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What secrets do strong brands like Apple and Coke hold? And how can small-business owners use them as a source of inspiration? Here are four steps to building a successful brand.Read More
Over 90% of small-business owners believe that having a unique brand that differentiates themselves from the competition is very important. Over half of them also report branding as being critical to attracting new business. What secrets do strong brands like Apple and Coke hold? And how can small-business owners use them as a source of inspiration? Here are four steps to building a successful brand.
When your customers have finished using your product or service, how do you want them to describe their experience? If you own a restaurant, for example, what do you want them to say?
Keeping the promise that sets you apart from your competitors implies that you’re doing something more than what they’re doing. The restaurant that wants to be recognized for its unbeatable prices, for example, will have to find a way to maximize the number of customers served per table in one evening. The margin per individual customer will be less, but the number of customers will make up for it.
In other words, your brand will greatly influence the winning formula that you’ll base your business on.
All of your marketing material – from the colours of your logo to your website text – must be developed as a function of this promise. What you say on Facebook or LinkedIn must be aligned with this message, as must the decoration of your premises.
It’s at this stage that your brand becomes central to your advertising campaigns. What’s more, your ads will be even more effective, since you’ll have a clear message to convey.
After defining how you want to be perceived, then organizing your business based on this perception and communicating this promise, you must be consistent. Apple, for example, is recognized for making products that are both elegant and innovative: it can’t afford to launch a new phone that’s unattractive, or a new tablet that’s technologically behind, because that would mean breaking the promise it has made to its customers.
The idea here is to develop trust. Your customers must no longer see your brand as a promise but as a reality. Consistency is often the hardest part, but the one with the greatest rewards.
Over time, a well-managed brand stops becoming a company promise and increasingly becomes a customer expectation. There may be 10 Italian restaurants in the neighbourhood, but only one where customers expect to experience a traditional Italian family dinner. That restaurant’s brand is no longer its name or logo – it’s the expectation of its customers.
When applying such a strategy, your business will gradually be able to increase both its prices and its sales (that’s right, both at the same time!). Your brand will become one of your business’s most valuable assets and the one with the most impact on your bottom line.Article from Yellow pages yp.ca
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Have you ever contemplated the difference between branding and marketing? If so, you are not alone. While the two are undoubtedly connected, there are minute differences between the two.Read More
Have you ever contemplated the difference between branding and marketing? If so, you are not alone. While the two are undoubtedly connected, there are minute differences between the two. As a business owner, it is essential that you understand branding and marketing both in great detail, so that you can effectively utilize them together. Below is a closer look at the differences between marketing and branding.
In a nutshell, branding is who you are—and marketing is how you build awareness. Branding is your strategy, while marketing encompasses your tactical goals. In order to determine who your brand is, you need to ask yourself several questions. Questions that go beyond industry generalizations, and services or products offered and also questions to determine who you are as a company, and more importantly, who you are as a brand. The questions below are an excellent place to begin:
Answering the questions above will help you to understand the difference between branding and marketing. Invest your time in providing elaborate answers, and bounce them off your colleagues and professional mentors. What you will notice, is that all of the questions are related to your internal operations and your internal culture. Therefore, what you build on the inside, is what will emanate externally.
Your branding will cultivate what your consumers can expect of you, and what they will experience when they utilize your products or services. By clearly defining who you are, your branding can then be utilized to precede and underlie your marketing efforts—both today and for years to come.
When speaking of marketing vs. branding, marketing refers to the tools you utilize to deliver the message of your brand. Marketing will continually change and evolve, just as the products and services you offer will continue to change and evolve. Marketing will be directly and specifically geared towards sectors of your target audience, all while supporting the core values of your brand.
Marketing is vast and wide. It can be heartfelt, funny, or serious. It can be any mix of text, keywords, photos, charts, graphs, and videos. Marketing will be performed by a variety of online and offline methods—some of the most common being:
However, there are many other methods of both online and offline marketing for you to consider working with your marketing campaign. While marketing methods will come and go, and the methods you utilize may change drastically from year-to-year, or from season-to-season—your brand will always remain constant.
If the difference between marketing and branding are now clear, but you are still unsure of the importance of understanding the two—it all comes down to conversions. While you could create your marketing strategies with nothing other than keyword trends, and the most effective marketing methods within your industry—your conversions will be lower if your consumers are not connected to you as a brand. Your branding is what generates a timeless connection. Even if your current marketing efforts are designed to engage, it is the ongoing branding that keeps customers coming back. Competition is fierce, and the fact of the matter is that there are companies who offer comparable products and services—or even the exact same products and services that you offer. It is your branding that will keep your customers returning for more. It is your branding that builds loyalty and trust. It is your branding that makes you unique. Without branding, you may achieve success, but with branding, your success will be far more substantial. All strong structures have a solid starting point and foundation, and understanding the difference between marketing and branding will allow you to build your foundation of branding—and your extensions via marketing.
Branding is at the core of your marketing strategy, so branding must come first. Even if you are a startup, it is essential to clearly define who you are as a brand—before you begin to devise your specific marketing methods, tools, strategies, and tactics. Your brand is what will keep your clients coming back for more, it is the foundation upon which you will build consumer loyalty. Think of restaurants and retailers in your local area (independently owned, or major corporations), it is the brand that keeps customers coming back generation after generation. As an example, consider where you order and pick up prescriptions for yourself and your family. Whether the pharmacy or drugstore you shop in is locally owned, or part of a larger chain—they have built your trust and your loyalty, and you have most likely been a customer with them for many years. While you can purchase the exact same prescriptions at any other pharmacy in town, it is their branding that keeps you coming back time and time again. While marketing methods will evolve, and respond to current industry and cultural trends—branding remains the same. Even if you make adjustments to your brand, they will typically be in response to your growth or expanded services offered—but is rarely an overhaul of your core principals, mission, or values. Your branding includes attributes such as a high commitment to quality, community, convenience, communication—or an ongoing commitment to a specific need your target audience needs to be fulfilled. Also, keep in mind that branding is something you and your team must do on a daily basis, and with every transaction processed, with every phone call received, and email responded to. However, your marketing is most often partially or fully outsourced to marketing professionals. When speaking of branding vs. marketing, branding is who you are—while marketing is how you attract consumer attention. Also, think of branding as the way you keep current clients and marketing as how you attract new clients.
While branding and marketing are distinctly different, there is one area where they overlap. When selecting imagery to be utilized on an ongoing basis, branding and marketing become one in the same. As the saying goes “A picture speaks a thousand words.” With that in mind, when you choose your company colors, graphics, and logo—remember that they must first represent your brand—but that they will also play a substantial role in your ongoing marketing campaign. Branding is strategic. Marketing is tactical. Marketing unearths and activates buyers. Branding makes loyal customers, advocates, even evangelists, out of those who buy. Branding is as vital to the success of a business or nonprofit as having financial coherence, having a vision for the future, or having quality employees.
Brand is a dirty word. It’s misunderstood and misused by people in and out of the industry. Some people think it means a new logo. Others, an advertisement. And as a company that has “Brand” in its very name, we spend a fair amount of time educating exactly what this word means.Read More
Brand is a dirty word. It’s misunderstood and misused by people in and out of the industry. Some people think it means a new logo. Others, an advertisement. And as a company that has “Brand” in its very name, we spend a fair amount of time educating exactly what this word means.
Today, we dive into a key distinction: the difference between graphic design and branding. That may seem basic, but you’d be surprised by how many projects are stymied by this lack of clarification. Understanding this distinction is a crucial first step in creating a visual identity that is both gorgeous and strategically informed.
When thinking about what makes a brand, it’s natural to start with the visual cues: logos, headers, business cards, websites. In truth, these elements are only a very basic skeleton of what makes a strong brand.
Great designers are the guardians of your visual identity, taking great care to make sure that each element – colors, shapes, typography, and yes, the logo – is compelling and consistent across all environments. When done right, graphic design ensures that everything is cohesive and in its right place, like a proper working skeleton.
But of course, a business can’t run on bones alone. To keep the metaphor going, branding is the entire fleshed out body. Not only one’s muscles and clothes, but one’s beliefs, behaviours, and personality. It’s everything from how your customer support answers the phone to the stock photography in your sales deck. Branding is any action a corporate body makes, and the art of branding is making that movement as deliberate and harmonious as possible.
Graphic design and branding are inextricably linked. Aesthetics mean nothing without a solid strategy, and a solid strategy means nothing if it can’t be expressed. As an agency, we constantly have to balance these two forces. Sometimes, that means choosing between something beautiful and something purposeful. In a perfect world, you’re able to get the best of both worlds, but at the end of the day, every decision must be made in service of adding depth to the brand.
So, how do you navigate those difficult conversations? It can be tough, especially when as many as 80% of entrepreneurs believe that graphic design and branding are the same things. While creative decisions will always feel subjective, it’s important to remember that branding goes far beyond the visual. It handles the entire customer experience on all levels, senses, and dimensions. No matter how technical or granular, no element is ever “just a mark” or “just a logo.” It’s a nuanced, interconnected system that is involved in an active conversation with your audience.
Simply put, graphic design feeds your brand, your brand feeds your business. If your visual elements are competing with one another, you’ll never win the competition for your customer’s attention.Article by EmotiveBrand.com