A brand is, of course, the identifier that distinguishes a company or product from its competitors. It has five main parts:
Brand Promise – This is the promise you make to consumers and what they can expect. At Domino’s it is “We GUARANTEE – Fresh hot pizza, delivered in 30 minutes or less, or It’s FREE!” Think Apple with its sleek design and simple operation. The brand promises not only a great product, but also a great buying experience and a great service experience.
Brand Perception – This is how the customer perceives the product. Again, Apple is the very epitome of tech cool. When you buy it and are seen with it, you feel cool and leading edge.
Brand Expectations – With your promise, you set an expectation. You need to meet that expectation with each and every interaction or the customer will turn away from your product and seek one that does meet their expectations. Has anyone made use of the Apple “Genius Bar”? What about Zappos – Powered by Service. Do you know anyone who had a bad experience with Zappos?
Brand Persona – Brands embody a persona. Think about a specific person who personifies a brand you like. What is that person like? Why are you attracted to it? Apple and Microsoft have very different personas. Think about it.
Brand Elements – These are the logo, color scheme, design, the tag line and even the packaging. This is what you always think of when you think of a brand. Think again about Apple – “Think Different”, etc.
Why is a Brand Important?
Customers will pay more for a branded product. So you can typically have a higher profit margin. It is easier to sell products and services when you have a strong brand. The customers are often pre-sold when the walk in or call. Customers will come to you! Wow! Doesn’t everyone reading this column want customers to come to them?
As a Marketing Consultant, I can tell you that building a brand will reap great benefits over time.
Bryan B Mason
Apollo Consulting Group, Newport, RI