What is Branding?
Branding is what makes your business stand out. It’s the look of your company, the products you offer, and it can be used to promote your business. Brands are everywhere, whether or not you realize it. Do you own a Smartphone? That phone was created by Apple (an example of branding). Do you wear Nike shoes? Those were created by that brand (another example of branding).
Brands are everywhere; they’re simple and powerful. You usually don’t even think about brands until someone brings them up in conversation. This is because brands do exactly what they were intended to do: make people remember them! It’s easier for us humans to see something unique than something generic; therefore, if we can create an outstanding product or service that sticks out from the crowd, we’ve got a chance at making our clients happy!
This has nothing to do with luck; this has everything to do with marketing and branding! Want proof? Look at Apple again! They’re one of my favorite companies ever just because their products are so different than everyone else’s on the market right now (I’m looking at you Samsung!). I know where Samsung goes wrong all too well…they produce phones that are only different in color scheme or model number instead of building their flagship device from scratch like Apple does every time they release a new phone onto the market.
My personal brand of choice is Mac computers, and I’m not the only one. The Mac OS outsells Windows computers by a HUGE margin! You can find Macs in more than just some high-end retail stores as well; you can find them in Target and Best Buy!
So how did they do it? It was all about marketing and branding. Apple has successfully branded itself as a “cool” company, and people want their products because of that perception.
What Makes a Good Brand?
To me, there are three things that make up a good brand:
- Unique Products or Services – This is the most important point of my article. If you don’t have something unique to offer your clients, then what makes you think they’re going to remember you at all? If everything else on the market looks exactly like everything else on the market (and let’s face it – most do), then how will anyone be able to tell if someone knows what they’re talking about when it comes time for them to buy something from your business or not?!
I’m sure we’ve all been there before – we go into a store with our friends after school/work/whatever, and we see something that catches our eye. We’re not sure what it is, but we know that whatever that thing is, we want one! Maybe it’s a watch with a cool face or maybe it’s just an awesome pair of headphones! It doesn’t matter what the product is – if you don’t have something unique and interesting to offer to your clients, then you’re going to be just like everyone else: selling generic products.
- Personality – Your personality as a business owner needs to reflect your company. You can’t just expect people to recognize you as the “cool” guy/gal in town because of how popular you are around school or work; this isn’t high school anymore. Nobody cares about popularity; they care about customer service and quality products / services!
Remember those three adjectives I mentioned earlier? You should use those whenever describing your brand on social media or anywhere else for that matter. If you’re selling high-quality (and interesting) products and services, then let everyone know how awesome they are by using original language and not simply reusing other people’s words (I’m looking at you Samsung!).
- Consistency – This point goes hand-in-hand with my third point above (personality). People need consistency in order for them to keep coming back over and over again.
If you’re reading this right now and you own a business, then I want to know: what makes your brand unique? What does your company stand for? If someone asked me about my brand today, I would answer them in the following way:
Our brand is simple and fun. We offer high-quality products at cheap prices! You’ll never find anything we sell anywhere else. Not only do we provide great service and help our clients with whatever they need, but we also give back to the community! We love giving back because that’s what separates us from everyone else; when it comes time for our clients to look into their next purchase (or if they’re looking into buying something from one of our competitors), they can see that we care about more than just making money…we care about making people’s lives better.
I like writing this stuff because it really gets me thinking; I hope it gets some of you thinking as well!