Branding is the emotional response a business evokes in a customer
Today’s buyers use their instincts to determine the worth of a product or service and it is based on visual impressions. Potential buyers make the subconscious decision of whether or not they want to do business within the first few seconds of exposure to your company or product. This visual impression comes from the packaging of your product, the impression they have of your web site or marketing material, or even something simple like your business card. Creating a successful image is the foundation of every successful company. The image of your brand determines your credibility in the mind of new clients, and establishes the first perceived value of your products and services.
Your company has only one chance to make a great first impression. Listed below are some of the areas that companies use to make favorable first impressions.
Creating the Right Impression
Unlike graphic designers, media-driven ad agencies and bloated branding firms, Sales Creators build company brands from the outside in, rather than from the inside out. That is why some brands get remembered with the people who buy them and use them. Branding is more than making a new logo or company slogan. It is the silent message that the buying public receives and motivates them to tell others about their purchase. Real branding will increase your profitability, while lowering your cost of gaining new customers.
- Logo Design to create the value of your product or service
- Letterhead, Business Cards and Invoices
- Web site and interactive design
- Brochures and Handouts that explain the products and their value to the buyer
- Business presentations, beginning with the telephone
- Exhibits and Trade Show presentation
- Product and packaging design
- Professional Customer Service
Impact of the Internet on Branding
The Internet has caused problems for many brands because most companies think of the web or the Net as just another advertising medium, like radio, television, newspapers and magazines. While the WWW is a mass communication medium, the difference between the web and any other mass medium is that it is interactive. The user of the message is in charge, not the sender. What the Net marketers have discovered is that people do not want advertising. As a result, when you try to advertise on the Net, people turn it off. They do not pay attention. Assuming the Web will be the same kind of a medium as television causes the biggest mistake in branding – it is not the same process, and different strategies are required in order to build a brand on the Web. The Web can be a great place to start in branding your products or services.
You build a powerful Web brand by making the brand itself interactive, allowing the customer access to further information. If you are an established company with a well-known brand, the first question you should ask yourself is, “Should we move our distribution of this brand to the Web?” Every brick-and-mortar company should have a web site, but it should be an information site, not necessarily a branding or business site. It should be a place where customers can go if they want more information about a company or product.
Advertising and Product Brochures Must be Positive
Branding must be consistent and positive with a single message that can be understood by all buyers. Your message must have powerful graphics that not only capture the buyer’s attention but also explain the message. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but make sure those thousand words are positive and memorable. Company and product brochures create a lasting impression that impact a customer in either a favorable way, or in a negative way that may cause them to shop elsewhere. If the company brochure explains the product and tells the reader how it will benefit them, the reader will want to read more. Most buyers today want to feel comfortable with their buying decisions and they are limited on time, so you must be concise and show them the value they will receive from their investment in your product or service.
Make the Company Name Count
It is better to have one quality advertisement that costs a little more than five inexpensive ads that do not have a positive image of your company. Before the final ‘OK’ is given, have a few of your trusted advisors or employees critique the advertisement and ask them for an honest evaluation. Rather than tell them about the purpose of the message, let them tell you if you have a quality ad or not. They should be able to express the purpose and the ‘bottom line’ of the message for the ad.
Press releases are a great way of getting your brand in front of the buyer and this message is free. Find something that is newsworthy: perhaps a sponsorship program, free training for the public, new hires or promotions all qualify. Send the information to your local paper and they will find a spot in an upcoming edition (they are always looking for good stories).