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The Importance of Branding

2nd September 2010
Branding is one of the most important aspects of business success. A powerful and well-recognised brand gives companies an edge in competitive markets where decisions by consumers can be made in seconds. The World’s most powerful companies often have extremely potent branding behind them, which has catapulted them into becoming market leaders.

One of the most effective ways to think of brand is as a promise to the customer, a promise of what they should get from your product or services. Think of Nike and the Nike slogan, ‘Just do it.’ People buying Nike trainers expect a fashionable, functional product that keeps them at the top of their game. Brands tell customers how you differ from your competitors and are all-encompassing. They are aspirational, telling people who you are and who you’d like to be.

It’s impossible to please everyone, and be all things to all people. That’s why you must create a workable and strong brand that promises the right things to the right people. It should be based very strongly on your target audience, and what they require from the products and services you sell.

The foundation of a strong brand is the logo – again, think of the Nike air swish or the McDonalds golden arches. All promotional material, including websites and press releases, should contain your logo. It should be simple yet elegant, and very recognisable. You want your logo to both communicate your brand and your message with customers the first second they lay eyes on it.

Another important aspect of brand is brand messaging. What exactly do you want to communicate to customers? Are your products strong and reliable? Innovative and unique? It’s important to define and stick with a brand message that is communicated by your copy, logo and external relations. Remember to be consistent – if your customers can’t trust you they won’t buy your products.

And don’t forget that building a successful brand takes time, and a large investment. Stick with it and you’ll soon see the returns that a strong, definable and popular brand can create.
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