Branding is a word that has gained popularity in recent years, but its meaning is often shrouded in double talk and misunderstanding. Branding is the “feelings” that people get from certain products, services or businesses.
There are many elements of a business that could be used for branding. It could be a logo, a name, a picture, a product or any other tangible thing that creates an association with a product, service or company. Branding can be difficult to accomplish because you cannot command people to associate a good feeling with your products or services. People need to experience this in order for the branding to become meaningful. You need to start of by establishing what exactly it is that you want to brand. Will it be your products, your company name or a logo? It should be something that will associate all of these business elements together.
One important component of branding is the “experience” customers have, during and after an interaction with a “branded” entity. In order for the branding to reflect a positive experience, the interaction and experience must also be positive. Branding can best be described with one word: TRUST. It is the trust in branded entities that prompts people to patronize them. Trust is the same reason that branding cannot happen overnight; it takes time to build client trust. You need to be aware that trust can also be lost in an instant. Trust is a feeling; therefore, it is one of the quickest things your business can lose. For this reason, it is imperative that all your efforts go into making each client interaction a positive one. Think for a moment of the things you purchase and why you purchase them. Take a common product like cola. There are many brands of cola available. Some are well-advertised and promoted while others rely simply on their price. What do you buy? Do you buy the more expensive brand because you have seen all the ads for them over the years; you have consumed the product many times and have always found it to be refreshing and consistent? Or, do you buy the cheaper brand that you have never heard of before, never tried and don’t know the company or its product? If you are like most consumers, you will likely buy the well-advertised and “trusted” product most of the time, and occasionally purchase an unknown brand. Branding is relying on trust and experience to influence our decisions. In our case, Key Container Corp, we have tried to promote our brand with tag lines and logo designs that we thought would complement our yellow trailers. By relaying a story or humor ultimately we are best known by people that do not remember these enhancements but rather as “the company that makes boxes and delivers them on yellow trucks”. As we are in the process of upgrading our fleet we have decided to maintain the yellow trailers and simplify our logo with the picture of a box, our name and a web site. Because that is who we are and what we do. Clean, clear and friendly. So how can you use branding? I highly recommend that you “brand” your business or website address. The reason for this is that when you brand your website address, no matter what product or service you provide, or change, people will always associate your website with a known and trusted entity. You can begin “branding” your website address by focusing all of your promotions on sending people to your website, where they can find out all the information about you, your products and or services, and your company. You need to be consistent in ALWAYS advertising and promoting your website. There are many more activities you can engage in that will help brand your business or website address. Some good examples are: Incorporating your website address into your logo, making sure your website address appears on all your promotional material and using a catchy name for your website address, or like in the case of Key Container, our yellow trailers have been our trademark all throughout the years.
Many large corporations have more than one “branded” entity. With some companies it is simply their name; with others it is a variety of elements that have been created and associated with the company. Just a few of the companies that have successfully “branded” their products or services are: An Internet-based company that began as a bookseller and then branched into a variety of products. Amazon.com is the perfect example of a company that branded its web address. Even people who have never visited the Amazon.com website are aware of the company.