Building Better Brands: Tips And Techniques
Today, branding is considered a highly crucial business practice. Many firms use brands to communicate company values and philosophies with the public, and strong brands can allow businesses to thrive in a highly competitive market.
However, branding missteps can be highly detrimental – and in some cases, ruinous – to new businesses, even if they have initially succeeded in creating a highly desirable product. As BusinessLink notes, a brand is represented by much more than an attractive logo or a catchy jingle.
In addition to design, factors such as advertising and marketing, customer service and corporate culture play integral roles in corporate brand building. The goal of these practices is to deliver an accurate statement of the company’s core values and strengths, and thus establish positive connections or impressions with consumers.
However, customers often choose companies based on “emotional as well as pragmatic judgments.” In order to effectively build a company’s brand, owners must analyze many social and economic factors and determine the best methods for generating positive associations among consumers.
Social media marketing is one of the most popular such methods in use today. While some experts believe that social media abandons traditional marketing in favor of public opinion, Patrick Barwise of Harvard Business Review argues that brand building is now more important than ever thanks to social media.
Successful companies (such as Proctor & Gamble and American Express) have created on-line communities where visitors can exchange ideas with other consumers and provide feedback on their experiences with that particular brand.
These company sites are supplemented with Twitter feeds, Facebook pages and viral ad campaigns. By providing useful products to consumers in stylish, innovative ways, these companies are capitalizing on both “emotional” and “pragmatic” factors. But social media is a dynamic platform – and as such, companies must adapt to shifting trends and new technologies.
Another important consideration is the company’s social media representative; these individuals should be skilled at delivering stimulating content to a wide range of social media platforms and committed to the company’s core values.
Many companies have created web-based self-service platforms that allow customers to purchase goods and services by simply clicking a mouse. While this practice significantly reduces business costs, Peggy Carlaw of Business2Community notes that self-service communities also build brand loyalty among customers.
If companies want to incorporate self-service onto their site, they should first design a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate and conducive to interaction between site visitors. The site should also enable customers to receive human assistance when necessary, and company employees should be available to respond in a timely fashion. And much like social media marketing, self-service platforms should be continually evaluated and revised based on current trends.
Craig Reiss of Entrepreneur argues that effective brand-building is comprised of three important steps. First, a company should “craft its image” by carefully choosing a name that suits its values and its customers, and selecting a logo that is not only instantly recognizable, but also easily reproduced to accommodate different sizes and media platforms.
Next, as the company utilizes a range of marketing techniques to reach potential customers, its employees should pay close attention to market trends. By listening to consumers and adopting a business strategy that meets their needs, companies can ensure that their brand appeals to a contemporary audience. And once a customer base is established, companies should continually work to satisfy current clients while maintaining a brand that generates positive associations with the rest of the public.
While these strategies have all worked for numerous companies, there is no proven formula for branding success. Each organization must make careful considerations in regard to both customers and financial capabilities in order to build its brand to the most effective degree.
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Juliana Davies never thought she would be writing about business, marketing, and the evolution of the workplace, but now that she does, she loves it. She’s worked under others’ supervision and on her own for herself at http://www.mbaonline.com. Her main areas of interest are how technology is changing public spaces, like classrooms and the workplace, and start ups.