When you think of brand building, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
You probably think brand building is about acquiring customers using online ads, posters, flyers and search listings. The general idea is to create a compelling reason for a company to buy your products and services. The fact is that marketing is not just about spending budgets on advertisements for different channels. Marketing is about the creation of a perception about the product in the mind of a customer. This perception is the ‘Brand’.
What is brand building?
In a competitive world, meeting the customer’s needs is not enough. When multiple businesses are offering the same product or service to a customer, the only way to stand out is through perception. When you think of dairy products, one of the first names that comes to your mind is ‘Amul’. In a similar fashion ‘Maggi’ has become a household name in India when it comes to instant noodles. There may be many other companies that sell better instant noodles, but Maggi leads this segment because customers perceive it as an authoritative brand in this its segment.Maggi has been building its brand as a nutritious instant noodle and its brand building strategies have been very successful.
In effect, the brand building process involves the following brand building steps:
- Creating a Perception: All brand building activities should aim at burning the perception of a brand into the mind of the customer. All marketing material should be consistent with the repetition of this perception. For example, Lays chips have a tagline ‘no one can eat just one’. This tagline is present on its chips packets, its poster and television ads. Regular customers can recall this tagline whenever they think of a packet of Lays.
- Identifying your target audience: One of the first questions any marketer must ask themselves is who they are marketing to. The target audience is a set of people who are facing the problem that the business is looking to solve. For example, ZipLoan targets small business owners whose credit needs are not met by traditional lenders. For accurate brand building and proper execution of marketing strategies, it is essential to know what the target customer wants.
- Position: The brand position involves defining what a business wants people to think it does. A position statement can simply be a statement that defines the best features of a product or service provided by a company. A position allows a company to shape its perception. For example, when you think of ‘Nike’ the position statement ‘Just Do It’ almost instantly comes to your mind. Nike has positioned itself as the go-to choice for fitness enthusiasts and athletes. The product symbolizes youth and fitness. Customers often buy a product for how it makes them feel instead of pure functionality. For example, Body Shop sells expensive creams and lotions as compared to other cosmetic firms. However, it has high customer retention and a loyal customer base. Customers buy body shop because it positions itself as an organic substitute for chemical products. The products have elegant descriptions and the store ambience encourages customer engagement. The right position is crucial for brand building efforts.
Brand building can be the difference between selling ordinary products and selling exceptional products. The brand needs to be aligned with the companies long-term vision because no brand building goals can be achieved without long-term focus and persistence.