According to the American Marketing Association (AMA), a brand is 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 competition.”
So what exactly does this mean? Well, the essence of branding your product is to create a business name, logo, design, or other characteristic that identifies what you are selling. But that is where branding becomes dynamic. It is more than just a symbol – it is an emotional connection to your target market that clearly states that your product is the only one that will fill their need, solve their problem and deliver the quality and the experience that the customer expects.
According to branding experts, a good branding campaign does the following:
- Provides a clear message
- Confirms your credibility
- Emotionally connects to your target audience
- Motivates the buyer
- Creates user loyalty
So, not what? How do you take your product and brand it? How do you convince the world that your product is the answer? You develop a personality for your item. Branding is all about personality. It is about creating a feeling among your target audience, a lifestyle, a sense of community. Think about how you feel when you walk into a meeting carrying a coffee cup from the local gas station. Now, think about walking in with a big green and white Starbucks cup. Sounds ridiculous, but we all know that Starbucks is the trendy, fun, hip place to buy coffee even though it is overpriced. The gas station? That just screams convenient, stale, generic. Of course, this may actually not be the case. But, the fact remains that Starbucks has done an amazing job creating a personality for their product. And, as a result, customers will pass up the gas station coffee for $1.50 and instead pay $4.50 to proudly carry around a paper cup with the Starbucks name and logo on it. This, is the power of branding.
Tomorrow, we will look at branding past the definition stage. We will take it to the next level and determine how to create a personality for your business that puts it front and center with your target audience!
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