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Branding is Like porn. It can be hard to describe but you know great branding when you see it…
Maybe I should try and define it, because that analogy didn’t go over well.
Branding encapsulates something as simple as telling somebody what you do and something as complex as delivering a consistent message across 40,000 franchised locations (imagine a game of telephone where the person at the end of the line is deciding whether or not to buy your product).
If you’re new to the branding and marketing industry, it might seem overwhelming at first. What do I need to know about search engine optimization? Do I need to know everything there is to know about the Adobe creative cloud? Don’t worry, I’m going to start with the most basic forms of branding that you need to be aware about and we’ll make our way up from there.
So what is branding? To me branding is the philosophy of communicating yourself to others in a way that incentivizes them to take action. At its simplest form, branding is an argument for your identity.
If you are not branding your company, something or somebody else is. Therefore, your job as a brand marketer, is to convince the public, or your clients, that your brand represents an idea. The closer you can tie that idea to an emotion, the more successful your brand will be.
Your company brand is also more than just your marketing. Your brand is how your customer service interacts with clients, how you price your products, how you react to issues facing your company, and how you treat your employees. For example, when a customer has an experience working with one of your employees, modern technology allows them to voice that concern in a way that can affect future clients. The way you train your employee to handle situations with clients, affects your brand in a round-about way.
What elements help build a solid brand?
Brand positioning statements. These nifty little sentences are the backbone of your companies image. This will be your guiding philosophy for how to address employee relationships, customer relationships, and your entire digital presence.
Let’s take a look at McDonalds Brand Positing statement from 2013: “McDonald’s brand mission is to be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink. Our worldwide operations are aligned around a global strategy called the Plan to Win, which center on an exceptional customer experience – People, Products, Place, Price and Promotion.”
This brand positioning statement was at play behind the MxDonalds lobby redesign. If you remember McDonalds from the early 2000’s, it wasn’t a place you wanted to ‘hang out.’ actually plastic chairs, notoriously dirty and simply not comfortable. But McDonalds took the hint from Starbucks’ lobby. If you have a place people want to visit, they are not only likely to visit and purchase, but also revisit for future use. This also led to McDonalds including free in-store WIFI for customers to connect to and work, or for college students to connect to and work on school projects.
the McDonalds BPS was the ancher point for future dominance in the fast food marketplace. The structural changes built on the backbone of this BPS has given McDonalds the high ground in their competition against other quick dining alternatives.
At both the corporate level, and at your local hardware shop, knowing your brand position is essential to growth and success in an incredibly moreso diverse competitive environment.
So, the real question is, what is your brand?
Let me know in the comments.
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