Branding is one of the biggest and often misunderstood subjects in marketing.
Let’s begin by defining what branding is not. Branding is not simply a company’s name, logo or tagline. Branding is not putting a trademark symbol after your name. Branding is not simply a company’s marketing or advertising efforts. Branding is the sum total of a company’s identity and includes every contact that the company makes with every prospect and customer. It includes all of the company’s communication tools; it’s name, logo, tagline, letterhead, literature, etc… It’s marketing, advertising, merchandising and packaging. It’s the way the sales force interfaces with channel partners and customers. It’s the way phone calls are handled… emails are handled… requests and complaints are handled. It extends to a company’s products and services… their quality, value, performance and warranty. And, it goes even deeper. It extends to the corporate environment… it’s people and their attitude toward the company… the workplace… it’s systems, protocol and procedures. Every interaction, every contact, everyday… is your brand.
Q. So why should a company care about developing their corporate brand?
A. Simply, a company’s brand is it’s most valuable asset. A strong brand has a positive effect on the bottom line.
- Strong corporate brands create a clear differentiation between it’s brand and it’s competition in the minds of their customers
- When product features are similar, the strong corporate brand will more often win the sale
- Strong corporate brands can often charge a premium price for their products and services
- Strong corporate brands more easily grow their product and service lines because of a loyal customer following
- Strong corporate brands more easily weather slides in the economy
- Strong corporate brands often receive preferential treatment from vendors and channel partners
- Strong corporate brands more easily ward off threats from competitors
- Strong corporate brands attract and retain quality employees