Frequently Asked Questions with Answers
What is a brand?
Answer: A brand is more than a name, logo and a tagline. According to Entrepreneur.com, “simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. ” The right brand is a powerful way to secure a competitive advantage.
What is a branding?
Answer: Branding is the process of deciding what makes a business, product or service desirable and unique in the eyes of a customer. Based on this customer understanding, a brand promise is created with a name, tagline, logo and content rich copy to connect with the customer based on that desirability and uniqueness. Remember a brand is the perception that people have in their mind and what they have experienced. That is why every experience a person has with a brand, strengthens or weakens the brand. Branding is all about creating differences. Brands for companies lower customer acquisition and retention costs.
What is the foundation for a brand?
Answer: The core, foundation or essence of a brand is what the customer is desiring, not necessarily how it is being delivered. Example: In the 1800’s and early 1900’s, the railroad industry thought their brand was based on the railroad business. When cars, trucks and airplanes were invented, the railroad business owners still only focused on the railroad as a way of delivering people and products. As cars, trucks and airplanes, became more popular the railroad industry went into decline. What customers wanted was a convenient, cost-effective way of travel and a way of shipping goods. The railroad brand needed to focus on what the customer was desiring. With the railroad reinventing themselves today and growing stronger, they have shifted their brand focus. Brand focus example: CSX railroad company tagline “How tomorrow moves”.
What is the cost of branding or rebranding?
Answer: Branding or rebranding have two costs: brand development and brand implementation. Both are equally important. “Built it and they will come” is not a good brand strategy. A good brand needs good implementation. As a general budget rule, allocate 50% of a budget for brand development and 50% for brand implementation. If you have less than $5,000, self branding with some outside assistance is your best return on investment (ROI). That budget can get you a name, tagline, logo, website and collateral material like a business card. If you have a budget greater than $5,000, branding agencies can help you with brand analysis, brand strategies and brand systems to create and implement a new brand or rebrand. This budget can range from $5,000 to over $100,000 depending on whether your business is a local, regional, national or international business.
Why is it important to get a brand second opinion?
Answer: Making the first impression is very important. A second opinion is an important part of releasing a new brand. Launching a new brand or re-brand is expensive, especially when you make a mistake. Getting a second opinion will make it easier to make an informed decision about what is best for you and provide reassurance that you are going in the right direction with your decision.
How to find money to create and implement a brand?
Answer: It takes capital to create and implement a brand. Here are ten strategies to explore: personal assets, friends and family, bank loan, microloan, crowdfunding, finance company, angel investing, venture capital, customer financing, leasing, factoring, trade credits and grants.
What is the difference between a generic and a brand?
Answer: Generics are known for lower prices and tend to seen as a commodity. Branding turns a commodity into something that has added value and people are willing to pay a higher price. Branding creates increased desirability, loyalty, a repeat customer and greater profits.
What is a brand ambassador?
Answer: A brand ambassador is an individual that loves the business, product or service, usually a repeat customer, that recommends the business, product or service to others. Look for ways to identify your brand ambassadors and stay in touch with them. Remember: 80% percent of your business comes from 20% of your customers.
How do I brand a company, product or service with brand analysis, brand strategies and brand systems?
Answer: When creating a brand or rebrand it is important not to do it in a vacuum. The more information one has about the industry (industry analysis), potential customers (target market analysis) competitors (competitor analysis) the more successful the brand will be. With this brand analysis information, a brand strategy can be created with brand promise, brand personality, brand position, market position and value proposition. With the brand analysis and strategies developed, the brand image and systems can be developed with a brand guide to direct the implementation of the brand.
How do I find the market for a brand?
Answer: The short answer is to conduct an industry analysis, target market analysis and competitor analysis. But lets start by exploring and selecting business models: B2C (Business to Consumer), B2B (Business to Business) or B2G (Business to Government) that the brand will sell to.
How do I brand a company, product or service with a name?
Answer: The first step is to decide what makes the business, product or service desirable and unique in the eyes of a customer – your brand position. The next step is to select a name that connects with the customer and reinforces that brand position. The best names are memorable, easy to say and easy to spell. There are different types of names: descriptive (Bank of America or Toys R Us), initials (IBM or BMW), alliteration and rhyme (Best Buy or Dunkin Donuts) , evocative (Amazon or London Fog), invented or new word (Verizon or Travelocity), founder’s name(Disney or Ford), geography (Southwest Airlines or Boston Lager) and personification (Green Giant or Mr. Clean). Select a name, that has a matching domain and the Trademark is available. In creating a name, you have four options to choose from: do-it-yourself, brand consult, second opinion and Brand RFP.
How do I brand a company, product or service with a tagline?
Answer: Tagline is a short phrase or cluster of words that appears under a company, product or service name. Tagline helps customers more quickly better understand and connect with a desirable uniqueness versus competition. Examples: company (BMW – The ultimate driving machine), product (RAID kills bugs dead) or service (Valet Gourmet – Delivery & Catering the freshest local cuisine). In creating a tagline, you have four options to choose from: do-it-yourself, brand consult, second opinion and Brand RFP.
How do I brand a company, product or service with a logo?
Answer: A picture is worth a thousand words. The human mind responds to images faster than words. Having a visual image (logo) that is tied in with a company, product or service helps customers more quickly connect and recognize it. Select an image that is simple; eye-catching; appropriate for the company, product or service; stands out from the competition; can be enlarger or made smaller and still looks great. In creating a logo, you have four options to choose from: do-it-yourself, brand consult, second opinion and Brand RFP.
How do I brand a company, product or service with a brand guide?
Answer: All great brands have a recognized look and feel. To market and manage a brand successfully, it needs to have a consistent look and feel. The brand guide has all the important information about your brand: name, tagline, logo, personality, font or type styles, colors, images etc. It is important to launch and market the brand or re-brand consistently using the brand guide. All great brands have a recognized look and feel.
How does pricing affect a brand?
Answer: The are three general types of pricing: below market, at market and above market. The brand for below market pricing is based on the lowest price or matching competitor prices. The brand for at market pricing is based on added values that people are desiring and are willing to pay more for. The brand for above market pricing is based on luxury, status, or prestige. Examples: below market pricing (Motel 6), at marketing pricing (Holiday Inn), above market pricing ( Ritz Carlton). All three pricing models can be successful but their brands have a different look and feel.
How do I brand a company, product or service with a traditional marketing?
Answer: The traditional way to find a company, product or service was to go to a phone book, phone service or a directory. Other traditional ways to reach people or businesses is to advertise on TV, radio, print (newspaper, magazine etc.) , direct mail, billboards, exhibiting, telemarketing, cold calling, etc to promote the brand. Today more people go to the Internet to find a company, product or service. Look at your target market (who you sell to) and see how receptive they are to traditional marketing approaches. Based on that receptivity, incorporate that into your marketing, advertising and PR plan to promote the brand. Also look at your business model: B2C (Business to Consumer), B2B (Business to Business) or B2G (Business to Government) as a guide to select what traditional marketing makes sense to promote the brand.
How do I brand a company, product or service with an Internet marketing?
Answer: With the advent of the Internet, marketing has made a dramatic shift. Prior to the Internet, people went to phone book, directories or phone service to find a company, product or service. Today people go to the Internet to find a company, product or service. To market a brand today, a search engine optimized website with video is needed and some type of social media such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter. Also look at your business model: B2C (Business to Consumer), B2B (Business to Business) or B2G (Business to Government) as a guide to select what Internet marketing makes sense to promote the brand.
How do I brand a company, product or service with a website?
Answer: When a person comes to a website home page you have 15 seconds or less to make a connection and have them enter the site or contact you. Is the brand position based on lowest price (below market pricing) , added values (at market pricing) or luxury/prestige (above market pricing)? They each have a different look and feel. The look and feel of the website needs to reflect the brand based on the images, fonts, colors and copy used. After the look and feel of the site, content or value added information improves search engine optimization (organic or paid search) and what motivates people to buy from the site or make contact for more information. As part of content, many people today prefer to learn through watching a short video rather than just reading about it. Strengthen the brand by using video. The website domain name should match the company, service or product name without a hyphen.
How do I brand a company, product or service with a content?
Answer: Content marketing is the creation and distribution of information and ideas that are of value, timely and relevant to a brand’s target market. The content is designed to attract new potential customers and continue to connect with existing customers to create repeat business and referrals. Remember “repeat customers spend 33% more than new customers, referrals among repeat customers are 107% greater and it costs six times more to sell something to a prospect than to sell that same thing to an existing customer”. Quality content is used in both traditional and Internet marketing. Here are nine strategies to explore: across platforms, blog, downloadable materials like an Ebook or guide, emails, keywords, RSS feed, SEO (search engine optimization), social media, and video.
How do I market a brand to different age groups?
Answer: Different age group have different ways of looking at brands. By understanding each age group, it makes it easier to successfully market to that group. Explore the five different age groups: Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and Generation Z to better understand how to market to them.
How do I protect a brand?
Answer: It takes money and time to create a successful brand. A brand is one of the most valuable assets a company owns. Here are some strategies to protect a brand: legal structure, copyright, non-compete agreement, patent, servicemark, social media policy, trademark, trade secret agreement and brand reputation management. Review each strategy and see which ones fit the brand.
When is it time to rebrand a company, product or service?
Answer: When the company, product or service is getting feedback from customers that there is a disconnect. First look at the brand chain. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The same is true in delivering a successful, profitable and sustainable brand. First look at each customer connection in the system. Does correcting those weak links in the system correct the problem. If not, it may be time to rebrand. Rebranding example: people keep misspelling, forgetting or confusing your company, product or service with a competitor. Another example is when your current brand is attracting the wrong customers and repelling the right profitable customers.
Next steps: how do I create a brand or rebrand a company, product or service?
Answer: In creating a brand or re-branding, you have four primary options to choose from: do-it-yourself, brand consult, second opinion and Brand RFP. Select the option(s) that best fits the brand or re-brand project and the budget available for that project.
Note: Interested in more information on branding go to Brand Door Info.