Entrepreneurship Series: What You Should Know When Starting A New Business

December 12, 2015

 Tips on Building An Effective Brand

 

It could be said that branding evokes images, emotions, and memories as a means to encourage customers to take action to purchase goods or services. Moreover, using colors, sounds, logos, aromas, cunning and catchy phrases or a simple tune can make a significant difference to the bottom line.

 

During this time of year, companies are putting their best foot forward in spending millions of dollars in marketing campaigns that promote their products or services, while using the power of branding.  For instance, many of us recognize catchy jingles (song) like the ones sung during Coca Cola commercials . We also have become familiar with seeing the adorable and infamous Christmas polar bears playing in the snow while drinking a Coke. 

 

Another great branding technique has to do with creating effective and recognizable logos. Nearly the entire planet thinks of McDonald when seeing golden arches.  In recent years, several McDonald restaurants have undergone reconstruction, emerging as McDonald Cafe'. You may have noticed over the years a subtle shift in McDonald's target audience moving from children to adults.  No longer do you see commercials featuring Ronald McDonald or Hamburgerlar or the cool prizes included inside a happy meal. Instead, you hear a Justin Timberland song "I am Lovin It' in the background, while happy, hip adults supposedly enjoying one of the menu options. 

 

In 2015, consumers have hundreds and thousands upon thousands of brands to choose from; therefore, many marketers will tell you that it requires more than a catchy tune to persuade potential customers to purchase unknown products or services.  They will also tell you that consumers are much more sophisticated in their buying habits when compared to a few decades ago.  Think about it, companies have to be deliberate in creating marketing strategies that will make some customers buy brands that will give them the most bang for their bucks, while appealing to other customers who are interesting obtaining luxury brands to make them feel important.   

 

I recall my former employer saying (paraphrasing) "....we must not only survive the economic downturn but we must strive in it as well--we face challenging times in a market that is already saturated at a time when severe cuts in federal funding, sequestration, and federal government shutdown are occurring.  So we must offer something our competitors aren't."  

 

In hearing this statement, I was left thinking that every business, no matter how big or small, must offer something where a person is willing to give up money even when many companies are making serious cuts in their workforce.  For organizations and companies to survive and perhaps strive, no matter the state of the economy, requires them to either create a business plan or constantly review and improve the one they currently have in place, this is a integral of banding.  

 

 

Business Plan:

To be a successful entrepreneur, your must create a business plan that includes your mission and vision statements, SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats), competitive analysis, marketing plan, which should include your marketing goals and objectives  that contains key target markets, positioning, marketing mix and strategy.  Before creating your business plan, it is important to perform research in identifying and understanding your target markets and the type of strategies your competitors are using. Understanding your target markets will optimize your ability to meet your customer needs by presenting the best solutions for addressing those needs.  To take a good business plan to a great business plan, check out BPlan.com.

 

Differentiate Your Brand:

To ensure success of your brand, your marketing plan (included in your business) must be a clear and concise description of the service or product offerings.  Differentiating your offerings from your competitors should be a central focus in your plan along with the Psychological profile or make-up of the target market.  Within the marketing plan, it is imperative that you have a clear framework that outlines the 4Ps, (product, price, place, and promotion).  The marketing mix is framed to work in collaboration with your brand. I recommend you checking out the strategies presented by Wix.com/blog or LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

 

Implement Your Plan:

To properly implement the right marketing mix and maximize results tied to predicting how stakeholders (anyone impacted by you what do as a company or individual) with various needs will react.  The marketing mix must keep in mind that the stakeholders are members of diverse communities with different experiences; meaning, it is important for you plan marketing strategies that include diverse approaches to create the greatest impact.

 

Furthermore, it is important to present your best skills, abilities and expertise illustrated in your vision statement to demonstrate your preferred future, while distinguishing your brand and selling proposition or branding position in capturing the attention of the right employer, investors, partners, vendors, and other stakeholders.

 

Now that you have an idea on how to create an effective brand for your business, it is essential that ask yourself, "What does my personal brand represent?".  Your personal brand says a lot about who you are in terms of your values and guiding principles, which have direct correlation to your profession and business brand.  

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