If you're working to carve out a place in the crowded digital marketplace for your product, one of the best tools to establish your name is developing your brand. Brand development is when you develop a reputation around your product or service not just for quality, but for an image associated with your lifestyle. Brand development is associated with brand loyalty, which is why many businesses are turning to full-service digital marketing agencies with experience in developing a brand for businesses.
Think about the brands you feel most strongly about and their rivals. How many people say they only drink Coke and never Pepsi or are loyal to one phone company and would never use another device? These are billion-dollar companies, but people argue over them and defend their favorites as if it were their favorite sports team.
This is because branding and the associated advertisements create an emotional connection that builds loyalty through a personal association. The most successful branding create a connection between the product and a formative moment in a person's life, such as childhood memories. When companies brand their products effectively, they can overcome competition in the market and get people to choose a more expensive, trusted product over the lower-cost alternative.
Your selling point for your product or service will vary based on what you're selling, but every successful product will have one key attribute that drives its appeal. A good example is Energizer batteries, which sell themselves on their long lifespan characterized by the iconic pink bunny. The pitch that Energizer batteries never stop isn't exactly true, but their durability is close enough that the product has long enjoyed a reputation for quality over its competition.
One of the first steps of brand development is to determine what your product's central attribute is and how to sell it in your marketing. It should be simple enough to sum up in a single line and should relate to what people want out of your product. If it can be visually realized in the ad easily, you're on the right track, as visual displays are the most effective at selling a brand.
One of the most important steps of developing your brand is determining who will be the friendly face selling your product. This can be a real person, often the creator of the brand ads, or it can be a fictional figure that represents the tone of your product. Some of the most successful product pitchmen of all time are fictional cartoons, especially in the cereal market, where kids often request their breakfast based on the characters as much as the taste.
If you're going with a real person as your public face, it's ideal that they be part of the core demographic that you're marketing your product or service towards. I will see a senior citizen talking about the benefits of a medical alert bracelet as trustworthy by those who worry about getting help if they fall. A branding expert who has worked to develop brands for diverse companies can help find a face for your pitch that will emphasize your company's strengths to the target audience.
An impersonal company has trouble getting a foothold on social media because people only see them as a product rather than a culture. That's why one of the biggest steps in developing your brand is developing a unified voice for your social media presence and picking the platforms where your audience is most likely to find you.
Putting out original content describing the benefits of your product and showing how it can improve the lives of your customers is a good way to stay engaged with your social media audience. A benefit of relatability and approachability on social media is that it gives you the opportunity to fend off PR hassles before they go public.
If you have a responsive customer service team on your social media platforms, your customers are more likely to approach you with questions or complaints privately and give your team a chance to resolve them before the issue shows up on a review site like Yelp.
Brand development should focus on creating a cohesive message that you can spread across your digital footprint, selling your product with a sense of stability that creates an impression of trust. When potential customers see your ads anywhere on the internet, they should quickly get the message of your core appeal without you having to use many words. The best brands get their selling point across in only a few words or an image, creating a strong sales pull.
An important element of branding is consistency, so your brand should remain focused on a few simple assets across your line. The format of the ad can change, like on Twitter, where the written word is far more limited than on Facebook. If your brand is simple and effective, the message will get across despite changes in structure.
Some of the best advertisements for top companies set up competitions with their rivals in the market. Consider Bounty paper towels, which boasts of its strength compared to paper towel competitors. Commercials frequently show how Bounty handles a spill compared to a generic paper towel that falls apart.
A competitive ad doesn't need to directly "name and shame" the competitor, and many of the most effective ones just refer to the rival as the leading competition. The goal of a competitive brand is to illustrate how your product stands out from the crowd. There's no better way to establish this than with the direct competition.
Your branding is your best opportunity to create your company culture and communicate it to your customer base. Customers are becoming more socially conscious in their purchases, and if your company subscribes to high ethical standards in a specific area, like environmental friendliness, it's important to emphasize this. People like feeling that their purchase is making a positive difference, and this is a powerful way to create lasting loyalty with your base.
Your advertisements should be truthful and emphasize the positive. This is also where you create a connection with a subsection of the market if you have a product aimed at a specific demographic. A good example is how many restaurants emphasize their one vegetarian entrée in advertising, hoping to create a loyal secondary base of vegetarians who know they have a safe space there.
Brand development is the first step a company should take to go from a strong product to a strong player in the market. Your brand is the face you present in the digital marketplace, and our branding and marketing experts can help you compete. Contact Desoto LLC for more information on our services or to set up a consultation today.
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