FOR PROFIT TIPS
- Today's Times
- Angel Investors
- The Elevator Pitch
- Investor Presentation
- Business Plan
- Challenging Times
- Competitive Barriers
- Measuring Performance
- Strategic Alliances
- Strategic Planning
- Sustainable Growth
Sales & Marketing
- Better Branding
- Developing E-newsletters
- Online Feedback
- The Plan
The Human Element
- Advisory Boards
- Corporate Board
- Selling Your Business
Powerful brands don't
just happen theyre developed through careful planning and extensive work.
A brand isn't just a
memorable name, its a set of differentiating promises that link a product or a
service to its customers. It knows itself and communicates consistently, whether through
advertising and packaging or pricing and customer-service policies. A successful brand
generates consumer loyalty and long-term financial return.
Branding is the process
of determining your competitive advantages, building an institutional culture and business strategy around those advantages, and
then communicating that brand effectively and consistently. Here are ten tips to build a
To be different from your competitors, study them closely.
Understanding the strategy and dynamics behind competing brands
will provide the backdrop against which to craft a distinctive
brand with long-term competitive advantage. Find out
- How consumers perceive
- How committed
competitors are to different market segments.
- Your competitors’
strengths and weaknesses.
Through internal research and target market analysis, uncover
potential sources of competitive advantage. Determine which key
benefits provide maximum relevance and differentiation for your
product or service.
Your Advantages: Make sure your strengths are important to
the market or a segment of the market.
Your Customers and Their Value:
Some customers have more value – and some have more
opportunity – than others. To determine customer value, evaluate
such metrics as:
- How much a customer is
currently spending on your product/service.
- How much that customer
will spend in the future.
- How often the customer
buys in the category.
- What share of category
purchases your product or service gets (or, in simpler terms:
is the customer a loyal buyer or a brand switcher?)
- Whether the customer
pays full price or a promotional/discounted price.
compatibility requires knowledge about the customer, including
factors such as needs, mindset (attitudes and/or lifestyle) and
environment (media behavior, purchase behavior, geo-demographic
descriptions). Compatibility is best described as how good the
match is between a brand's value proposition (its unique
differentiation), and the customer's attitudes and behaviors.
While customer value helps determine which customer to spend
marketing dollars on, brand compatibility helps determine how to
talk to the customer in a relevant way.
Your Value Proposition and Business Processes: Developing
a brand image is a holistic process that begins inside a firm and
works outward. While a name, logo, ad and packaging can trigger
the positive associations that position your product on a
customer's "short list,” it's ultimately the customer’s
experience that validates and sustains your brand. Actual
performance will determine brand success.
Every business practice, customer contact and even employee
attitude must support the brand positioning. Everyone from the
chairman to the secretaries must ascribe to it. If your brand says
"friendly" and your switchboard operator isn't, you
aren't. Likewise, if you identify yourself as
"convenient" and you lock the doors at 5:00, you're not.
Your Brand Positioning:
Positioning is based on detailed market research and planning. A
good positioning statement does more than describe your product or
service uniquely; it defines your relationship with your customer.
Your positioning statement has to clearly and concisely articulate
how you want users to think, feel and act toward your brand.
a Consistent, Integrated Message: To be successful, a
brand must consistently provide quality and satisfaction; it must
meaningfully distinguish itself from the competition to create
customer preference; it must be relevant, convenient and easily
accessible to its target audience; and it must appeal to their
individual lifestyles, attitudes and beliefs. Therefore, it’s
critical that the messages you send about your brand be as
predictable as the brand itself. Consistent and cohesive use of
your name, logo and message points will present your organization
in the same fashion to everyone.
the Results of Your Branding: Brand attitudes, purchasing
habits and brand loyalty are linked both directly and indirectly
to branding strategies. This "feedback – modification –
feedback – modification cycle" is a loop in which quality
improvements are continual.
on the Brand Promise.
Keeping promises is more important than good intentions. Authentic
and demonstrable claims must link back to the brand promise and
must be fulfilled. The top-ranking brands consistently reflect a
top-down commitment to investing in the corporate brand as a
long-term strategic asset.