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Positioning Your Business Through Proper Branding

 

One of the questions people ask from time to time is, what is the difference between branding and marketing? It is a valid question though, as branding became a buzz word only recently, while the word marketing has been in use from time immemorial. When people hear the word ‘brand’, most times than not, the first thoughts that enter their heads are centered on popular products we see from daily. They tend to think of the MacDonalds, the Coca Cola, Airbus. The easily identifiable companies and products.

 

But is that all there is to branding? Is it just about recognizable everyday items and products? No! Definitely not! In this article, we will explore what brands are and what branding means, how it affects you and your business and how you can utilize it to position your business properly. From my interaction with different entrepreneurs, one of the things I have noticed over time is that many of them are a tad confused on what exactly branding is about. To some it sounds like some magical, mystical word. At the end of this article, you will be able to comprehend some of the terms used in branding. You will know what branding entails in its entirety. You will also be able to differentiate between marketing and branding, knowing fully well branding goes beyond logo.

 

Finally, you will be able to analyze your business. From the result of your analysis, you will be able to make an informed decision if your business needs rebranding and how you can have a brand makeover if it is needed.

Definition Of Branding


The term ‘Brand’ goes beyond the logo of a company, the organizational tagline, official website or the jingles used for advertisement. It is simply who/ what you are. The experience clients get from working with your business.

Every single contact you or your business representatives have with a client shapes the way your brand is conceived. It defines your brand. Whether the public sees your business in a good light or in a bad light, this perception is what defines your brand.

Your brand is represented physically by things such as your logo, the company colors, the text typeface/ typography and imagery.

The verbal aspect of your brand is shown to the world through your published organizational core values, your vision and mission statements, advertisement jingles and taglines.


Also brand recognition can be advanced by handing out branded accessories and souvenirs to clients. These can be little things like branded pens, cups and sticks that can be gotten from Wholesale websites.

Brands and branding is a two way street. It goes beyond just what you give out to the public. Your brand is also made up of the perception people and associates you work with have of your business.

It includes the level of trust or lack of it you have from the public, the comments of visitors to your website and the reception your business has on the social media platforms you use to connect with the public.

Differentiating Between Branding and Marketing.

A lot of people are of the misconception that the terms branding and Marketing are one and the same. This is very far from being true. I will use a story to explain the major difference between the two.

- Let’s say at a party, a guy at party sights a lady he finds attractive and likes. The guy then walks over to where she is seated and tells her “Hey, I am a wonderful dancer.”

What our hypothetical guy just did is marketing. He is delivering a message to her that he hopes will compel her to act.

- Let’s say at a party, a guy at party sights a lady he finds attractive and likes. The guy then walks over to where she is seated and tells her “Hey, I am a wonderful dancer and I will dance with you for one dollar.”

What the guy did is called sales. He offered the lady an opportunity to dance with him for a fee.

- Let’s say at a party, a guy at party sights a lady he finds attractive and likes. The lady then walks over to him and tells him “Hey, the girls told me how wonderful a dancer you are”

That scenario right there is what is called branding. From other girls’ experiences of the guy’s dancing skills, the lady was able to have a favourable impression of the guy’s brand. This positive opinion propelled her to meet him without him having to market his skills to her.

What Makes a Brand Good?


A lot of businesses attempt to make their brands appeal to a diverse audience population. They tend to diffuse their effect, spreading a wide net in a hope of catching fish.

On the other hand, strong brands go the other way. They tend to attract and appeal to a specific niche or audience. The target audience is relatively small, but they are the ones that need to be reached.

The clients of today wants authenticity and transparency more than anything in the brands they choose to associate with. They ask real questions, they try as much as possible to fix a particular face or characteristic to a company.

With the advent and popularity of multimedia, the playing field has changed, with more interaction between brands and their customers. Social media has played a huge role in this development as well.

Brands are now making use of social media to interact directly with their customers, providing live updates and responses to customer queries.


Repositioning Your Brand

Businesses are living things, in such they should be treated as such. Businesses grow and change over time, most times as responses to prevalent environmental and economic conditions. They need to change and adjust to fit in with present needs.

At the same time, the brand of businesses changes. The brand a business started with might not be a proper fit for it 10 years down the line. The brand becomes inconsistent with the current way the business operates and the needs of the market they service.

This calls for brand assessment, where you get to evaluate the current standing of your brand. If your brand is inconsistent with the present state of your business, then there is cogent need for you to rebrand or reposition your brand.