Branding Basics: The Key To Business Success

A wise man once said “grease”  is the word. Well, that might be true for an auto service center, or even a cheap burger joint. But if you want to succeed in the business world today, branding is the word.

In an intensely competitive business environment, clear, consistent branding is a must. But what exactly is branding, and how can you maximize the benefits from it?

In its simplest form, branding means your identity to your potential customers. It’s a way to differentiate your business from your competitors.

Branding can generate fierce loyalty to companies, specific products, even people. For example, do you use an iPhone or an Android model? Each has a specific identity, and chances are that whichever one you prefer, you’re unlikely to switch to the other. That’s the kind of loyalty you want your brand to generate for your company.

There are a few steps to maximizing the power of your brand, especially if you want long-term success. Answering a few simple questions can lead to a timeless image that will carry through generations.

First, what do you want your company identity to be? Do you want to be known for value? Top Quality? Environmental responsibility? All of the above? Put some thought into how you want potential customers to see your brand.

Next, consider those customers. Define your target market. Are your customers men, women or both? How old are they? What’s their economic status? Do you want to appeal to a specific ethnic group or nationality? All of these will influence your brand identity.

Now, put those things together. Build your company brand around the key concepts to reach your customers. You’re ready to create a lasting image  that your customers can depend on.

For maximum impact, your branding needs to be consistent across all your platforms. That includes your logo, signage, traditional media such as radio, television or print, social media and of course, promotional products. You want your company brand to be instantly recognizable. You want customers to be able to say “oh, that’s (Your) Company,” every time they see your logo, slogan, name or image.

Innovate and Keep Your Brand Consistent

The worst thing you can have is a muddled image. If customers can’t tell your brand from your competitors’ immediately, they’re less likely to buy from you. Make sure your brand projects exactly what you want it to, and nothing less.

That doesn’t mean, however, that your company can never innovate or change.

Take IBM, for example. Started in 1911 as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, it became International Business Machines in 1924. Initial products included commercial scales, tabulators and even meat and cheese slicers.

The product lines simplified and resolved over the years to focus primarily on large mainframe computers and other heavy-duty office equipment. With the introduction of the IBM PC in 1981, the company became the dominant player in the personal computer market.

Today, IBM is primarily a software company. Yet since 1924, the year it first took its name, the company has had a clear brand. It has maintained its status as a leader in multiple fields, evolving with the computer industry from punch card-operated tabulators to mainframes to PCs and servers to software. All under one brand.

That’s the kind of brand consistency you want to strive for. A clear image in the consumer’s mind, even as your business evolves to meet new challenges and opportunities.

Of course, an integrated branding program includes all kinds of promotion, including custom promotional products. That’s where we come in. If you want to make the most of your branding, call or email us today to find out how we can help. We’re here to serve all your custom promotional product needs!