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What's This About Branding?
Copyright © 2001 - Dan Moses

It seems that lately branding is being taught as one of the big "Do or Die" website advertising strategies. So everyone wants to brand his or her ebusiness, but no one is exactly sure what branding is, how to do it, or where to get started.

So, what is Branding?

Branding is about building a compelling association between... your name (URL), your company, your logo, your products or services.

AND...

An image, an emotion, or a triggering message that your customers mind will recall in a time when they need to purchase your product or service. This triggering message is the most important benefit you have to offer your customers.

Branding has seven main elements:

  • A Name (URL)
  • A Logo
  • The Company
  • Expectation/Perception
  • A Customer Statement
  • Product/Service
  • A Promise/Commitment

In order to program your company in the minds of your prospects, you need to consistently repeat your message to them.

You need to develop...

A Strong Unique Selling Proposition

One of your main objectives is to clearly communicate how he or she will benefit from doing business with you. You want to program this into their mind in about nine words or less. Seven being the ideal number.

Your message should be clear, in a simple language, and it should be very easy to remember. This will be the message that your market will identify you by and associate you with.

A critical aspect in branding your business is to know who your Target Market is. Knowing who your market is has made it possible for small and home-based business owners just like you to be successful on the Internet and make Extreme Profits with a very limited supply of advertising dollars.

The main purpose of branding is to get people to recall your company/service/product from memory. Effective branding will create the kind of Company Loyalty that leaves your competition out of the minds of your prospects. Your ultimate goal is to get people to trust you more than your competition and to think of your website or business before they think of your competition's business.

Keep in mind, slogans and taglines are only part of the big picture. Think of the Hallmark commercials. These tearjerker mini-dramas are built around love and family values, ending with someone showing they "care enough" by giving a loved one a Hallmark card. They create 'Strong Emotions' that drive their slogan home.

And think about what the Nike logo represents. Do you know that the "Swoosh" is the wing of the Greek goddess Nike, and the personification of victory? Their logo holds just as much meaning as their name.

Some think branding is just for the big companies. It's actually just as important to the small business entrepreneur, especially the owners of online businesses. With extreme competition on the Web, those who don't brand will probably go out of business.

Good website advertising is important to successfully brand your company, but branding includes much more than website advertising. Companies deliver branding messages to audiences at many contact points, most productive would include customer service, sales, product design, distribution channels, investor relations, packaging, and pricing.

For most brands in service industries, personal contact with your customers is the primary branding communication.

So, why do you think branding is such a "hot" topic all of a sudden?

Because markets are becoming more complex and more competitive at an exponential rate.

Advances in manufacturing, distribution, and communications have created a large array of product and service choices. Many of these choices are largely similar, creating confusion over the tangible differences. As a result, retailers and customers require a shorthand language to help us wade through a myriad of goods and services.

They call this language Branding.


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