You are a busy professional looking for ways to have your business, products and services promoted to potential clients. How do you create a memorable brand? What plans do you need to make to keep the messages about your brand impactful and sustainable?
Building an effective marketing strategy, and promoting your products and services, is clearer when you establish a branding strategy that keeps your brand top of mind. To stay focused, it is important to know the difference between your brand and branding itself. Although they are related, branding is the book beyond the cover of its brand. Your efforts will support your marketing strategy if you keep mindful of the differences.
What is a brand? It is the visual image your product or services, including the logo, graphic design, colors and packaging. What is branding? It is the story about your product or services. It is the description of the value you bring and the reputation of the brand. Branding also includes a plan to make your product stand out with various customer segments. Your brand is the “cover of the book,” while branding is the “book beyond the cover.”
If you want to have a successful brand that endures, you have to think like an author of a book series. The main character of such a book would appear on every cover, yet the story being told evolves to keep the audience interested. The same is true for your product or service. You certainly want to build a powerful visual image for your brand that is readily recognizable by your customers. Yet, you also want to have the brand grow in ways that support your customers needs.
One useful approach to branding is measuring how customers receive the various approaches to your marketing. We previously discussed the use of marketing analytics in determining whether the brand stories are reaching the customers in ways that generate revenue. You need to measure your branding to truly know if your “book” is selling.
Another relevant approach is designing content about your brand that creates a buzz. So much of today’s best practices revolve around brand experiences that can be shared. One effective visual is to think of a book that friends share with friends because it has had such a deep emotional impact. That is the ultimate response that you want for your brand.
Certainly, it is important to create a brand that attracts customers; just as an effective book cover attracts a reader to open it. The ultimate success of a brand is when the book extends beyond its cover and its branding causes the brand to be used and shared frequently; just as a classic storybook is read and recommended to others.