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Time after time, you will hear people talk about “brand” and that everything that they do is because of their brand. Companies will say that they are branding or re-branding themselves to serve their customers better. Which leaves you to wonder, what is brand? Why is branding a company so important? How do you even brand a company?
- Define “brand”
Brand is the term used to distinguish products of companies from everyone else. When you create a company, you want your name to stand out and for people to recognize who you are. The goal in creating a brand is to differentiate yourself within the market and establish your presence. Your brand should be a summary of who you are and what your core believes are. By establishing your presence, you allow your customers to identify with who you are and become loyal to what you stand for.
The number one mistake that many companies fall into is believing that a company’s brand is established by them. Why is this a mistake? Your customers are the ones that establish your brand, not you. A company can only market themselves to try to launch an idea of who they are into the public. Their customers will then take that marketed idea and will develop the brand of the company based on the marketing efforts and their individual experiences. For example, you are a young architect who recently decided to open your own firm. You want your clients to know that you are experiences, reliable and trustworthy. Your marketing department launches a campaign to advertise you as such. Potential clients buy into the campaign and begin to interact with you. When they go and talk about your firm the following words come out: fresh ideas, relationship orientated and affordable. Even if you do not agree with these words, that is what your clients’ have perceived your brand to be. Which leads us to wonder, why is branding a company so important?
- Why is branding important?
If you don’t create the brand for your company, why should you even worry about setting the foundation? While it is true that you don’t create the final version of your brand, you do initiate the conversation. You have to identify who you are and what you stand for, first. Then, you have to initiate the conversation through all channels of communication. It is your job to guide your customers to how you want your brand to be remembered. If you choose not to initiate this conversation, you leave it up to chance to be identified as a true company. People might recognize you, but they will not know what you stand for. They will simply see you by what products you sell and not by the loyalty you wish to obtain from them.
You might not have control of what customers will identify as your brand. However, you do create your company’s brand promise. A brand promise is what your customers can expect from your brand efforts. It’s what you tell them that they will gain when believing in you and becoming loyal to you. This brand promise is essential to be followed to avoid losing customers and hurting your image. If you do not provide the appropriate brand promise, you will be irrelevant. In addition, if you do not follow up on your brand promise, you will lose the trust of your customers and the possibility of gaining additional customers.
- How do you even brand a company?
Branding a company is no joke. There are plenty of steps that have to be taken. First, identify what market you desire to enter in. Identify the opportunities and threats to entering this industry. Second, identify who your customers will be. Learn as much as you can from them. Third, identify who your competitors are and why they are your competitors. Without a bias, learn what makes a competitor different from another and ultimately, different from you. Fourth, identify what you are bringing to the market. Why should a customer come to you and not another competitor? Lastly, how will you differentiate yourself. What channels of communication are you going to use? What is your message? What will your CTA (call to action) be? Will it be effective? What has proven to work before?
Sounds like a lot? It is. That is why many companies have learned throughout time that they cannot run a company and do the branding on their own, all at once. You have to focus on what you are good at and do that. The rest that needs to be done, you have to find people who can get the job done.
- AMS and branding
You need people who know how to create that image for your company and communicate it to your customers. These people have to know how to conduct research, talk to your potential customers and be creative to differentiate you from the rest. Architect Marketing Solutions specializes in communicating with your clients and making you shine. We are able to:
- Create strategic long-term plans to ensure the success of your brand
- Build the correct processes to ensure your brand will be successful in achieving specific goals
- Align all aspects of communication to ensure consistency with your brand promise
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