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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.