Imagine you’ve recently moved to a new city, or maybe you’re on vacation in a state or even country you’ve never visited before. It’s a new area and you’re unfamiliar, perhaps even a little culturally shocked. You’ve just landed, and you hear that grumble in your stomach. You’re thinking it would be great to have a home-cooked meal, but you know that isn’t going to happen. So, what do you do?
You look for something you can relate to, something you recognize. After carefully observing the area, something appears: it’s the familiar sign of one of your favorite restaurants. You know when you enter, you’ll be able to order something you’ve once enjoyed. This is called brand recognition and it’s done by design.
Does your product or service have a brand? Does it make sense to you, the business owner? Often it does – but does your brand make sense to the outside world? According to BusinessDictionary.com, branding is “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme.”
Branding is often a big challenge for business owners. They typically focus on what is going on inside of their business – the very thing in which they specialize – and may have exceptional, high-quality products and services, but no sales.
It’s a very competitive market these days, and business owners need to think like customers. This is especially true if your business has gone beyond competing locally or regionally and is striving for national attention. With the advent of the internet, the marketplace has become so vast, it can become very easy for customers to not even notice your services or products. That is why branding is so incredibly important and something every business must get right for optimal results.
Once you decide to create a brand, you must think about what your message should say, and how related images should appear. A couple simple questions to ask yourself would be: Will the colors being used appeal to potential customers? Does the message speak to the consumer with confidence? There are dozens of additional questions you should be asking before completing the company brand. Ultimately, you want your brand to separate you from your competition in a way that will resonate with your customers.
After you have created your brand, you must step into a new dimension known as the consumers’ decision journey, where you can consider the entire purchasing process. According to the Harvard Business Review, the consumers’ decision journey has five parts: Engage, Buy, Use, Share, and Complete. First, you engage the customer, and then the customer buys the product, uses the product, shares the product experience with others, and then completes the cycle by either upgrading, replacing, or choosing a competitor. The idea, of course, is to retain this customer. Did you deliver? Is your product/service meeting and/or exceeding the expectations of the customer? If so, this will create brand loyalty, which in turn will create a constant revenue stream.
With all that in mind, does your brand have enough sizzle? If you’d like to review your brand and its components with Mickle Communications, be sure to get in touch. We would love to help with your success!