What's with all this branding stuff?
Do you remember what marketing was like before someone came along in the 70’s and dropped the “B” word? (That’s branding, just in case you were in diapers in the 70’s). It was attributed to some London account planners (Seems that in America we didn’t have Account Planners back in the 70’s!) who came to the States to introduce “branding” to one of their international clients.
Until that time, branding simply meant using a company name and a logo, hopefully a consistent logo that didn’t change colors or typeface. You placed that on every ad or commercial you created, and life was good. Then the concept of branding was introduced. And life in the marketing world changed completely.
All of a sudden, you had to have a unique selling proposition (USP.) You had to have a strong positioning statement. You had to tie your ads into specific target audiences, using research (yes, research!) Agencies started hiring lots of people; researchers, research assistants, account planners and managers, account liaisons with the creative department, and had lots of meetings.
But I digress; let’s get back to branding. It’s part of our marketing culture now, and if you’re not focused on branding in your company, you should be. It makes a lot of marketing sense, for a lot of really good reasons. Do a little research about your product category, your product and your customers.
Once you get all of this great information, you can start putting it to good use by refining your marketing program. You develop or enhance your positioning line – those few little words that define your company. You begin to really target your customer. Most importantly, you develop your company’s unique selling proposition – what you want to say to your prospective customers in the few precious seconds you have to make your case. Once you do all of that – you have the basics of branding in place.
Here’s what branding will do for you:
• Help you define and deliver YOUR message clearly to YOUR customer
• Help build an emotional connection with your prospective customer
• Promote customer loyalty
So polish up your logo. Work on that positioning line. Do some research. And start putting the power of branding to work for your company.