Mega-corporations have been using the practice of branding for decades to make their products known nationwide or even worldwide. In the global marketplace of today, small and midsize businesses must now get on board. Building a strong brand for your product or service is essential for success.
What Branding Is: Branding involves a set of activities undertaken by the seller of a product or service. The objectives of branding are to increase the perceived value of the product or service in the marketplace, associate certain attributes with it in the minds of customers, and increase the depth and breadth of general awareness - or mindshare - about it.
Why Branding is Important: A winning brand campaign usually results in increased revenues realized by the seller for the sale of the target product or service. This increase in revenues can be the result of having enticed more customers to purchase the well-branded product or service than would have otherwise. Also, revenues can be increased by allowing the seller to charge more for the product or service due to the higher perceived value that the brand enjoys post-campaign.
Who Benefits from Branding: There are two primary beneficiaries of a solid brand. The seller benefits, of course, due to increases in short-term and long-term revenues. Surprisingly, the buyer can stand to benefit from branding as well: due to effective customer targeting, the buyer may have an improved chance of being made aware of the potentially-beneficial product or service. Of course, there are no guarantees that a branding campaign will contribute to better revenues or the realization of additional value by the buyer.
What Branding Involves: Branding campaigns usually involve a number of defined steps. First, the seller must of course develop a product or service based upon market research or their own prior knowledge concerning what customers might want to purchase. Then, the seller must determine a brand identity, which is a key step in the development of the brand. The brand identity acts as the ongoing reference point for the remainder of the brand campaign. Additional steps include defining the target customer segment, formulating tangible image associations with the product or service, writing messaging, developing a logo, and setting up customer-centric processes.
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