Ever wonder why you need successful branding? Look no further. Read this article, to discover why your unique brand will keep you into business, even in times of recession! Offer your customers a unique and valuable experience and they will love you faithfully through good and bad times.
“A product is something that is made in a factory; a brand is something that is bought by a customer.”
“A product can be copied by a competitor; a brand is unique.”
“A product can be quickly outdated; a successful brand is timeless.”
Quote by Stephen King -a genuinely original thinker- WPP Group, London. Source ~ Chicago: The Academy of Business Strategy – Brand Communications, (accessed April 26, 2012).
Although Stephen King refers to products, this solid statement also holds for service oriented business.
Let’s first clear up the fog around words like brand and branding. I think Mari Smith explains the difference really well:
“Your brand is what people feel when they come in contact with your branding.”
“Your branding is everything you do to let people know about your brand”.
Check out this Great Resource on Brand and Branding ~ Chicago: The meaning of Chevrolet | Detroit Free Press | freep.com, (accessed April 26, 2012).
Branding your business is more than crafting a logo or color scheme
Just think about this! Your brand is what people feel whenever they buy your product or receive your service. Branding is everything you do to communicate your brand experience. I hope you see your big opportunity: exceed your customers expectations with a unique experience and you’ll have customers for life!
So, branding your business is more than crafting the color scheme or logo of your brand. What’s more, on the social web, you are no longer in complete control of your branding! Simply by the nature of the social web, people are sharing their experience with your products and services daily with their friends and family.
Use Guy Kawasaki’s 2 x 2 matrix: on the horizontal axis is Value, on the vertical axis is Uniqueness. Build something that positions your brand in the upper right corner of this matrix. Work on something that is totally unique and has high value. Watch how people can’t stop talking about it! (I never stop talking about my Macbook Pro).
Engaging brands build trust
Work on a branding strategy that generates engagement. Especially now, on the over communicated social web, relationships matter more than ever. A lot of engagement with your brand generates trust. Why? A big fan base on Facebook or a lot of followers on Twitter provides value to your customers, because it makes them feel confident in their purchase decision (they trust you), and it offers them satisfaction (just ask a Harley Davidson rider!).
Engagement is a big multiplier for building trust. It’s based on social proof. People tend to like and share things that their friends like and share (hence the success of Facebook). The more choices you have, the likelier it is you’ll select a friend with your beliefs. Te learn more, read “BFFing yourself: People pick friends just like themselves.”
Source ~ Chicago: BFFing yourself: People pick friends just like them – TODAY .., (accessed April 26, 2012).
Unique brands offer high Return on Investment
Each social media strategy should include a clear return on investment (ROI). There are actually 5 ROI’s of a successful branding strategy:
-by generating viral word of mouth promotion, you create a very effective and efficient marketing tool;
-it will increase your customer loyalty and reduce your acquisition costs;
-it will support a high margin on your product or service;
-you’ll have a competitive advantage (you’re the only one who holds that unique brand position ~ certainly true for solo-preneurs)
-it makes your business more fun.
Take Away: if you want to rule the social web, create a branding strategy that supports your unique brand. Think about your customers for a moment. What uniqueness do you want them to experience whenever they choose you? Think about the 3 words (values) that you want your brand to represent. Come back next week to learn some great tips on successful branding strategies.
What’s your favorite brand? Love to read your reaction in the box below. 🙂
Check out this Example on Word of Mouth Virality~ Chicago: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey goes viral on internet and .., (accessed April 26, 2012).
CREDITS: this article is inspired by the SECOND module of Social Midas. A new course -with Mari Smith and Guy Kawasaki- helping business owners to create an overarching marketing strategy to generate quality leads and convert them into paying customers. If you want to take advantage of a special offer, with 40% off, go to SocialMidas (limited offer).