Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Defining your brand

Within the Marketing Strategy section of your marketing plan you should clearly define your company or product/service brand. The brand will represent your identity as it will be perceived by the audience so it is extremely important to pay very attention in clearly identifying a good, clear brand concept at this stage of the marketing plan.

A good starting point to know how to define your brand is by looking through your mission and objectives also defined in this section of the marketing plan. Such goals and principles will dictate the attributes of your brand – are you looking to be the most exclusive? The fastest? The cheapest? The most consumer oriented? The highest quality provider? – Whatever you define and see your company as is your brand.

Once you are sure about all the characteristics associated to the brand you should then consider the company’s core values which might influence the way you shape your brand and present it to the public. By this I mean, values such as corporate responsibility, honesty, integrity, efficiency, corporate sustainability and environmentally friendly policies, amongst others. Those that clearly define the way you are planning to conduct business, should be combined with the company’s characteristics to create a cohesive bond which will then be communicated to the public as your brand.

The name you give to the brand which may or may not be the same as your company name (for example under Procter & Gamble you have several brand names including Pantene, Fairy, Pampers, etc. for each different product line) should be defined alongside the company image and the product or service it will be associated with. For example, it may not be a good idea to name a high technology computer provider as “Friendly computers” as for this type of business it will be more relevant to the consumer to get across characteristics such as efficiency, advanced technology and fast systems other than anything to do with friendship and kindness. “Friendly computers” might be a more appropriate name for children’s computers though, as not only the name is appealing to the parents and children but the word “friendly” can also be associated to user-friendly computers which will be beneficial for children users.

Good brand names will effectively build a connection between the brand personality as it is perceived by the target audience and the actual product or service itself. You can keep in mind that some of the most successful brand names are those who had such strong presence in the market that consumers started associating its name as a generic term for a product or service. Examples of these are brand names such as “Post-it”, “Kleenex” or “Tupperware” which are names used to represent all sticky paper notes, facial tissue or plastic containers respectively.

This brand will be representative of what will differentiate you from your competitors so, once it is established, you must stay true to it. All marketing activities you define from this point onwards in your marketing plan must be consistent with getting across the brand image, or the way you want your target market to see you. This is when the definition of a concise integrated communications plan will come into place as you continue writing your plan. Please note that while thinking about your communications strategy you never lose sight of who you are as per your brand definition so you don’t fall into the trap of trying to be everything to everyone. Your brand will represent your niche in the market and will be your biggest selling point so make sure you will stick your actions to what you define in the plan as this will be a great tool to guide you through the brand implementation. After all, your brand implementation will ultimately determine your failure or success.


Afternoon Tea Break said...

Hello Ana,

Thank you for your comment on my blog. I like the look of yours - just read through just now from your Blogger Profile (accessed through your comment on my blog). Ah, Porter's Five Forces and PEST analyses - now that takes me back!

So do you work in marketing or a related field, or is it simply an interest?

Ana Jesus said...

I do work in marketing as well. Thank you for visiting. I need to catch up with this blog.

Regan said...

What I love most about branding is that, the company can enjoy the strong reputation of a brand name, if it outdoes the competitions. Branding is the one of the hardest steps to start in marketing. In Jacksonville, online marketing needs to use a lot of techniques just to break through. Just like in the real world, a company needs to have ads, promotions, and even hold events to establish the brand in Jacksonville. Web design company is one of the ways to promote brands and make its way to the limelight.

harsh kumar said...

Branding should both precede and underlie any marketing effort. Branding is not push, but pull. Branding is the expression of the essential truth or value of an organization, product, or service. One should always have good brand marketing company to take it on another level.