In the 1990s Brand Awareness & Preference was taken sedriously and it was understood that lots of time, money and effort went into building these important elements that lead to a company's success and profitability.
Today, too many businesspeople refer to "Branding" as though you can buy it by the pound at your local supermarket.
Branding is important. Branding is hard. Branding is something a company has to do consistently -- week after week, month after month, year after year.
That Brands have value is demonstrated by one of the world's leading hand-tool manufacturers. Their brand is a badge construction pros use to signify their stature. Not only that, the brand has proven value. In the mid 1990s research showed that one of their products, which competed against dozens of competitors, had a 50% unit share -- half of all these types of tools that were purchased bore the company's brand.
More importantly, this company had a SIXTY PERCENT revenue share. This means their brand commanded a 20% premium on average on all those products that were purchased.
OK, brands have proven value, but Customer/Dealer relationships can often be stronger as a different manufacturer with an equally powerful brand discovered. When asked for a price adjustment from a leading Home Improvement Center chain, they declined. The Home Improvement Center chain took on a less well-known but equally reliable brand. In less than a year the manufacturer that had been displaced returned to meet the offer. Now they're sharing shelf space with the lesser-known brand.
Besides overestimating the strength of a Brand, underestimating the time, money and effort it takes to build a Brand is a big mistake.
Building a Brand is hard. Building a Brand is costly. Building a Brand is forever.
Branding is every public thing you do:
A. Ads & Publicity
B. The media that carry your message
C. Brochures and Newsletters
D. Your sales force and customer service operation
E. Your website
F. Manuals and Letterhead
G. Your building and location
H. Its cleanliness and condition
I. Your product quality and appearance
J. Its reliability and durability
K. Your Receptionist. Your Furniture
J. The way you answer your phone & respond to emails
L. How promptly you pay your bills
M. Prompt Response to Needs & Requests
N. Prompt Response to Needs & Requests (This needs to be said over & over. Studies show it ranks almost equal with price as far as the customer is concerned)