What is branding? Branding, in short, is the practice of using your business name and logo in marketing communications allowing the consumer to better recognise you for what products you offer in the market place.
Branding does more than create recognition however, branding builds trust and loyalty among the consumer market allowing you to penetrate future markets with new product offerings more successfully. Successful branding campaigns can expect more sustained customer relationships and sales over longer periods of time than companies not implementing branding strategies.
The largest and most successful companies in the world all have used branding in their marketing communications building their brand equities into billions of dollars. Tide, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestle, Ford, Boeing, Kellogs, and many more have all successfully built their brand to the point where consumers know them by heart and trust their products enough to purchase them without debate to the safety or quality of the product.
Branding is a long term strategy for any business. If your a small brick and mortar business in a small town or city you should still follow branding strategies just the same as if you were a national franchise or corporation. There is no excuse to not use a branding strategy for your business and that includes small e-commerce websites. If you own a business, you need to brand.
Starting a branding strategy does not entail a giant budget or advertising campaign if you’re low on company funds. You can start small in various different ways, some ways you may have already started using.
1.) Voice mail – Every business has a voice mail for when there is nobody there to answer. Make sure you use your company name in the voice mail twice. Once in the introduction and secondly in the end.
An example might be Hello, you have reached 1.) Company Z. We’re sorry but we are unable to answer your call at this time, please leave us your name and number and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you for calling 2.) Company Z. Have a great day.
This reinforces your company name building recognition helping condition consumers and customers to remember your name from all the other names out there and that is what you want to do in ALL communications.
2.) Mail Communication – This section will apply to email as well. Use your company name and logo at the top of all letterheads including email. Reinforce your company name in the signature area after your messages as well. Example:
Company Z, Inc.
Constant reinforcing of your brand is crucial to the life of your business and once again you see the use of the company name used twice. Once in the Letterhead and once after the signature. Beginning and end.
3.) Phone Numbers – Local or national, a custom number can help do wonders when it comes to sales call centres or retail locations. While finding a custom vanity toll free number can prove to be somewhat costly, you can still use local vanity numbers for your location even if you’re a national business. You won’t always have a short business name but by using industry words mixed with abbreviations for your company you can help reinforce brand image just the same. Be creative and you may find some easy and fun ways to implement your company name or niche into an easily recognisable phone number.
4.) Advertising – In all advertising focus on how to include your company name and logo. Audio advertisements use your name twice. Once in the beginning and once at the end minimally. Display and television ads always make sure your company name or logo is always present and visible. Display ads will include online banner advertising as well. Contextual advertising always use your company home page in the visible URL section to simplify the viewing of your company name. The extension of the URL should not be present as it will distract the eyes from the home page name.
There are many other ways to add branding strategies into your marketing communications, just remember that every mention of your company name is another way to reinforce company image to the consumer bringing recognition for your industry equalling into future sales. Anything that involves your company communication to consumers, businesses, employees, press, peers, etc. should always be branded. You will find that a good branding strategy can carry your business a long way and strengthen your company for future markets and endeavours.