Branding Cures Several Marketing Headaches

Branding Cures Several Marketing Headaches



Branding Cures Several Marketing Headaches
Are you​ trying to​ attract business with a​ no-name,​ no-differences-from-competitors company identity? Branding your company,​ when done well,​ not only helps you​ stand out in​ a​ field of​ similar choices,​ it​ also helps you​ avoid price-shoppers and deliver results to​ customers that inspire loyalty .​
Here’s why.
Headache #1: Competitors all seem the​ same
Put yourself in​ the​ mindset of​ a​ customer and go shopping for a​ company that provides what you​ sell .​
Do all the​ options seem pretty much the​ same? If so,​ create a​ memorable difference with branding .​
Stand for something that will set you​ apart.
Be faster,​ longer-lasting,​ more traditional,​ more fashionable,​ more child-friendly,​ organic,​ more international,​ etc .​
When you​ put this difference front and center in​ your company name and tag line,​ you​ become the​ best and possibly even the​ only choice for your target market.
Some companies make their mission statements available to​ customers as​ a​ way to​ communicate their operating values .​
Others embody their values and differentiation in​ advertising symbols,​ slogans,​ signage and store design .​
Still others rely on​ media coverage to​ get across their distinctive message .​
Some convey what they stand for in​ their customer newsletter .​
Standing for something specific (not something vague like quality) helps your company say So what? to​ all the​ competition.
Another way to​ brand the​ company is​ to​ choose a​ personality for it​ and embody that personality in​ everything they do .​
Here are some options:
· sincere and friendly
· off-beat,​ fun to​ be with or​ exciting
· adventurous or​ artistic
· careful and finicky
· glamorous and sophisticated
· the​ strong,​ silent type
· brash and even slightly irritating
· motherly and considerate
From the​ company's personality can flow ad campaigns,​ kinds of​ special events to​ sponsor,​ company colors and typefaces,​ corporate gift selection,​ even the​ talent chosen to​ record company voice mail messages .​
With a​ personality,​ you’re more memorable than bland competitors.
Headache #2: Price-shoppers and tire-kickers waste your time
When you​ make pricing part of​ your branding,​ you​ cut down on​ the​ number of​ tire-kickers you​ need to​ deal with .​
This occurs whether your prices are high,​ low or​ medium .​
You also rope in​ many of​ the​ shoppers who might otherwise make incorrect assumptions .​
Some go away without asking your prices because they figure they couldn't afford you​ .​
Some guess that your prices are low and conclude that therefore you​ couldn't be very good at​ what you​ do .​
In the​ latter case,​ proclaiming your high prices increases business because clients willing to​ pay for the​ best now know you​ fall into the​ category of​ elite firms they want to​ patronize.
Above all,​ make sure your pricing fits with the​ other components of​ your image .​
If you​ charge in​ the​ low range,​ your stationery,​ logo and delivery trucks shouldn't look classy and expensive .​
If you​ charge in​ the​ high range,​ you​ should be giving out higher quality company gifts and promotional items.
Another good solution for companies bothered by price shoppers and customers seemingly without brand loyalty is​ to​ lean more heavily on​ benefits differentiating them from competitors .​
The classic definition of​ business benefits reminds us that people don't really buy 3/4-inch drills,​ they buy 3/4-inch holes .​
They don't buy an​ item or​ a​ service,​ but the​ result produced by the​ item or​ the​ service.
If you're a​ financial planner,​ you​ really deliver not financial advice but peace of​ mind and the​ ability to​ live well in​ the​ future or​ take care of​ one's family .​
If you're a​ rental car agency,​ you​ really deliver not a​ rental car but the​ ability to​ drive around freely when someone's own car is​ being repaired or​ is​ far away back home .​
Building these benefits into your company name and tag line is​ smart.
Headache #3: Customer service doesn’t inspire loyalty
Branding can give your organization an​ image to​ live up to​ and therefore help your employees perform better than with a​ bland identity .​
This worked so well for Domino’s Pizza when their identity rested on​ delivery within 30 minutes that they had to​ pull back on​ this promise after a​ jury held the​ company responsible for an​ accident caused by a​ driver rushing to​ deliver within the​ promised time .​
To avoid that pitfall,​ run your new proposed branding past a​ lawyer trained to​ think in​ terms of​ worst case scenarios.
Keep tabs on​ how well your employees are living up to​ a​ customer service promise by engaging a​ mystery shopper or​ mystery patient (for hospitals),​ who interacts with the​ company incognito and then files a​ report on​ their experience .​
Many of​ the​ faults that turn up in​ such reports can be easily corrected once identified,​ leading to​ an​ improved image.
You can also directly solicit feedback from clients through a​ survey form .​
Sometimes the​ very act of​ asking for feedback improves your firm's image,​ since it​ shows you​ care about customers' experiences.
When implemented intelligently and visibly,​ branding sets you​ apart from competitors,​ helps free you​ of​ price shoppers and gives customers an​ experience that brings them back to​ you​ again and again.




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