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Build Brand Identity Through Product Branding
Building a product into a brand leader is not easy, but I truly believe that you can improve your branding impression if you follow these 2 rules; Passion & Consistency as well as the 4P's of Branding that I have developed, PRODUCT ? PLACEMENT ? PROMOTION ? PEOPLE. These 4 P's will enable you to check the way your brand is interpreted. Each of these very distinct headings has an impact on your brand, and the brand in turn will affect each of these areas. For those of you who have gone through Marketing 101, you will see that the only difference between the 4P's of Marketing and my 4P's of Branding, are People, and people affect the brand more than any other area.
Imagine this scenario, it's lunchtime, you have decided, after working in your office all morning, that you would like to have an orange for dessert. You drive to the local supermarket, go to the fruit department, and find that there are only 2 oranges left, they both look the same until you pick them up. That's when you notice that one of them has Sunkist stamped on it. Which one will you buy? Well if you are like 99.999% of the country, you will by the Sunkist orange. Why? Because over the years, Sunkist has promised you an orange that not only looks good, tastes good, but is also good value for money. Now comes the kicker, you see, there is very good chance that you would probably still buy the Sunkist brand, even if you had to pay a penny or so more for it. That is what building a brand leader is all about. At the moment of truth, if all things are equal then there is a good chance that the "brand" will be the purchase choice, and even command a premium price for the product.
Next is Placement. In my brand concept overview I have listed Distribution, Location, Stores, Transportation and Plant. Now these are generic headings, and you may well be able to add more that are pertinent to your specific industry. I want you to imagine that all of these areas are like a full-page advertisement for your company. They should all have the communications message that is consistent with the rest of the campaign approach you are now working on. I know that this is somewhat unusual, but every single piece of communication affects the end user or consumer in some way shape or form. You see it really is the logo on the truck, but it's also the logo on the driver's shirt, the cleanliness of the truck and the way in which the delivery person interacts with the customer. They should act the way you want them to, the way you want your brand to be enacted. This should all be scripted, leaving nothing to chance or choice! They are your brand image.
Promotion is the area that we think of most when discussing brand and brand impression. Promotion covers the vast area of communication. From the very essence of the brand to it's image, Advertising, Sales Promotion, Direct Mail, Internet advertising, Public Relations, Marketing, Sales Force, and Point of Sale. There are so many different elements, that it would take a whole series of articles to even get started. However, I would strongly recommend that you remember what I said at the beginning, "Consistency" should be pervasive throughout all of the components. Sometimes you don't have to have a great design as long as you are consistent with the creative and the message.
As I mentioned earlier, People are the one area that makes my 4P's of Branding different from the 4P's of Marketing. People are involved in every step of the production of your product or service, and people are the Brand. Your employees, Dealers or Distributors, End Users, Vendors, Friends and honestly the Rest of the World. Every employee represents the brand, the people in the Accounting Department, Shipping, Research, Legal, Shop Floor, Marketing, and on throughout the company. It's not just the Sales Department! Think about this - your accounting department calls someone in your clients accounting department on a regular basis. Maybe it's to chase money, to clear up a billed consignment that perhaps got lost. But this is also a chance for your accounting person to get a little closer and find out how your company is doing with them, the customer. This is a great opportunity to get inside information.
How are we doing? Why do you think our competition is getting the lion share of the business? How can we do a better job for your company? And many other questions that you would like answered, I would go so far as to try to get these two people together, give them the opportunity to get closer, go out to lunch on you. It will pay back dividends in the long run.
There are many more opportunities to make your brand grow, make sure you follow the golden rules, passion, consistency of message and multiple quality impressions, and your brand will be on it's way to becoming a brand leader.
To measure how strong your brand is copy and paste: (http://brandidentityguru.com/bightml/brandmasterpiece.html). Then click "Take the brand strength test". This is a short survey that measures the strength of any company's brand. It's a great tool to see where you are today.
Scott White is President of Brand Identity Guru (http://www.brandidentityguru.com), a leading brand consulting and market research firm located in Easton, Massachusetts, USA, near Boston.
Brand Identity Guru specializes in creating corporate and product brands that increase sales, market share, customer loyalty, and brand valuation. Over the course of his 15-year branding career, Scott White has worked in a wide variety of industries: high-tech, manufacturing, computer hardware and software, telecommunications, banking, restaurants, fashion, healthcare, Internet, retail, and service businesses, as well as numerous non-profit organizations.
Brand Identity Guru clients include: Sun Life Financial, Coca Cola, HP, Sun, Nordstrom, American Federal Mortgage, Simon (America's largest shopping mall manager) and many others, including numerous emerging growth companies.
Scott White is a very enthusiastic speaker and has the gift of being able to explain the principles of branding in a compelling and entertaining manner so that people at all levels can understand.
Brand Boring or Brand Buzz?
I heard an advertisement on the radio the other day that surprised me, not because they were saying anything noteworthy, but because it was so banal. It was a national company's ad. They pay an ad agency to write and produce their commercials. There are so many words at their disposal, so many descriptions, so many emotional statements to attract customers, why would they use the trite phrase, " knowledgeable, friendly staff to serve you"? Even if they couldn't think of anything exciting, they could have used, "if you've got questions, we've got answers", "we specialize in providing answers"?"specializing in premium products and effective solutions"."Try and stump the staff with your questions, they love a challenge". "We don't have all the answers but we'll help find solutions"
Im Just Starting, Why Do I Need a Logo Design?
Businesses eager to open often give little thought to their identity.With so much to get done, designing an appropriate logo hardly seemslike a top priority. However, this oversight can prove to be acostly error in the long run.
Corporate Branding and Professional Logo Design
Any business with the minimum interest to be successful should concentrate on developing their corporate image and when I say "any business", I mean it, absolutely any business-even if it's a mom-n-pop shop. "Corporate image" might be a big word for such small ventures, however, what I meant by that is how the business wants themselves to be perceived by their customers. Irrespective of the size of the business it is very important to determine how do you come across to your potential customers? How do you compare to your competitors? These factors are largely determined by your branding and marketing strategies. Branding tools like logo designs, business cards etc goes a long way in creating your corporate image. Any marketing communication material should ideally have your corporate logo on it, which would give more credibility for your business as well as help your client to perceive your business as a professional enterprise.
Brand Awareness - Brand Identity
About once a month a few of us at the office get together during lunch for what has become known as a SWAP meeting. We share thoughts, stories and sometimes play Pictionary. It's a great way to relieve stress and learn interesting tidbits about the people we work with.
Multi-Brand Franchises in the QSR Sector
Well not everyone is aware that McDonalds also owns several other bands such as Boston Markets; 650 stores in 23 states, Chipotle Mexican Grill; 230 stores in 10 states, Donato's Pizza 200 stores in 10 states, Pret a Manager 140 stores in 4 countries, Fazoli's 400 units in 32 states and two countries. Of this the company derives 2 Billion in annual sales, this is not even counting McDonalds. Many people are unaware of this because McDonald's has not connected the dots. However other franchise companies which franchise and have multiple brands have.
Your Small Business Name -- Important?
You bet a name is important. Many small business owners try to come up with a clever name for their business rather than one that explains what they do. And, nine times out of ten, that is a mistake. Your business name should give your prospects some idea of what your business is about.
12 Ways to Reduce Postage
1. Never send a letter that weighs less than 30 gms. Five size8-1/2x11 circulars can be mailed with a 1st class postage stamp. By using all 10 sides with a variety of offers you have agreater chance of receiving an order.
Brand Value - Brand Identity Guru
Successful Guru marketers have a secret weapon that they use every single time they communicate about their businesses. It's one of those intangibles that are easily misunderstood. It's the ability to generate excitement about what you have to offer. And when your prospects are excited about your services, marketing becomes a whole lot easier. You get more attention, more response, more sales and more referrals.
Is Your Logo Helping or Hurting Your Business?
The quality of your logo can mean the difference between success or failure. It can be that simple!
The Big-Pay Off -- Brand Value
Many CEOs and marketing directors find their time wasted evaluating marketing opportunities instead of acting on them. When every possibility is followed, a meandering trail of hit and miss effectiveness is the result. Despite significant expenditure of time and money, marketing tactics may not produce the desired gains.
Play it Again Sam
The marketing director for one of my longtime clients used to complain "does it have to be purple again?" What she and many others don't realize is that the color you are seeing in your sleep, your prospects might just be beginning to recognize, and if done well, associate with you.
Business Branding - How Character Affects Customers and Your Business Image
The public buys far more than just your products, services and so-called image promotions. Whenever they interact with anyone or anything associated with your business, they are automatically branded emotionally, good or bad, by the totality of your business character.
Brand Building For Profit: The Colour Behind the Brand and Why I Wear Red Ties!
Colour is essential to building a strong brand.
Wealthiest 10% of Americans Name Top Quality Brands for 8 Products in New Survey
The seventh in a continuing series of twice-yearly surveys by The American Affluence Research Center (AARC) reveals the brands considered to have the highest quality, regardless of price, by the wealthiest 10% of Americans, the 11 million households representing about half of all consumer income and spending, a third of the total US economy, and 70% of the personal wealth of Americans.
Trademark Issues in the Mobil Auto Business
There have always been trademark issues and lawsuits in the mobile auto service business. I know this because I own several such businesses. We first noticed a competitor in the Mobile Auto Detailing Business, which had a name "Mobile Auto Services" another "Mobile Oil Change" and still another "Mobile Car Care". Mobil Oil Company was marketing at the time their Gas Station Service Centers as "Mobil Auto-Services" "Mobil Car Care" and "Mobil Auto Care."
The Role of a Visual Vocabulary in Brand Identity Design
Visual elements are a major part of your business's brand identity design. The keystone of that design is the logo, but in many cases, the logo isn't enough to convey all of your brand attributes. A visual vocabulary is a way to reinforce and add to the messaging that is contained in your logo.
Franchisor Policies for Unlicensed or Sold Territories
Franchisors often have issues when they own a brand which has service vehicles; where franchisees wish to operate in non-franchise assigned territories. We had this as a re-occurring issue in our franchise system. We came up with this policy, which is also in our Confidential Operations Manuals. Here is a sample policy for our franchisees:
McDonalds Supply Chain of Potatoes
McDonald's buys its potatoes from corporate farmers in Idaho not the commodities market; therefore it limits its exposure to price gouging that might have occurred by using the commodity exchange to get those potatoes. Starbucks is doing the same thing, but instead of having partnerships and coffee beans, they are all of in-house. Its Starbucks owns the partnerships they grew the coffee then they might have a conflict of interest for their stockholders. Because they would be dictating the price of the coffee at the partnerships been sold to Starbucks. If they paid a little more than normal for those coffee beans, so the coffee plantation can expand by better production facilities and upgrade then Starbucks funneled money to those partnerships, that should have either paid in dividends, shown as profits or retained earnings. By doing that their stock price would go up and shareholders would be better served short-term. There is a lot more involved before that food or drink gets to your table. Commodities are very much part of the behind the scenes of our civilization.
A Lesson in Branding from Paris Hilton
I have never been a fan of Paris Hilton.
Brand Love, Part 2
Last issue, I talked about increasing your Brand Love-- meaning to increase the affection that prospects and customers feel toward your business.
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