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What is Branding? 3 Keys Toward A Customer's Mind

Ryan Chute
Ryan Chute
February 4, 2022
What is Branding? 3 Keys Toward A Customer's Mind

Don’t you wish your branding strategy was as easy as casting a spell?

You’ve spent so much of your time and effort into building your brand, but it still isn’t reaching enough of your target audience and still isn’t establishing enough dominance within your market.

So how do you get yourself out of this metaphorical marketing dungeon?

First, you’ve got to understand what branding has come to be. It’s not the obvious, tactical process that many business owners still believe it to be. Instead, it’s more philosophically inclined.

Once you understand that, your ability to bewitch the minds of your target audience will come with ease. Especially when you apply our three key branding tips to your potion of persuasion.

What is Branding in Marketing?

The definition of “branding” can be a bit of a head-scratcher, even for those who have studied marketing. The concept can seem quite vague and hard to identify in specific terms, and for good reason.

Branding correlates with the mind, which is the most complex aspect of our existence. When we consumers think of a brand, whether we realize it or not, we immediately relate it to an idea, image or feeling.

For example, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Nike? Is it their high-quality sneakers? The brand’s “swoosh” logo and color scheme? Or the famous slogan “just do it”? Whichever comes to mind to you, that’s the brand image.

What about the brand’s idea? When you think of Nike, you might think of principles like health, fitness, proactivity, success or that “hard work pays off” mentality.

Finally, how does Nike make you feel? When you wear Nike shoes do they make you feel powerful, confident or like you belong to a community? Your target audience’s emotional anchor to your brand holds the most influence and it’s where most companies, unfortunately, miss the mark.

So to tie it all together, to have effective branding, you will need to successfully get into the minds of your customers by associating an image, idea or feeling that they have to your product.

As long as you consistently deliver your brand promise, your company will successfully attract new customers as well as retain loyal customers to generate long-term progress and sufficient results.

Main Types of Branding

Main Types of Branding

Branding doesn’t just come in one singular form. It can morph and shape into whatever mold you see fit. These molds can be categorized based on the type of business you have, its industry or the platform to which your brand emanates.

Personal branding

We see this everywhere in our modern age of social media and all of its influencers, so it’s an incredibly relevant and valuable type of branding to utilize.

Personal branding is about building your public persona that accurately conveys who you are and what you stand for. You are selling yourself as a person, not as a product, so it’s important that you are authentic and that your audience has a positive perception of you that stands out from the crowd.

Product branding

This is similar to personal branding but instead, you are creating a strong presence with a product, not a person.

Product branding focuses on a specific type of product which not everyone will find beneficial. That is why it is important that you lure in the right audience, and to do so effectively, you’ll need to have a deliberate aesthetic that attracts them to your product over any of the other options out there.

At Wizard of Ads, we believe that entertainment is the currency that will buy the attention of your customer. If you want powerful branding that bewitches the minds of your target audience, contact us today!

Service branding

Service branding is much trickier to brand in the visual and tangible ways that product branding can, but it doesn't mean it isn’t possible.

Thinking outside the box will be your best help in creating service branding with a strong influence. You can do this by offering a free item that captures your audience’s attention or by providing an elevated customer experience that sets you apart from your competitors.

Retail branding

What your customer takes in the moment they walk through the door of your brick and mortar store will make or break their decision to buy. Retail branding is what you do to this environment to persuade them into becoming a buying customer.

Making deliberate design choices and product placements can heavily influence what products are noticed, and ultimately, purchased.

Want to attract your customers like magnets? Have a dazzling window display. Want to make your featured products more visible? Have them at eye level towards the front of the store. Much of this is intuitive, so use your best judgment.

Cultural and geographic branding

Cultural and geographic branding is to appeal a broader audience by associating your brand to cities, states, or even countries.

Think of the “I Love NY” T-shirts. Many people globally could say they’ve seen those shirts in movies, ads or other media channels. When people finally visit the big apple, one of the things on their to-do list could be to purchase one of those shirts and pose for a picture with it in front of the Statue of Liberty because of the fame and recognition it holds globally.

Corporate branding

Just like other types of branding, corporate branding communicates its values, price point, mission, exclusivity and ideal customer through its aesthetic choices and actions.

What corporate branding has that many other types of branding don’t have, however, is the branding it does for not only its customers but for its employees as well.

It is the expression of how the company conducts itself socially and professionally, and if it’s attractive to its target market, it’ll reel in more customers and more interested applicants to build a stronger and more influential company overall.

Online branding

As the name suggests, this is branding that occurs exclusively online. Everyone is online these days, so it would be silly at this point not to incorporate online branding into your marketing strategy.

You can present what your business has to offer through many online media channels like social media, email newsletters, your company website, podcasts, blogs, the list goes on.

Offline branding

Alternative to online branding, there is offline branding.

Merchandise, print products, retail, basically anything tangible to your customers is considered offline branding. Offering free stickers at checkout that your customer ends up putting on the back of their laptop? That’s easy offline branding right there!

Whatever allows your target audience to see your brand out and about in the world and get easy access to it is where offline branding truly becomes powerful.

3 Keys In Implanting an Associative Memory To a Customer's Mind-Thus Branding

3 Keys to Implanting an Associative Memory in a Customer's Mind-Thus Branding

Remember the story of Ivan Pavlov who won the Nobel prize for his research into branding dogs in 1904? He would ring a bell every day and then apply meat paste onto his dog’s tongue. The sound soon became associated with that particular taste, and salivation resulted because of conditioning. In psychological terms, this is called "branding."

Now that we’ve got a greater understanding of what branding is and what types of branding hold a dominant presence in our day-to-day lives, let’s go over the three key ingredients that make the secret potion of branding work just as powerfully as it did with Pavlov and his dog.

Consistency

Pavlov made sure to always offer food when he rang the bell, and the same should go for you with your branding.

To have effective branding, there needs to be consistency in your brand’s image, ideals (the bell) and the result it provides to your customers (meat paste).

Consistency will ensure that your target audience will recognize your brand over others as it has a distinctive look that doesn’t vary depending on the medium in which its viewed.

Having the same underlining message and values throughout your branding will provide a brand promise that will give your customers clear expectations that should, in turn, generate consistent results.

When you provide consistent results, you create enough customer satisfaction and loyalty that will only further boost your brand awareness and overall revenue.

Frequency

Pavlov rang that bell and provided a consistent result of meat paste for his dog, but he didn’t just do it every once in a while.

Pavlov rang the bell every day. If he didn’t, the dog would most likely lose the associative memory of what the bell signifies. This also applies to your branding.

If you are not keeping your brand relevant and giving it the everyday exposure it needs to gain your target audience’s attention, they will forget about it altogether. So be sure you are creating all the content and reaching all the relevant platforms you need to every day to keep your brand implanted in the minds of your customers.

Anchoring

It’s safe to say that without the dog’s love of meat, Pavlov’s branding experiment wouldn’t work. But why is that? The dog’s love of meat acts as an emotional anchor that keeps the dog’s interest in the sound of the bell. If Pavlov’s dog didn’t like meat, he would most likely stop coming.

Just like Pavlov's dog, your customers won’t buy your product or service unless it provides some sort of emotional anchor for them– a weight loss product that restores their self-confidence or a daily planner that makes you feel productive are good examples.

Whatever the emotional anchor your product or service provides, make sure it effectively delivers the results that it promises. Otherwise, your customers simply won’t come when the bell is rung.

It’s Time to Break Branding Barriers

You’ve made it. You’ve escaped the metaphorical marketing dungeon where branding is as much of a mystery as warlocks are to gnomes.

Now that you can identify, understand and wield the magical power of branding, there is nothing that your business can’t do. Your branding is your foundation, so don’t make a fragile one.

We’ve given you the magic you need for your business’ branding to thrive, but these aren’t the only useful spells in our spellbook.

At Wizard of Ads, our income rises when yours does. If you want to see exponential growth within your business, contact us today!

(Branding)
(Lead Gen)
(Brand Strategy)
Ryan Chute
Ryan Chute

"My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, And they're like, it's better than yours, Damn right it's better than yours, I can teach you, but I have to charge." -Kelis Yeah. This is what I do for Home Service Companies.

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Frequently asked questions

Questions? We’ve got answers.

Who does the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors work with?

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors work with healthy and growing Residential Home Service Contractors hungry to grow by multiples, like you.

You are ready, willing, and able to grow your business. You are open to change and are seeking a distinctive angle of approach to gain the time and attention of a too-busy public.

You know that lasting relationships take time, patience, and good energy to nurture and cultivate. We carefully enter into every arrangement with the intention of working with you for as long as you own your business. You prefer lasting partnerships.

You are already a solid operator. You have successfully grown your business and appreciate the impact the right brand story will have to get to the next level in your operation. You know a strong relational message takes time to gain momentum, but it’s worth the one-time short-term discomfort for the long-term gains.

Marketing cannot fix a failing business.

We accelerate what’s already happening in a business. If your business is on the rocks, marketing will only speed up the inevitable.  

You’re focused on lasting change that leads to exponential, profitable growth, not just sales at any cost. Intuitively, you know that communication that enhances every element of your customer's experience and your employee's culture is the key to your success.

How does the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors charge?

Traditional marketing agencies are designed to capture the greatest amount of revenue from a client, regardless of results. Every last item is billed and expensed to the client. Typical agency fees can represent a whopping 55% of the entire advertising budget. That means a $5 million dollar advertising budget, you would spend $2.75 million on agency fees.

Think of Wizard of Ads® for Contractors as the Anti-Agency.

Our income is not tied to your advertising budget. Our income is exclusively tied to your growth. Our goal is to maximize your advertising impact with the lowest reasonable spend. This allows you to spend only what is necessary or to put extra horsepower into aggressively growing in your market.

The genius of this model is that it perfectly aligns our motivations as true partners for exponential profitable growth without the pain of being unaffordable. Ultimately, we are confident in taking the risk of being underpaid in the first few years because we know the results always speak for themselves.

Next, we do not accept commissions, referral fees, kickbacks, or other compensation from any service providers we recommend or engage for production work. Most agencies do. This includes the 15% agency commission for media buying. This approach is considerably different from the compensation plan employed by most advertising agencies, as it eliminates any potential conflicts of interest and allows us to focus our entire attention on helping you grow your business profitably as a true partner. For example, a $500,000 annual media buy would involve a $75,000 commission that we would have removed directly from your media providers' invoices.

This is the perfect pricing model for Residential Home Services.

By tying ourselves to gross revenue, we only have one motivation. Your motivation. We have no motivation to convince you to spend more money on marketing than what is necessary, and since we are a variable expense to sales, we NEVER become too expensive to have us on your team.

In almost every case, we end up lowering the amount of money you spend. We will stay within your planned marketing budget, including your media spend, production, and our Annual Fee. Add on the fact that you get any and all commissions back for media buys and various services provided by outside providers, and you will actually save money having us on your team.

Don’t forget, we have the largest buying power in North America for media buying, meaning for every dollar you spend buying media, we only spend 27 cents on average. This stretches your reach, impact, and frequency in a way no other agency (or yourself) can achieve on your own, saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars, eventually millions, every single year.

Clients who heed our advice and embrace our Marketing Strategy quickly add $1 million in incremental revenue to their business, making your investment a smart bet and a bit of a no-brainer.  

There is no longer any guesswork, hope, or fear that our marketing strategies are going to work. If our client’s are able to abandon any limiting beliefs about marketing, deliver operational excellence, and play the long game, our marketing strategy will accelerate their profitable growth.

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors pricing model is based solely on the topline revenue of your company. It consists of an Upfront Fee and an Annual Fee. These fees are inclusive of scheduled travel, services, and all other expenditures as outlined in the Consulting Agreement.

The Upfront Fee covers the intensive Uncovery Process, the first year’s Media Buy, the Creative Process, and the Market Research while the Annual Fee goes toward implementation, ongoing creative and consulting, and next year's media buy. You get a team of 3.5 people, with direct access to a top tier Creative Lead and Media Buyer, and on-demand access to me as your Master Strategist. You will also have a full-time Account Manager keeping everything on track.

While the upfront does have an initial pinch, it is easy to amortize the investment over the many years we will be working together to grow your business. Wizard of Ads® retain clients for 10 years, on average. The sale of the business is the number one reason for termination. We actively terminate the bottom 1% of clients who are unwilling or unable to follow our strategies.

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors believes that all rewards should be directly correlated to the success of our clients. This means that the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors only receives a raise when the company achieves growth. For example, if your gross sales for the year have increased by 25%, the Annual Fee you pay us in the following year will also be increased by 25%. Likewise, if your gross sales decrease, our Annual Fee will decrease by the same percentage during the following year.

This is an exceptionally easy and fair way to track and reward success. This model was developed by Wizard of Ads® over 35 years ago and has served us well because it serves our clients well.

As a rule of thumb, we take the risk of working for considerably less than our actual value in the first few years as we help accelerate growth. This means you need to be willing to pay us exceptionally well when you start doing even better.

When should I engage The Wizard of Ads® for Contractors?

There are four key revenue stages for engagement with the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors.

  1. Under $3.6 million in revenue
  2. Between $3.6 and $10 million in revenue
  3. Between $10 and $20 million in revenue
  4. Over $20 million in revenue

Under $3.6 million in revenue is an investment in your brand. This will serve you well in establishing your brand story early on and help you with your name, logo, and truck wrap design. It's easier to create pictures from a story than it is to make a story based on pre-drawn pictures. You'll be glad you did. Everyone on a fast path to growth is.

Most clients start with Wizard of Ads® for Contractors between $3.6 and $10 million in revenue. They have often seen a natural ceiling with their leads for demand service and are looking for ways to push past the ceiling. This can only be done with a properly executed brand strategy, specifically in mass media with a sticky story.

Between $10 and $20 million in revenue, Wizard of Ads® for Contractors has some natural economies of scale. This is a sweet spot where Wizard of Ads® for Contractors can offer some added value in getting the ball rolling.

Over $20 million in revenue is actually the lowest cost point of entry as a percentage of revenue, but not the cheapest time to start with the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors. Leveraging all economies of scale aside, we have been left out of the upside along the way, so engaging when over $20 million in revenue means we have to mend a lot of fences damaged along the way. This is also where clients see significant savings in their media buys and production costs.

There are also three market sizes to consider.

  • Primary Markets are the top 50 cities in America.
  • Secondary Markets are the smaller cities in America.
  • Tertiary Markets are the more rural trade areas in America.

When considering an engagement with The Wizard of Ads® for Contractors, consider what size market you are in. For example, a $3.6 million company in a Primary Market will struggle to get the necessary reach needed to make a splash. You either have to be more patient than a larger company or spend more money to accelerate your reach.

Alternatively, a $5 million company in a Secondary Market will look like a pretty darn big fish in a medium-sized pond.

A $20 Million company in a Primary Market will feel like a $50 million company using our strategies to potential customers.

The key to remember is that the earlier you start with the Wizard of Ads® for Contractors, the lower the investment to get started. As they say, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.

Are production costs included in your fees?

The Wizard of Ads® for Contractors Creative Lead will create the ad copy, cast the voice actors, source the production house, direct the performance, pick the music bed, manage all the edits, and provide you with the completed ad for final approval before sending to air on your behalf. This is included in our fees.

You pay for the production house, actors, royalty-free music, and jingles directly to avoid any potential for markups, commissions, or management fees.

We have many friends in the industry that give our clients good deals due to the large volume of work we provide them. We will introduce you to them.

How long before a brand-forward strategy starts working?

In approximately three months of activation, we’ll just be getting live on air. In six months (3 months on air), you’ll be getting anecdotal feedback from people that you are being heard, but there will be no direct line to revenue.

After 6 months on the air, you’ll think you made the biggest mistake of your life signing up for this branding nonsense. After 9 months on the air (12 months in) you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel.

At 12 full months on the air, you’ll know why you did this branding thing. Two years from now, we'll be clinking champagne flutes as you wonder why you didn’t do this sooner.

How long before we’re live?

The general guideline is 70-120 days, depending on the level of production needed and if there is a name change to your business.

This includes an onsite visit, a deep dive into research, and getting things created, negotiated, approved, produced, and live on the air.

  • Uncovery - 15-30 days based on travel. 1-2 days onsite.
  • Research - 30-60 days based on the scope of work.
  • Creative and Media Buy Process - 45 to 60 days
  • Offline Production - 15 days for radio. 30 - 60 days for television.
  • Online Production (if switching) - 60 days

This means planning for roughly 90 to 120 days in the proper development and production of a completely unique Marketing Strategy before anything hits the airwaves.

Are you exclusive?

Creatively, yes. During the term of this Agreement, all Creative Partners assigned to your Account shall not engage, directly or indirectly, as an employee, officer, manager, partner, manager, consultant, agent, owner, or in any other capacity, in any competition of the client, including any company engaged in marketing consulting.

For clarity, the Creative Partner is defined as the individual Wizard of Ads® Partners who is responsible for creating your creative strategy and ongoing creative copy. Competition is defined as companies that engage in the same industry and business units (e.g., HVAC, Plumbing, etc.) as you. The market area is defined as the area where the marketing message naturally reaches through DMA or 60 miles from the city center of the client's service area(s).

Naturally, we exclude any potential future competition in markets where you are not currently active at the date of signing.

We do not limit Media Buyers in any market. Media Buyers get better deals for larger volumes, making it beneficial for the client to have the Media Buyer available to do as many buys as possible to secure the best deals on the client’s behalf.

Do you do digital marketing?

In rare circumstances, Wizard of Ads® for Contractors will provide specific digital marketing solutions. Wizard of Ads® has very specific Partners that provide digital services that serve Residential Home Services effectively. Under no circumstances will digital marketing services be offered without Wizard of Ads® for Contractors' core solution.

It is most likely that Wizard of Ads® for Contractors will work with your existing digital partners and suppliers. If you do not have a reliable digital provider, we would be happy to introduce you to a number of great providers that play nice with Wizards.

Do you do jingles?

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors can assist you in getting a jingle for your business. Like any other tactical element of a marketing strategy, we do not produce a jingle for the sake of a jingle.

If you do not have a story or a strategic reason to have a jingle...or an ad campaign to tie it to, do not waste your hard-earned money on a jingle. You are wasting your time and money.

When you do build a single unified marketing strategy that incorporates a jingle for a specific (often scientific) reason, we have a Jingle Wizard who has studied the art and science of jingle design.

He will score you an original, royalty-free jingle, including professional singers, musicians, and producers. He will not knock off a generic jingle from a publicly available music bed that sounds like everyone else's jingle.

Your jingle will serve a very specific reason and produce a very specific result. Have you guessed how much we love jingles yet?

Who owns the copyrights?

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors owns your copyright for two very specific reasons. We also provide a fair use clause in all contracts to ensure you are in no way limited to the access of your creative works, whether you are working with us or not.

The first reason we own your copyright is to ensure that we do not have to go up against our own creative works in other markets we serve. This means you are not allowed to lend, give, borrow, tweak, rent, lease, or sell your creative works to any other company at any time.

The second reason we own your copyright is that we can establish a one-time value for your creative works in the event that someone steals the content. Upon selling you the copyrights, you can go after the perpetrator for theft and make a considerable bounty in a slam dunk case.

Here is how Wizard of Ads® word the fair use of your copyright for as long as your business is in operation:

All writing and/or marketing materials we create for you are not works-for-hire. Wizard of Ads® for Contractors hereby irrevocably grants you, and your successors in interest, the non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-transferable, and worldwide right to use the Works in connection with the marketing of your business pursuant to the Marketing Strategy for so long as your business is operational.
How do I measure brand results?

There are a number of interesting ways to measure results. Some people like to get unique identifying telephone numbers, or create branded URLs that redirect to landing pages or the website. However, much of this is a waste of time and energy as it never tells the true story of the brand journey and how it affected the decision-making process.

Other indicators of brand effectiveness include tracking new customers, reactivated customers, or running a brand equity survey to get a sense of your share of mind. Digitally you will see direct search increase, which cannot be affected by anything digital, as well as branded keyword inquiries increase. You’ll, of course, need to get your digital people to add these to your campaigns if you hope to see an increase in conversions.

Wizard of Ads® for Contractors tracks the simplest of indicators. Top line revenue. When your branding takes effect, and the company responds in kind from the phone call or form fill-on, top-line revenue will increase. Efficacy is plotted on a T12, and total lead volume from all sources is tracked.

12 things you should know before signing up.
  1. Quality relationships take time. Branding is a long-term strategy. That’s why most contractors do it wrong, or not at all. There is always a lag between the start of the new campaign and the time it takes your customers to connect the dots. You MUST BE READY, WILLING, AND ABLE to endure this lag period. In our experience, the lag is typically 6 to 9 months, depending on how competitive the marketplace is, your company’s reputation, your budget in relation to reach, and the eight uncontrollable environmental factors. During this time, we will be helping you implement a transition plan to ease the pain. The good news is that this lag only happens once.
  2. Decisions by Committee. We completely reject the notion of decisions by committee. We work with a single, courageous decision-maker. We welcome decision influencers, but we only look to the Owner for the final decision. All decision-makers and influencers must be involved in the Uncovery and Marketing Strategy Presentation if they want to offer input in the future. It is critical that we have a 100% fully approved plan that can be defended and championed by all leaders in the organization.  
  3. Proven Strategy. That means we are not the low-cost provider. With nearly 200 home service clients and a book of strategic devices, tools, and tactics, this isn’t a guessing game for us. We know what to do to make your externally triggered grudge purchase appealing to your potential buyers. If you can deliver the goods, we can continue building relationships. If you are uncomfortable with the idea that you are paying us less now so that you can pay us considerably more once revenues allow, please do not commit. We intend to be your true partners, in sickness and in health...so long as you own your business.
  4. Automatic Payments. Everything is on automatic payments. If you struggle with managing cash flow, figure that out in your business first. We accept all major credit cards and ACH payments.
  5. We Cause Problems. If you don’t have a capacity issue now, I promise you will in about 9 months. Let’s deal with recruitment out of the gate as part of your comprehensive marketing strategy.
  6. We Own the Copyrights. All writing and/or marketing materials we create for you are not works-for-hire. We irrevocably grant you, and your successors in interest, the non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-transferable, and worldwide right to use the Works in connection with the marketing of your business pursuant to the Marketing Strategy for so long as your business is operational.
  7. Brand Building. We will be steering you to limit the use of discounts, rebates, coupons, and sales to attract clients. We know this feels counterintuitive to many, and we will clarify our reasoning. Rest assured, we have considerable experience in creating similar offers that are not damaging to your profitability, your brand’s integrity, and your preferable long-term client relations.
  8. Creative Authority. We must have creative authority over the words. You can accept copy as written or reject it outright, but you cannot modify the words yourself. If you do not like something as written, we are happy to discuss it and make the necessary change to maintain the integrity and intention of the words chosen. Alternatively, we will scrap the concept and create new copy that you are happy to get behind 100%.
  9. Proprietary Algorithm. The media buy must be structured in a very specific way, including running a full 52-week schedule. It is based on brain chemistry, not P&Ls. Once we have committed to the buy, it’s important to avoid adjustments unless they are calculated additions.
  10. Knucklehead Factor. You should expect knuckleheads. For example, when you start running ads that are certain to get attention, you need the courage to continue running those ads, even when you receive complaints. We celebrate complaints. It means we’ve made people feel.
  11. Digital Weasels. In about three months from the time your advertising campaign hits the airways, your digital marketers will show you a marked increase in direct and organic traffic. Some Digital Marketers will mistakenly claim this success as their own. Done properly, you can continue to spend less and less on digital lead generation by increasing your branded keyword online presence.
  12. Annual Marketing Meetings. Travel permitting, we prefer to hold Annual Marketing Meetings (AMMs) outside your city. Years of experience have taught us that we get better results when decision-makers are outside their sphere of influence, away from the day-to-day distractions of the office.

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