Branding – More than Just a Buzz-Word

Mar 28, 2008 by

If you’re looking for information on increasing your sales, building up your marketing exposure and promoting your business online, chances are you’ve heard the term “Branding” thrown around quite a bit.  But what exactly does it mean to you and your business?

What You Drink Has to Do With Branding
Branding carries over from traditional corporate marketing.  A perfect example is Pepsi in the 1980’s, during a time popularly known as the “Cola Wars”.  Coca Cola was the most popular drink of the time, and Pepsi had to find a way to differentiate itself from its rival.

Because Coca-Cola had been around for decades, it has built up a reputation as “your parent’s cola” – or something that old people reminisced about.

Pepsi pounced on this “stigma” and designed a fresh new logo using bold colors and a new slogan promoting the “new generation”.  The “new generation” movement became Pepsi’s form of branding.  The kids of the 80’s didn’t want to be stuck drinking something that their parents drank, so Pepsi’s market share went up considerably as a result.

Even now, almost 30 years later, Pepsi still stays true to its “new generation” brand by aligning itself with popular youth culture events.

What does Branding Mean for the Business Owner?
But what does all this have to do with you and your business?  Simple.  Your brand identifies you and what your message is to your clients.  Is your company young and fresh? Or are you an established expert?

Choose your brand identity carefully – as it is something that, like Pepsi, will stay with you for years and possibly decades.  Everything from your logo design to your website and even the employees that work for you should communicate your brand and your message to clients.

Resist the urge to change your brand every few years to “keep up with the times”.  Ford’s logo has remained virtually unchanged since it began in the 1920’s.  Coca-Cola’s logo hasn’t changed at all.  What’s trendy today might look behind-the-times tomorrow – and that’s not a message you want your company to communicate!

Put your brand into everything you do.  Over time, repetition breeds familiarity, and customers will come to recognize and rely on your brand as a symbol of quality and value.  Getting it right the first time, and sticking with it, will help build brand recognition for years to come.

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