Quite simply, brand marketing is the strategy to build a strong brand and make it memorable and recognizable. Brand marketing involves the aspects of communications, sales, product and service that differentiates your brand from the competition, establishes brand identity, builds brand reputation and grows brand equity.
A company’s brand represents who they are, what they do, their quality, their reputation for reliability and much more. It instantly informs a customer about a company’s or product’s reputation, enabling him to trust the quality of the product or service on offer. So whether you sell food products, develop new technologies, build industrial projects or manufacture garments – brand marketing is important for your business.
First step: define your brand
Brand strategy defines the what, how, where, when and to whom you plan on delivering your brand messages. The foundation of your brand is your logo and positioning, which should be integrated into your website, packaging, promotional material, and every other touch point where you are seen.
In short, you need to invest in a Corporate Identity Program which develops a powerful logo and corporate brand positioning, creates a ‘voice’ that reflects your company, designs templates and brand standards (compiled in a Brand Identity Manual) for consistency across marketing material.
In fact, branding applies to every aspect of business and interaction with the customer. Right from how your people answer the phone, what sales persons wear on duty, email signatures, corporate stationery, social media messaging, etc.
It is also crucial that your product lives up to its promise. Poor product quality or sloppy service can damage a brand, sometimes beyond repair.
Objectives of brand marketing
Strategic, consistent brand marketing influences a variety of customers, including end consumers, vendors, prospective employees, investors and associate businesses. So brand marketing needs to deliver on six basic objectives:
- Trigger instant brand recognition
- Create differentiation
- Enhance credibility
- Prompt an emotional affirmation
- Motivate the buyer
- Increase customer loyalty
Ways to boost brand recognition
The contemporary world offers many exciting platforms and ways to reach the customer, and spread your brand message. Some of these include:
- Run a conventional advertising campaign
- Hold an event
- Participate in a trade show
- Launch a PR campaign
- Build a social media presence
- Try paid ads (PPC and on social media)
- Invest in SEO
- Blog regularly
- Start a referral program
- Come up with regular ‘limited period’ promotions
Companies can choose a mix of such ideas to build brand awareness, based on their budget, market dynamics and marketing goals. However, across every media and interaction, two points must be remembered and followed at all times. First, use your brand identity, frequently and consistently so it gets etched in the customer’s memory. Secondly, ensure quality of product and service so that it lives up to the promise and creates a positive impact in the customer’s mind.
It is also important to regularly audit your brand to understand its image in the market and analyse customer perceptions. This will help you tweak your marketing efforts for more focused, more effective communication.