The Bitter Truths
The title of this article looks quite bland right? I guess the next question that came out of your mouth after seeing the titled was, “why not grow a brand”? Take a deep breath…have you actually grown your brand?
Take a look at your initial business projections, take a look at the plan you penned down years ago; have you exceeded your expectations? You wanted to serve a million customers by the fifth year, what are the number currently? 250,000. Impressive figure right? I mean, your turnover rates are impressive but truth is, you still fell short of your initial target.
In growing a brand, you have to define your goals clearly. Are you in it for the money or brand equity? The answer to this question will determine how you will fare with your business aspirations. I know you are in business for the money, but is that all? Once Forbes mention your business as the best booming business worldwide, what are the odds that you won’t lose your motivation? Why haven’t you grown your brand? Were you in for the money? Maybe! Just maybe. Re-align.
Your goals will also affect your marketing plans. You won’t be able to translate the right vibe to customers if your aim is just to make money. To grow your brand, you have to create and transfer value. It is the transfer of multiple values that actually grow your brand. What marketing does is that it gives you an awesome platform to market your value. Customers will click on your shop, if you are able to sell value to them at first glance (and return again to buy more!)
You won’t be able to translate the right vibe to customers if your aim is just to make money. To grow your brand, you have to create and transfer value.
Before you dig into growing your brand, you need to define your target audience too, after defining your goals. Who are you selling to? Why are you selling to them? Why will they buy from you? A clearly defined target audience helps you streamline your marketing activity, it also helps you make critical decisions about the make-up of your product.
Let’s assume you’ve got all that sorted, it time to delve into the nitty gritty of what superb branding does for you.
The historic Canadian filmmaker, Stuart Henderson once said that doing business without branding is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does. I don’t think any other quote would have captured my thoughts as Henderson’s did.
Branding goes beyond informing the customer about your product’s existence, it creates an atmosphere that persuades your crowd to become your customer without them knowing! It goes deep into their subconscious and subtly presses the “enter” button on their keyboard. Branding is so important in business because it keeps the oil flowing, it is what determines your new customers. Customers will only associate with you when they can “relate” with your brand. It’s not rocket science. Branding creates the benefit of getting a potential consumer to take action.
Good branding creates an increased predisposition for a person to know about, try, prefer, purchase, be loyal to, engage with, and advocate on behalf of a product or service. And those benefits therefore create competitive advantage and increased business value (revenue, profits, employment, commerce) for whatever has been branded.
Little wonder the top companies in the world are known for their brand rather than their products. Chances are you don’t even know the specifics of an Apple product but you can immediately associate the word “quality” with it.
That is what good branding does to you. It makes customers buy stuff from you not because they need it but because they want to be associated with you.
Good Branding brings about increased familiarity — Awareness, increased recognition, and recall of a product or service (or person) which helps the user identify the product in a crowded setting, and associates it with a function.
It’s time to let that girl know you’ve been winking at her! You’ve got two options, summon courage and go put on the lights (branding) or you could go walk up to her directly and do the talking (marketing).