Developing a marketing strategy takes a lot of hard work. Often, it can cost lots of money too. It can drain your resources, and leave your company desperate for results. Sometimes, the results come in, and they’re more than good. Your strategy was bang on, and you’re generating leads for fun. Your business is seeing more and more new customers, and sales figures are off the charts. Everything is going well, and your marketing strategy was worth the investment.
Sadly, there are also times where this doesn’t happen. You pour lots of money and effort into it, but the results aren’t positive. You missed the mark with your strategy, and aren’t generating as many leads as you expected. As a result, your business isn’t reeling in loads of customers, and you struggle to keep good sales figures. You start losing money, and your business is in a bad position trying to recoup its losses.
Every business owner will want to experience the first scenario over the second one. The trouble is, a lot of companies tend to end up experiencing the second. Especially small businesses, which I find struggle with proper marketing. Usually, there’s one key difference between the good and bad marketing strategies. And, I’m going to reveal this key element to you right now:
The Key Element Of Every Good Marketing Strategy Is….
Branding. There you go, it’s as simple as that! Branding is simply the most important element of every great marketing strategy. Think about some of the biggest companies in the world, the ones that are known for their marketing campaigns. A big one that springs to mind is Gillette, the company that produces male shaving products. All of their marketing strategies are built around the brand they have built. Have you ever noticed how every advert conveys a sense of manliness and being macho? You have physically fit men shaving their stubble away, usually being accompanied by a beautiful woman who loves it. The music is often very manly too, as are the colors used. There are no pinks, light purples or more ‘feminine’ colors seen at all. This is all done as they’ve spent years building up a perception of their brand. They want people to associate their brand with manliness and being macho.
Another great example is technology giant Apple. Now, they’re arguably the best company when it comes to branding. Many people believe it’s their strong marketing that helps the company keep outperforming its rivals. Apple is known for making products that are more expensive than everything else on the market. Despite the fact, the other products are often just as good or better. But, people buy Apple products because of the brand. They’ve spent decades making the brand desirable. All their adverts are very simplistic and, usually, include famous celebrities. This helps reinforce the image that Apple is a high-class brand and rich, and famous people use their products. People like the idea of buying products from a brand that’s desirable and deemed high-class and respectable.
What these two examples show you is that branding can be very powerful. Understandably, you’re probably intrigued and want to learn more. So, the next section in this article will be all about how branding helps a marketing strategy. Read on to find out more:
How Branding Impacts A Marketing Strategy
So, we know that proper branding can have a positive impact on your marketing strategy. How? Well, allow me to explain things in these next few points:
Your Brand & Target Market
Every business needs to have a target market. Without one, you will struggle to get as many customers as you should. As a result, you won’t make as many sales and won’t make a profit. Finding your target market should be relatively easy. All you have to do is look at your business, and think about who it appeals to the most. You need to consider factors like age, gender, interests, etc. Once you have your target market, this is where branding comes into play. You need to create a brand that appeals to your target audience. Make your company seem desirable to the people that are most likely to spend their money on you. If you don’t brand your company properly, then you won’t see results. Your target market will struggle to identify with your brand. You need consumers to see your marketing efforts and align themselves with your business. Proper branding is an effective way to help your target market identify with your company.
Branding Generates New Leads
For a moment, let’s take a look at my Apple example from earlier. I talked about Apple’s ability to sell things purely because of their brand. Now, this can be used to argue my point that good branding generates new leads and increases sales. If you’ve built up a well-known brand, people will buy your products over lesser-known companies. As far as marketing is concerned, this is a big winner. It means your strategy has more chance of bringing in new leads at all times. Essentially, branding can improve the effectiveness of any marketing campaign.
Your Brand Dictates Your Content
When marketing, you have to release regular content. This can come in the form of blog posts, social media updates, or advertisements. The brand you build will dictate what you produce. The content you make needs to be related to your brand and continue to push your image. Otherwise, you will struggle to see good marketing results. If you’re trying to push a certain brand image, but producing content that doesn’t align with it, you’ll confuse everyone. People will think your business lacks identity. Branding helps you understand what content will do well, and what won’t.
After reading all of this, I bet you want to know how your business can start building a brand. Well, you’re reading the right article! To end this piece, I’ve provided some top tips to help you create a brilliant business brand:
Top Tips To Create A Brand
Define Your Values
The first step is to think about the values of your business. This goes a long way to creating your brand image. For example, let’s say you care about family values. In this case, you’ll be creating a very family friendly brand. Similarly, what if your business takes environmental health very seriously. You’ll need to build a brand that emphasize eco-friendly behaviour. Define your values, and you can start creating a proper brand strategy. These values will influence everything that you do from here on in.
Create A Logo
You can’t have a brand without a logo, it’s as simple as that. Now, your logo has to be relevant to your business, and align itself with your values. So, let’s look at the family values example again here. Your logo should be clean and simple, not offensive to anyone in any way. It’s very easy to get your brand logo seriously wrong. Spend as much time on this as you can afford. I suggest setting up focus groups and getting people’s opinion on your logo options. Tell them the values your brand want to promote, and they’ll tell you which logo is best for you.
Think Of A Brand Message
Every brand should have a particular message. Again, this will be dictated by the values your business aligns itself with. This message can become an iconic feature of your brand, something that gets everything out there. I’d broadcast this message on your company website in the About Us section. Give everyone information on your business and what you hope to achieve. This helps people identify and recognize your brand.
Naturally, there’s no use having a brand if no one knows you exist. So, you have to start promoting your brand image and getting into the public eye. How will you do this? Well, by marketing your business! Now that you’ve built a proper brand image, you can implement it in your marketing strategy. Thus, your strategy now has the key element it was once missing. The more you promote your brand, the better.
Creating a brand isn’t as difficult as people might think. It’s something you should do when starting a business. As I mentioned earlier, I find small businesses fail to do this. Look at how effective branding is for the biggest companies out there. It’s mind boggling to think that small businesses aren’t taking advantage of this key element. If you find your marketing strategy isn’t doing very well, then re-evaluate your brand. Take a look at your business and see whether or not you’re doing the most you can to promote your brand. Or, are you too focused on promoting products/services? People buy products/services from brands they know and trust. Sometimes, they do this when the brand has more expensive things too. A consumer is comfortable when they’re dealing with a proper brand. Hopefully, this article has shown you how important branding is to a business and its marketing strategy. You can use the tips to build your brand, and move on to bigger and better things.