Updated July 2018
We’ve entered an age where there is the most marketplace competition, with tons of large and small businesses selling products and services all over the board online and offline. Plus there are more and more people trying to scam and steal your money, especially over the internet. So with both of these factors comes the increasing need for brand development and brand marketing.
Brand marketing isn’t simply the color palette you choose, or your logo. It’s much more than that. It’s what your business is – what it stands for, what feelings and thoughts it brings to the minds of customers and potential buyers.
This idea of corporate branding may still seem trivial to some, when back in the day it was enough to open your shop, fill it with some good products or services, do some basic marketing, and the people would come. This is no longer the case. The ease with which someone can build a web scam and take your money, coupled with the convenience of buying while sitting on your couch from, say, a well known and highly trusted source like Amazon, small online businesses and even large brick-and-mortar stores have a hard time keeping up.
Coca Cola, Google, Apple, McDonald’s. All of these names are very well known, and when you hear their names, specific thoughts or feelings may pop into your mind, whether positive or negative, or a little of both.
In the end though, each of these has had world-wide success, maintaining an overall positive, trusted image for many years, and the world knows the brand messaging of each, including what type of service they can expect on a consistent basis.
Coca-Cola’s new global branding approach maintains the classic, nostalgic feel of the brand, brings together all the varieties (Coca-Cola Diet, Light, Zero, and Life) and unites them with the simple message that drinking an ice-cold one makes any moment more special.
Apple, while known as incredibly expensive, is also known for its awesome customer loyalty, and how did they achieve this? By sticking with and consistently delivering their promise of elegant user interface, and simplicity of use.
Consistency and reliability are two key factors in building a brand and becoming a successful business with longevity. What do you want your customers to think of you, what can they expect, and will they be/are they happy with what you can deliver?
If a business wants to endure this new environment, it must set a clear goal of what it wants to accomplish, and must have a rigid set of values which run consistently inside and out of the products/services, marketing messages, management, and employees. This in itself sets the cornerstones of building a great brand strategy.
Branding is critical for any small business just getting started. One bad customer experience of the limited number of customers you may have could potentially put you out of business, whereas a company like McDonald’s getting one or two “gross chicken” complaints won’t even touch their bottom line.