It’s what every company would idealistically strive for if they all knew how. It’s a goal that makes the eyes of marketing professionals well up with pride. It’s something so ingrained into our society we mostly forget that it exists: a brand.
For some a brand is a tricky thing to fully understand; an elusive term that never seems to rise to full potential. Some entrepreneurs stumble upon a brand without realizing it because they instinctively understand the psychology behind it without knowing the terminology. If you boil it down to its basics, a brand is created when a company continuously puts out products that represent with themselves and their message. The goal is that somewhere down the line, people show up to buy products the company puts out just because that company put their name on it. It requires less advertising when a product is released, and when advertising is used it’s often quite effective. Ultimately, brand allows freedom and capital. It gives you a bargaining chip to sell the business at a high price if you ever wanted to, and a steady cash flow if you never do.
Let’s say you needed to find out a piece of information, and you don’t know where it can be found. What do you do? I’m going to go out on a limb and say you “Google it”. It’s probably the strongest brand I can think of. How did they do that? They kept the name of their company, stuck with the same logo, and consistently delivered quality search engine results in a format the average person could understand. Before they took off, searches were a real pain. In fact I specifically remember hating the internet. And I don’t know about you, but if I was with friends and we need to know something, I’m not going to Bing. No one with any pride is “Binging it” and I don’t need to be laughed at while in pursuit of information. The Rolling Stones have brand recognition down. You can go see the “Rolling Stones” and for the most part it is not the original members of the band, the ones that are by no means play as well as they once did, and the ticket price paid is upwards of double what you would pay to see most any other artist; to a point where people frequently joke about it. Do they stop? No. Jagger and Richards know people will pay it because they have a strong brand. Even if there are only 2 actual “Rolling Stones” in the band, they are 2 other bands don’t have. You can make all the quips you want, but they still sell out venues when they play and that’s the end of it. I know all of this and I’d absolutely love to see them. It’s a strong brand!
So how do us regular people establish a brand? First understand what it is your business does. Then figure out what it is about the business that sets it apart. How can you convey your message in a creative and memorable way while demonstrating your products superiority? Maybe it’s an expensive product, but is extremely reliable. Should you play upon this? Is the product in an industry where reliability is more important that price? If not, is it possible to convince the public it should be the case? This part of the process is very difficult because you’re inventing an identity. Carve out a niche for yourself and get creative if you can. Take your time with this step because the next step makes it matter more.
The second thing is without a doubt the single most important part. Stick to your guns people. Once you have your idea and you are convinced it is a good one, have some pride. Be confident in it. Friends and family members may try to grind you down with nit-picky one liners simplifying what took time and money to conclude as the best route to take. Always remember: they are not the expert. You are. Keep your message firm with the rest of the world and remember this takes time. Remember, people make comments and jokes about Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and they’re laughing with them all the way to the bank! It won’t happen overnight. It almost never does. In time you should start to see business pick up when this is done well. Perform well for those customers and they will be back with friends. Rinse and repeat. Many struggle to define themselves in the beginning, but keep the faith in who they are and ultimately succeed. It’s why the first step is so critical to the second. Make sure you create a concept strong enough that you can believe in it if you’re in a sea of negativity and low sales. Yes it has to be that good. Also consider an outside marketing company like Purple Diamond to help develop these ideas if you don’t have marketing person already. And remember this: It’s a lot easier to turn a “no” into a “yes” than it is to turn a “yes” into a “no”.
Written by Guest Blogger – Ken Pellegrino. Ken Pellegrino is a freelance writer and part-time marketer at Purple Diamond LLC with a background in business management, marketing, sales and customer relations. A graduate from Salem State University’s Bertolon School of Business with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing, Ken shares his passion for marketing and sales with the owner of Purple Diamond, his mother, Charlene St Jean. In addition to his love of marketing, Ken is also a talented guitarist who enjoys both writing and playing music.