If positioning is what you say you are, then your brand is the reality behind the statement. It is the combination of ALL elements that helps your audience perceive the different between your product and another. Your brand represents nothing less than the totality of the experience of doing business with your company. You can change your tagline — or position — all you want, but your brand is what you customers believe you do for them, not simply what you say you do. And it’s critical that you keep that promise every hour of every day in every way you can possibly imagine.
The foundation of all great brands is a great reality. Think cool, effective, distinctive, disruptive, emotive, deep, indulgent and supported. That’s one long list, we know. But the point is that branding is easy when you sell something great. Branding is hard when you sell junk.
You can put together an effective brand strategy without breaking the bank. Building a brand is not reserved for Fortune 500 companies. If you’re focusing on a select target market, you just have to make sure your brand is communicated to them effectively and efficiently.
Honing Your Message
A brand message can be developed using information about your industry, your company, your products/services, your people, your target market, your sales process and your differentiator (what makes you unique and different from others). Use this information to come up with ideas that are true to your brand message. Then distill them by focusing on the one, singular benefit that has the most impact and would garner the most attention by your target market. Become known for something specific. Once you have that killer message that will make your target market stand up and take notice you can begin focusing on its implementation.
The Right Mix of Media
With ever-changing technology, you can’t ignore the importance of making social media, video, e-newsletters, etc. part of your media mix. But you certainly shouldn’t ignore the power of traditional media (ie: trade shows, magazine ads, billboard, etc.) if it meets your strategy. To be effective, your brand needs an integrated approach to build brand identity among your target market. Study your target market to find out where they go for product information, reviews and news. Is it web, social, passive media (tv/radio) or other places? Where do they live, what are their favorite websites, what do they do in their free time, etc.? Once you’ve chosen your targeted media outlets, it’s time to hammer home the point.
Frequency and Consistency
Now that you’ve honed your message, it’s time for the most difficult part — frequency and consistency. Sounds easy, but it’s not. Your brand must stay consistent from one medium to the next. That means your message must be recognizable and identifiable — whether it’s on a banner ad, on a Facebook business page or on your fleet’s vehicle signage. Running media for a short time won’t bring the results you want. Since most people won’t even know you exist until you’ve been out in front of them at least 10-15 times. You’ve got to repeat your brand message over and over. Then you’ll begin to build that ever-important brand relationship with your prospect.