Making Your Business Memorable With Branding
Before you can build a brand, you must know what a brand is. A brand is a name or a symbol of identification. For example, “Shoprite” is the name of a business — as such, the name is part of the business's brand. Shoprite's logo is also part of its brand. A businesses name and logo are the basic building blocks for creating a brand (i.e an image).
What association do you make when you see Shoprite's logo or hear its name? Quality? Affordability? Comfort? Shoprite's brand derives its power from the positive associations that it creates among consumers. Remember that a brand becomes whatever consumers associate with it. So businesses need to careful what people think about them — because reputation is also a component branding!
Getting to Know Branding
In the last few years, the concept of brand (or branding) has dominated the pages of almost every business publication — it has become part of everyday business vocabulary everywhere. But, in actuality, branding is as old as busi- ness itself. To survive in today’s crowded marketplace, you must develop name recognition for your store. There is no room for error. When you adver- tise your business, your brand has to be consistent. Branding simplifies your message so that it doesn’t get lost in a maze of information overload.
Cashing in with a strong brand
A strong brand name adds value to your merchandise by suggesting that it’s worth purchasing. And products with strong brand names can often even demand higher prices. Brand equity is the amount of extra money that some- one is willing to pay for a product just because it is a “brand name” product or because it comes from a store with a “name.” Think of the products that you pay extra for every day — the following examples show the power of brand equity:
Zartech was among the first to brand the chicken that was sold to super- markets. They branded dead chickens! Zartech chickens today are more expensive than the regular kinds of chicken you find in the market — but they sell.
Intel branded something that most people have never seen or touched and don’t really understand. But customers feel secure when the com- puter they buy sports an “Intel inside” sticker. People are willing to pay extra for an Intel chip because of what the brand represents. Note: The computer I am typing on right now doesn’t have an Intel chip in it — and, obviously, it works just fine.
Faro branded water! Water’s my number one most favorite thing ever branded. You can’t go anywhere without seeing someone carrying a bottle of Faro. It costs more than regular tap water, but it sells. Perhaps it’s because Faro water makes you think of purity and nature. These are powerful associations, but neither of them have anything to do with thirst.
My message is this:
"In order to distinguish your store from all others (and thus attract lots of customers), you need to develop your store’s brand into a name (or image) that means something in the marketplace."