Key Benefits of Branding Your Product or Service
If you think of a brand, what comes to mind? Coca Cola, Virgin, Hertz, Orange? It’s easy to think of branding as being for the big boys with big bucks. But that’s not to say that only large corporates can play the branding game. Small companies really should be able to build strong brands too. They have every reason to be close to their market, to understand it well and to build the relationship that’s at the heart of every brand. But all too often, smaller businesses fail to take advantage of the opportunities that branding offers because of preconceptions about what branding really is.
Brands are so numerous and common-place today that we are inclined to take their significance for granted. Branding refers to the use of a name, a term, a symbol or a design to identify goods or services of a seller and to distinguish them from those of other sellers. A good brand name can make a big difference in your success. Your brand name may be the single most important decision you can make about your company, product or service name. Branding is advantageous because it ...
- Creates an Image or Personality. A brand name can project an expectation of its performance and an emotion or feeling about it. Customers are much more likely to remember your business. A strong brand name and logo/image helps to keep your company image in the mind of your potential customers. If your business sells products that are often bought on impulse, a customer recognising your brand could mean the difference between no-sale and a sale. Even if the customer was not aware that you sell a particular product, if they trust your brand, they are likely to trust you with unfamiliar products. If a customer is happy with your products or services, a brand helps to build customer loyalty across your business.
- May Help Segment Markets. Virtually identical products could be sold in different distribution channels under different brand names and positioning. A strong brand projects an image of quality in your business, many people see the brand as a part of a product or service that helps to show its quality and value. It is commonly said that if you show a person two identical products, only one of which is branded; they will almost always believe the branded item is higher quality. If you can create effective branding, then over time the image of quality in your business will usually go up. Of course, branding cannot replace good quality, and bad publicity will damage a brand (and your businesses image), especially if it continues over a long period of time..
- Makes Purchasing Easier. After making a satisfactory brand decision for the first time, customers are likely to make repeat purchases without major reconsideration. Therefore, a good brand speeds up shopping. A strong brand creates an image of an established business that has been around for long enough to become well known. A branded business is more likely to be seen as experienced in their products or services, and will generally be seen as more reliable and trustworthy than an unbranded business. Most people will believe that a business would be hesitant to put their brand name on something that was of poor quality.
- May Develop a Customer Franchise. Achieving brand loyalty among your customers will protect you from competition and give you greater control over your marketing mix. If your business has a strong brand, it allows you to link together several different products or ranges. You can put your brand name on every product or service you sell, meaning that customers for one product will be more likely to buy another product from you.
Brand name selection is still an art, but there are a number of general rules that should be observed. Your brand should help communicate something important about your product or service – like its core concept or reason for being. It should be short, memorable, pronounceable and distinguishable from competition. If you are involved in exporting, you need to be concerned with its foreign meaning (many firms have been embarrassed on this one). Once you have a great brand name, branding can make your promotion more effective and efficient. Persistent promotion of your brand can create various levels of Brand Familiarity such as brand recognition, preference, insistence or advocacy.
Brand Recognition is when target customers remember having seen or heard of the brand. This is critically important, basic prospect education for new companies, products or services.
Brand Preference is when target customers will choose the brand out of habit or past experience. If your customers are satisfied with the products or services, they will buy your brand again if available.
Brand Insistence is when target customers insist upon a product and would be willing to search extensively for it. Your customer is so satisfied that your competitors don't have a chance to take the business away from you (competitive insulation).
Brand Advocacy is when the satisfied customer tells everyone whom they know how great your product or service is. They become your best salesperson.
Should you Brand Your Product or Service? Yes! Are your products or services properly Branded!!!