about product descriptions and marketing promotions.
Give your audience a sneak peek into the day-to-day activities of your business.
- Who are your employees? What do they do? How do you reward consistency?
- What are your social advocacies?
- Do sustainable solutions appeal to you? If so, what is your approach?
How important is it to let your customers know you?
Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Group, Dave Thomas of Wendy’s, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft, and the aforementioned Jobs are just a few business icons who breathed life into their brands.
- Generate Emotional Value
Why do people camp out overnight for the latest iPhone?
Why do people still buy Starbucks coffee even if the company increases its prices?
This is because these products have successfully generated emotional value over time.
For the iPhone’s “fans”, it is more than just a smartphone.
The iPhone has become a symbol of status for consistently introducing fresh, new, and exciting features that greatly appeal to its base of followers.
As for Starbucks, people will continue to enjoy the company’s beverages to support its charitable work and countless other advocacies.
Starbucks supports green technology, recycling, and other sustainable solutions.
This is why we say your brand marketing strategy must go hand-in-hand with your business development objective.
Don’t just say it with your brand, do it by consistently delivering top quality and high-value products and services that always meet your customers’ expectations.
- Adapt Flexible Branding Strategies
People change. Business conditions change. Therefore, so should your brand marketing strategy.
The demographics that make up your Buyer’s Persona today may be different in a few weeks or a few months.
If your products and services were appealing to those in the 18 to 34 age bracket, it may eventually gravitate toward those in the 35 to 49 age bracket.
Case in point is Facebook. While 87% of 18 to 29 year old users still use Facebook, its largest market share come from the 30 to 49 (79%) and 65 and up (56%) demographics.
The younger generation are moving toward image-based social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.
You don’t have to be Mark Zuckerberg and acquire Instagram for billions!
However, you should be ready to effect changes in your brand marketing strategy to reflect a shift in demand preferences and tastes.
The long-term objective of your brand marketing strategy is to develop great customer retention.
As we mentioned, consumers’ tastes and preferences can change without warning, The Internet and social media are highly-influential in that these make information very accessible to consumers.
Anchor your brand marketing strategy by incorporating effective customer support service systems.
Attend to inquiries, complaints, and concerns immediately.
Engage with comments posted on your blog page and social media accounts even if these comments are unfavorable.
Integrate greater accessibility by opening up more channels of communication.
Make sure you have a webmail address for customer complaints and issues.
Create a chat support direct messaging system in your website and social media accounts.
Conclusion – Why Your Small Business Needs A Brand Marketing Strategy
Why do you think companies like Nike, McDonalds, and Facebook were able to survive and thrive despite getting involved with controversies that would have irreparably destroyed other businesses?
Nike had been the subject of an investigation regarding child labor.
McDonald’s has been accused of advocating an unhealthy lifestyle and contributing significantly to global obesity.
Facebook has been under investigation for leaking user information during the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections, allowing Russian propaganda material to proliferate the platform, and for its failure to prevent a massive data leak.
Yet, people still buy Nike, eat Big Macs, and log on to Facebook daily. The question is, “why?”
The answer is effective brand marketing.
Keep in mind that Nike, McDonald’s, and Facebook started out as small businesses.
What made them who they are today is that they worked on the brand marketing strategy early on; even before they formally launched their products and services.
And they have never stopped working on the brand marketing strategy.
It is a process that should never end because business continually evolves.
Thus, one of the biggest mistakes of small businesses is their failure to work on their brand marketing strategy right away.
Many business owners and entrepreneurs have this notion that brand marketing should only commence when the business has gained traction.
This is a trap that you should not fall into.
The concept of brand marketing is misunderstood because business owners have no clear understanding of who their consumers are; what they want, what they need, and why they buy.