Don’t Forget Branding

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Brand-1027862Branding was once something marketers couldn’t stop talking about.  But once online marketing arrived, branding took a backseat, and has even been devalued.

But branding still has a place in marketing!

Recently, I was in a meeting going over a campaign for the upcoming year and branding came up.  The client mentioned they didn’t want to run a branding campaign because they felt it was a waste of money.  I had to agree—not because I feel branding is a waste of money, but because it wasn’t right for their business goals.  But if you ask any marketer, they'll say every business needs a brand.

Branding is the process of building the identity of your company.  Business owners dislike “wasting” money on branding because it’s not the typical way to promote your business.  Branding is more in-depth and gives your company a personality.  In a typical campaign, business owners focus on price, but branding campaigns tell your business’s story and set you apart from your competitors.

Big companies spend millions on branding campaigns.  Why?  Because they know having a strong brand means you will choose their products over any other competitor!

For example, Nike spends millions promoting their brand and targeting the athletic consumer.  Their marketing emphasizes a fitness-oriented lifestyle and equates their products with healthy living.  Nike never focuses on price because they know that’s not what sells their products.  They know their customers care about being active and comfortable in quality products.  Nike emphasizes that their products make you a better athlete—now that's branding!

Other examples of great branding:

  • Southwest Airlines is the no frills, fun airline.
  • 7-Up is the Uncola.
  • United Airlines tells you to fly the friendly skies.
  • Federal Express when it positively, absolutely must be there overnight.

Branding campaigns take time and money to run.  They work well for established companies with strong reputations.  Good branding campaigns explain the company’s USP (Unique Selling Position) in a story.  They often use a short slogan to trigger an immediate recall of the company.  Your trigger can be a slogan, logo, or tagline, just as long as it’s something customers will associate with your business.

When your customers need a service or product, you want to be first on their list.  The way to secure that spot is with a great brand!