November 06, 2012
/ by Cision Contributor
Business expert Julianna Davies’ insights on common branding errors and how to avoid them, featured below, should be of particular interest to PRWeb readers. Our sister company iContact has covered the perks of strong brand identification before, but the flip side is also important — particularly online, as Juliana describes. Julianna has previously published on the various things that students in marketing MBA programs learn, which interested readers are invited to check out.
Branding is one of the most crucial aspects of business development in today’s business world, yet many organizations struggle with this seemingly never-ending process. Problems with branding are often linked to critical company missteps. By understanding fundamentals of branding and strategies that reinforce them, businesses stand to edge out their competitors within the global market.
Inconsistent branding is one of these major missteps. Initially, each company generally adopts a strict brand name, logo, and tagline, as well as a set of guidelines to follow for day-to-day operations. However, the course of business will expose the company to a myriad of customers, investors, and intermediaries. Unless the brand is consistently represented for all of these groups, confusion – and even derision – will be generated among the public. Fred Geyer of Marketing Profs notes that “holistic understanding of the brand” will mitigate this risk for company leaders. He argues that all founding members should instill “an understanding of the brand’s heritage, personality, iconography, functional benefits, emotional benefits, and perceived value” as it is viewed by various parties that do business with the organization. If every member of a particular workforce has a firm grasp of these basic principles, then that company should remain consistently represented even as it expands within the market. But Geyer also notes that holistic understanding is also a driving force for innovation and creative problem solving within the company.
Another common branding error occurs when companies ignore their customers. This is not only a bad business policy that can quickly shrink a company’s sales and client base, but is also an inefficient practice since measuring customer metrics can be a very effective method of tracking trends and developing strategies that incorporate them. Most companies that neglect customers do so not out of rudeness, but because they are understaffed and unable to meet these demands. For this reason, Small Business Trends urges companies to both develop a user-friendly website and utilize social media to reach out to potential customers and investors. In the current digital age, many companies have opted for online marketing strategies – and in many cases, this decision has led to lucrative results. In addition, many website creators and social media outlets allow administrators to monitor site visits, conversion rates and other metrics that indicate public interest.
Finally, companies often make the mistake of appointing brand development responsibilities to the wrong employees. Some workers are savvy when it comes to creating logos and taglines, communicating with the public and remaining consistent with company representation, and some simply are not. CEO Dan Schwabel recently told Forbes that company leaders should “create a strong team” that will help – not hinder – the brand building process, even if it means curating new employees with specialized experience. “It’s impossible to be successful without a strong support system,” he noted. “By recruiting and cultivating industry rockstars, it can make all the difference.”
There is no “right” way to develop a brand, and various strategies will work for different companies. Much depends on variables such as workforce size or industrial sector. However an organization establishes and maintains a corporate identity, experts agree that branding should be taken seriously and handled with the utmost care.
(Photo Credit Courtesy freedigitalphotos.net)
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