What is the difference between Clorox household bleach and a generic brand of household bleach? The price is one obvious difference. What do you think makes intelligent shoppers choose a brand over a generic version? In a nutshell – a branding strategy.
First, let's clear up the biggest misconception about brand strategy: Your brand is not your product, your logo, your website, or your name.
In fact, your brand is much more than that -- it's the stuff that feels intangible. But it's that hard-to-pin-down feeling that separates powerhouse and mediocre brands from each other.
What is brand strategy? Brand strategy is a plan used across multi-media platforms that communicate a message to the consumer. The message can be direct or indirect. The goal is stand out in the marketplace, be top of mind for a specific product space and make the consumer feel great about his or her choice of the brand/product.
So to help you rein in what many marketers consider more of an art and less of a science, we've broken down seven essential components of a comprehensive brand strategy that will help keep your company around for ages.
6 Components for a Comprehensive Branding Strategy
1) Every brand makes a promise. But in a marketplace in which consumer confidence is low and budgetary vigilance is high, it’s not just making a promise that separates one brand from another, but having a defining purpose
2) The key to consistency is to avoid talking about things that don’t relate to or enhance your brand.In an effort to give your brand a platform to stand on, you need to be sure that all of your messaging is cohesive. Ultimately, consistency contributes to brand recognition, which fuels customer loyalty. (No pressure, right?)
3) Customers aren't always rational.How else do you explain the person who paid thousands of dollars more for a Harley rather than buying another cheaper, equally well-made bike? Why? People have an innate desire to build relationships. Research from psychologists Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary best describes this need in their "belongingness hypothesis," which states: "People have a basic psychological need to feel closely connected to others, and that caring, affectionate bonds from close relationships are a major part of human behavior.
4) In this fast-changing world, marketers must remain flexible to stay relevant. On the plus side, this frees you to be creative with your campaigns.In other words, "effective identity programs require enough consistency to be identifiable, but enough variation to keep things fresh and human
5) If your brand is playful and bubbly through Twitter engagements, then it wouldn't make sense if a customer called in and was connected with a grumpy, monotone representative, right?
6) If you already have people that love you, your company, and your brand, don’t just sit there. Reward them for that love.These customers have gone out their way to write about you, to tell their friends about you, and to act as your brand ambassadors. Cultivating loyalty from these people early on will yield more returning customers -- and more profit for your business.
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