Where Marketing Ends, Branding Begins
if you have a new business you are considerng to launch, or you already have your current business you need to develop, Here are five beginner’s rules of branding that have held true for nearly 100 years:
1. Don’t have a generic name.
Generic names make it more difficult for your prospect or existing client to remember you.
2. The less you offer, the more you’re remembered.
Offering too many products or services weakens your brand name, which customers will always associate with the product or service that first put you on their radar.
3. If you want to expand, launch a separate brand.
offering too much under the same brand name is a mistake every single time.
One of the biggest cases of brand-extension failure is Microsoft. Sure, Microsoft is still an industry leader in some key markets — but at one point the company completely dominated the tech market. Then it decided to release tons of new products and services under the Microsoft name.
Fortunately, if you’re thinking of starting a new brand, being a person is a lot better than being a faceless corporation.
4. Promote what you do, not what you’re selling.
You can see so many companies saying things like, “At our company, we offer unique offerings.”
The problem with this strategy? No matter how hard you try to convince them, most customers won’t care about your “unique value proposition.” This is why Pepsi beats Coke in taste tests but is still second in market share.
So, instead of promoting what you sell, you should focus instead on what you help people accomplish. Specifically, that means the job that you help them do — one they wouldn’t be able to do by themselves.
5. Ratings and reviews are your sales people.
Most people believe that they cannot close a sale without a set of interpersonal communication skills, in fact .. customers are much better equipped to do the selling.
Today, while the marketing funnel is longer and more complex than ever before, ratings and reviews are still just as important.
6. What does your brand represent?
When you’re new and growing, you need marketing to get the word out. But once people know about your brand, only the perceived value of your brand name will keep them coming back as customers.
You can still be successful if you don’t have a strong brand. Plenty of generic companies are really good at marketing and know how to set up the perfect marketing funnel for each of their lead sources so they can scale to their hearts’ content.
But if your brand doesn’t represent anything, customers won’t keep coming back. They might try you out once or twice, but that’s it. Customers stick with companies they like and remember for the long haul, not just the most affordable product or service they can find.
So, ask yourself, “What does my brand represent?”