Brand Management and Positioning
Branding, you know, like what the Cowboys do to their cattle to say, ‘it’s mine’. And in business, just like the wild-wild-west, Branding is one of the most important characteristics of any business, regardless of its size, its type or its industry. Something so critical to your success cannot be left to a department. An effective brand strategy gives you a major competitive edge in an increasingly competitive marketplace. But what exactly does this whole “branding” thing mean? How does it affect you?
What is a brand? A brand is defined as a “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” True. But more. A brand is everything that the customer believes and/or perceives about your products and services in their minds.
That powerful word that means so many different things to different people. You have it all before, your brand is what people think about you. It’s the logo. No wait, it’s the logo and the tagline. Better yet, it’s the logo, the tagline, and the colors. Right the colors. Well it’s a lot more than that and the strategy that builds your brand is the foundation on which you will stand or fall
Your Brand is your promise! Do you know your brand promise? Do you deliver on that promise, consistently? This is where brand management comes into play.
Your brand tells your customers, your prospects and employees, what they can expect from your products and services, and it is what differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from 3 questions:
- Who you are
- Are who you want to be
- How do people perceive you
In business and in life, you can’t be all things to all people.
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” – Seth Godin
Your brand should be based on who you are, and you are unique. We all are unique in some way. Who you want to be, this speaks directly to why do you do what you do. And who people, the people that you want to serve, who want to be served by you, believe and need you to be.
I understand the power of branding. Right now, you are engaging with my me, with my brand, because you see some unique aspect that has peaked your interest. Maybe it’s the casual conversational style, maybe it’s the no-nonsense direct to the point approach, or maybe a combination of things. Whatever the reason or reasons, it’s your perception of what I can deliver, what promise I can make that you believe you need and want.
When you do business with Leaders Pathway, you should expect that you, your business and your teams will grow. If you are not looking to grow, then our brand is not right for you.
What is Your Brand Promise?
My brand promise is simple: we help leaders grow their businesses, their teams and themselves. That’s it! We sell Growth; business growth, team growth and individual leadership growth.
Brand Management and Positioning is serious business, for your business and yourself. There is a lot of attention on business building brands, brand advertisement etc., and we take it a step further because we know that it’s the people that deliver on the promise of any business that’s also the brand. This is why we offer two areas of Branding:
- Business Branding
- Personal Branding
“Don’t seek to be respected by everyone, but rather seek to be worthy of being respected by everyone.” – Bohdi Sanders
If you have been in business for any length of time, you most likely have a brand, and spent good money to get it built. Great, you are on your way. Now, the question is, who’s managing the brand? Well, the creative folks, the marketing department, they are managing the brand, right? I am sure they are doing their best to ensure that the visual appearance of your business brand is all that it was designed to be and maybe they are even doing a lot more than they are asked to do in managing the brand. However, the question is more around the fundamental promise of the brand. If branding is the expression of the truth, the promise or value your business is delivering, then who’s managing that experience? You can have a beautifully visually designed brand and still have a poorly branded business.What’s your Brand Differentiator?
Remember, Branding is not what you say but what others say.
Answer this question: “Why has McDonald’s consistently been able to out compete Burger King?” After all, they both sell hamburgers, fries and pop. They both have corner drive through locations, in fact most of the time, right across from each other. They both have red coloring in their brand logo, they both have characters that represent the brand, for McDonald’s its Ronald (the clown) and for Burger King, well, it’s the King himself. So, what’s the difference between these two brands?
The answer is: “Burger King sells a product, but McDonald’s sells an experience.” Yep, it’s that emotional bond that McDonald’s brand delivers to young children that, even once they are grown adults, they still stay loyal. Emotional bonds are hard to break and this is what Great Brand Strategies deliver. An Emotional Bond!
So, what does fast food have to do with your business brand? Well, how does 27 billion dollars’ sound? That’s the bottom-line difference in 2012 between these two brands. Two brands selling pretty much that same stuff to the same type of people, with one worth billions of dollars more! It’s big and this makes branding huge!
Who’s selling pretty much the same products and services that you are? What’s the brand difference? What’s the bottom-line difference?
Defining and re-defining your brand is a journey. It’s not one and done. It’s a business of consistently examining your true north to ensure you are doing what you said you would do. While it is difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable, it is also worth it. And so branding is all about loyalty and loyalty is about repeat business and repeat business is about results.
In my branding workshop, I will challenge you to address and/or readdress questions like:
- What is my mission?
- How are the benefits of my products or services unique?
- What do my customers and prospects already think about my business?
- What qualities do I want my customers and prospects to think about my business?
With your defined brand, we can help you get the word out: through your people and through your marketing by partnering with your in-house or agency to champion the brand strategy through services including:
- Positioning strategy
- Brand strategy
- Brand ambassadors (employees)
- Customer journey and experience mapping
- Brand naming
- Brand architecture
- and more… (you will just have to hire me to find this one out)
What about you? Me? You’re probably thinking I’m not a brand. I used to think that too. Brands are for companies, not people. Branding for businesses is very common, but with the changing world and social, mobile and globalization through technology, branding is becoming more and more important on a personal level.
Check out our Career Development page to see how you can make a name for yourself with Personal Branding.
We’ll always get back to you within one business day.