Brand Marketing: It’s all about the “Pre-Sell”
You’ve got the business off the ground! Your service is starting to get attention. Things are going nicely until suddenly… you plateau! Your current customers love you, but you can’t seem to continue to reach new prospects. Or worse yet, the new prospects you are reaching treat you just like everyone else in your industry – evaluating you not on the quality you provide or the different service level you offer, but on price alone. Here’s where your brand comes in.
Branding Defines What You Are
Your brand is there to give your company a voice, a look, a feel, and an experience for your customers that they can’t get anywhere else. A brand is the sum total experience with a company, from the attitude it projects down to the promise it delivers on each and every time.
The brand becomes a customer’s mental shortcut for what expectations they can have going into any interaction with your company, from the rep on the phone to the CEO.
Branding Defines What You Aren’t
A common misconception I see with new clients is that they want to be like everyone else in their industry. As a business owner, you can end up doing this to a point where you commoditize yourself, and in the mind of the customer become nothing more than a dollar value.
What a brand can do is play to what you are that your competitors are not. You can control your image and the perceptions you create for your prospects and customers. You can show that yes, even though you may be similar in service or product mix to another company, you have an “X Factor.” There are things that makes your business uniquely different: commitment, voice, attitude, style, look, experience, and culture, that can’t be duplicated by going to a competitor. There’s simply no equivalent to McDonald’s® french fries, or Google® search results. You don’t expect to get the same customer service from any old shoe store that you get from Zappos® or the bliss you feel from your morning Starbucks® coffee.
Your favorite brands may vary, but the point remains the same. Brands succeed by selling on what they are, and by defining the differentiators of what they aren’t that make them unique, and the best choice for you.
So what does all this brand investment do for you? What’s your return? A well-positioned brand resonates with an audience, and engages with them so completely that those customers become excited for new product announcements, and will line up for the next offering as it becomes available. A brand that engages its customers makes them feel like it’s so much a part of their process or lifestyle that they don’t even think about it. It connects on a wholly emotional level – and just is the default choice.
The ultimate goal is to get customers thinking of you not as an answer to their need, but the only answer. When you’ve done this, you’ve created a powerful brand, and a direct “pre-sold” audience that doesn’t need any convincing that you’ll deliver on what they need. They’ll already know it.
SEE ALSO: Your Brand is an Ecosystem