That is the million dollar question. However, before we can answer that, we have to answer the obvious question: what is branding and how can it effectively help your product and/or service?
The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”
Therefore it is safe to say that branding is not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but it is about positioning your company to prospects as the “go-to” source for providing a solution to their problem.
A strong, trusted and identifiable brand can not only help you sell your product and/or service, but it can also open the doors for future community and business partnerships. People want to work with (
and buy from!) established brands that have positioned themselves as leaders in such a saturated world.
With that said, I think it’s
impossible to answer the question: what makes a good brand. Rather, a strong brand can help to deliver a message clearly. That message could range from new product developments in the marketplace to the benefits of a purchasing cell phone plan from Verizon over AT&T.
A strong brand can also motivate the buyer. This is where the importance of knowing your target market comes into play. If you know the attributes, behaviors and circumstances that motivate your buyer, then you can apply these into your branding strategy.
Furthermore, a strong brand builds customer loyalty. Effective businesses view their brands as tools that allow their messaging to cut through the noise of an overcrowded marketplace. They also position themselves as trusted brands based on the fact that their product and/or service has delivered on its’ promises in the past.
“The lack of a solid foundation for a brand will ultimately undermine its future success. This foundation goes beyond the logo and brand fascia and provides the underpinnings of legitimacy and ability to deliver real value.”
If you are new to the branding world and working on creating a branding strategy, ask yourself this one question: What is my brand value and how can I use it to keep consumers coming back? That answer can vary depending on the scope of your business.