That’s right, McDonald’s, one of the best branded and most successful businesses out there. Now, when you saw the golden arches and the” I’m loving it” saying you knew the company right away didn’t you?
What else does McDonald’s use for branding? Colors of course, they are vibrant and contrast nicely but is that the only reason? I don’t know about you but I’m starting to want some fries.
How about their name? Is that branding the company too? It sure is, if you want a Big Mac, McFlurry or egg McMuffin. These are all things that get a response from you, the purchaser.
I will give you a few more here, not only directed at you. The happy meal, that’s right they got the kids attention too, so does the Play land and of course Ronald and his friends.
Now you’re probably thinking,” That’s all great Jim but that’s a billion dollar company and they are everywhere. Everyone knows McDonald’s”. True, but it all started with one.
Everyone knows It because repetition = recognition, in exercise they call this muscle memory it’s the same concept. Advertising simply plays on other senses, every sense possible actually.
Let’s look at another product to show a good example of what I mean.
Palmolive dish soap is the perfect example of branding by using senses.
Besides the scent of the soap, let’s look at their catch phrase. “It softens hands while you do the dishes”
Now when this advertising ploy started, who do you think was doing the dishes? Yes, women and they want to keep their soft hands.
This shows how demographics are important here as well. You have to study and know your potential customer, their wants, needs, likes and dislikes. Ask them what they look for most when they are looking for that particular product or service.
You absolutely must do research before you decide to do any kind of marketing campaign.
How To Brand Your Business
The most important thing to do first is the research…
First learn all the details you can on your Product or Services; break down what you can to know specifics. (It is difficult to be too specific here so feel free to comment or message for specifics on your product or service.)
Learn about all of its benefits and setbacks, learn about the competition. What sets your product above theirs? What is the price comparison? What is the difference between warranties?
Secondly learn everything about your clientele, the buyer’s motivation is critical to any business.
Is your product or service what they need, what they want or is it a combination? This may be a big difference in how you get their business.
If something is a true need then your focus should be aimed at all the benefits they would get from it; a fancy wrapper, name or sometimes even price may not be as important.
If it is something that is wanted; your focus will have to shift, say to show how much enjoyment they will get from it.
If it’s a combination, you will have to shift focus again. You may have to show what sets your product or service ahead of the any others.
Is it catered toward men or women? I will cover a few things here. (Now, they may seem to be extreme examples but it makes the point.) Presentation of your product or service would have to be catered directly. You would not attempt to sell a tool to a man by saying how perfectly it fit into dainty hands.
Placement would also be critical. It’s not very likely you would see a fish net stockings advertised in Car & Driver magazine.
Develop your identity….
Many people accomplish this in different orders and all can work. I will offer some additional advice; do as much research on this as possible. The effort now will save trouble later. There are many very affordable ways to get more information, here is one example.
Logos are used to accomplish a few key things at a glance, get attention and be memorable.
You should always try to use vibrant and contrasting colors to make your logo pop to life. Change your color schemes and consider it being on different background colors to see which works best.
Try to be unique but keep it so people can still relate to it and make sure that it associates with your business.
A name is more than just a name; it has to strengthen all the other elements or objectives of your business. The more your name tells about your business, products or services offered, the less effort you’ll expend trying to explain it.
Your name should be made to stand out, try different styles, fonts and color combinations to find the best effect. Keep in mind the name should associate with your logo.
Catch phrases are generally used along with names and logos. Catch phrases should be short and catchy. You should limit the phrases you use to one or two (only one at a time) and it must associate with your business.
Check your progress ….
Set up a few small target areas to test the effectiveness of your branding efforts. Keep the target areas small but diverse, use 2-3 different designs and be sure to track where any responses come from.
Try different media avenues, put out posters or fliers on community bulletin boards. Hand them out or place them on doors (Do not put in mailbox). Do online placement but keep in mind to keep the reach small. Ask your social media friends for opinions, Place localize free ads or classified ads. Start networking, attend social mixers, business network groups, local Chamber of Commerce or do card drops (leave a few cards at different locations).
Evaluate your results….
Learn to love any failure you can identify here, it is a critical part of brand building and will save a great deal of money. This allows you to make adjustments to any areas that did not capture the response you wanted.
Focus on what did not work and pull those aspects out; Did one design or layout work better than another? Was there difference in response between demo-graphs? Was there a difference between delivery medium?
Now focus on what aspects got the most positive responses; Did those things work in all areas of your test? Did it raise questions or interest to purchase?
Remake and redo …..
Follow the same steps as above with the following variations. Start with the aspects that worked and add around them. Be sure to keep your message clear.
No matter how much you try all the normal brand-building ideas; from the market research, the brand identity development, brand and logo design to blasting your branding campaign through every possible venue to have it seen, if you fail to convey the right messages to the right people effectively, all your hard work will be wasted.
Make sure you stand out. It is nearly impossible to find a marketplace that isn’t packed with competition anymore, so to be remembered by customers, you have to try to stand out from the competition.
Launch your campaign….
Use every advertising avenue at your disposal to reach as many people as you can. Be as consistent as possible across all media, your brand should appear the same on everything from marketing literature and advertising materials to staff uniforms.
Create a list of specifics to assist with consistency including color codes, font types, text formats and placement details. Run your marketing campaign over several weeks to build trust and recognition with your target market. If you don’t have a website up, check out my #1 review to get all the tools you need.
I hope this overview gave you more insight on the importance of branding. I will be expanding on this and will be putting out an ebook to better expand. I suggest you subscribe to my email list and receive it. I do also advise you to do more research on the subject before you launch a full release. As always I love feedback so please leave a comment or you can email me.
Wishing you the best success,