[tweetmeme]As a nation infused with consumerism, we are all exposed to branding. Many companies maintain a certain notoriety that is synonymous with quality and excellence. To that end, they become household names that we trust. Some of these household names may include Kleenex, starbucks, Nike and various others. Through a successful branding campaign, these companies created a symbiotic relationship between themselves and their product. This relationship not only promotes the brand name but imposes a relational inference any time a consumer has the need for a particular service or product. In other words, they successfully established a brand name for themselves. Using the 5W’s (Who, What, When Where Why and How) of basic journalism this article will unveil what it means to create brand name for a company or a product.
What is branding?
To brand means to mark, label or set apart with a distinguishing feature. In the ancient times people used a branding iron ( heated metal shaped rod) to inscribe a mark on their livestock and that was called branding. Modernly, branding a company is more subtle and requires more finesse than altering the physical characteristics. Branding sets your company or your product apart by accomplishing one of two objectives, or both at the same time. The most successful branding campaigns meet both objectives.
First, it creates a unique persona for you business. Second, it creates a synonymous identify for quality when contemplated in light of the unique established business persona. Both objectives are accomplished when you are able to make a psychological appeal to your targeted customer by automatically causing them to think of the service you provide; upon seeing either a particular mark that is unique to your business; or through the company’s reputation for excellence in a specified area or product. For example, majority of people know that the swoosh mark on any product indicates that it is a Nike product. In most of our psyche, the Nike brand name represents excellence in athleticism.
Who needs to create a brand?
Establishing a brand name is necessary when the reputation, the particularity of the service you provide or the ability to compete in the industry significantly impact the success of the business. Not all business ventures will require branding. Generally, any business which involves mundane tasks will not require branding, unless there is a unique concept which makes that business a step above the rest. Some of the business ventures that are mundane and perfunctory in nature include Laundromat, Carwash, and Dry Cleaning services.
For these types of services, you do not need such an esteemed reputation to succeed. Instead, it is a consumer need driven or service oriented industry. For the most part, people choose a Laundromat or Carwash based on convenience and the fact that they have a present need. Suppose someone thought of business which combines a car wash and Laundromat. That would probably be sufficiently distinct to warrant a branding campaign.
When does Branding need to occur?
Branding should be considered from the initial conceptualization of the business. Throughout the developmental stages due consideration must be given to creating a unique persona for the business that sets it apart and is in alignment with the mission of the company. When branding occurs during the pre-planning stages it is a simpler process of correlating the brand to the objectives. Things may get complicated when a branding campaign gets initiated for a business has been in existence because you are limited by the pre-existing expectations and perceptions of your current clientele, whereas during the creational stages you have full creative liberties.
Where in geographic scope does a branding campaign begin?
A branding campaign must begin locally. Concentrating your efforts on your local community will guarantee a faster impact. Your local community campaign may include local advertising through product placement, newspaper, magazine, TV, and radio. You should use a variety of methods to promote the quality or distinctiveness of your company or product with the specific goal of creating that relational inference. Once that is accomplished it will be easy to expand to larger territories.
How does a business create a brand?
A branding campaign is generally incorporated as a part of your marketing campaign. In essence, it is marketing with a distinctive approach and a specific goal. Marketing is broader because it deals with reaching potential customers. In a branding campaign, you are not only seeking to reach targeted customers, but you seek to orient their perspective of your business and encourage them to psychologically identify a set of characteristics with your product or company.
To effectively create a brand name, you need to identify the key distinguishing features about your company or product. Once that has been identified you need to tie it to the objectives or mission statement of the company. You may even take it step further and create a distinctive mark for your company or product. If you plan to use a mark, you will need to register it with the United States Trademark Office. (http://www.uspto.gov/). After registering the mark, you have to pair it with a phrase or verbiage that embodies your distinctive attributes. Bringing all the components together you are now ready to launch your branding campaign. You may use your mark, verbiage or both in prominence at your physical location, on your website, on your product if applicable, and through various advertising mediums (Refer to Geographic scope above). The approach may vary depending on whether you plan to brand a company of a product, but the result is the same.
Using the coffee shop scenario, I used in the “Business Concept Development” article; let’s put it to the test! Suppose you open a coffee shop which sells organic coffee and organic baked goods. The name of the shop could be “PRO-Organic Coffee Shop”. The distinctive mark can be a green tree in displayed between the words “PRO- Organic.” That logo would be inscribed on the signage at the shop, coffee cups, napkins or any other products. To pair the mark with the distinguishing characteristic of the coffer shop’s motto of organic consumption, you can sell t-shirts at the shop made from organic materials with the embroidered words: “PRO Organic” and the verbiage “Start With Coffee” inscribe on the back of the shirts. The shirts can also be used as rewards for your customers based on coffee consumption. You have just launched both, a successful marketing and branding campaign.
About the Author:
Catherine works as a business consultant empowering entrepreneurs with the necessary tools and resources to bring their entrepreneurial aspiration to success. She holds Juris Doctorate degree of law specializing in Business and has extensive experience with all aspects of business formation. Connect with Catherine at Catherine dot delcin at gmail.com, or connect with her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CatherineDelcin .