Branding is the effort of a business to essentially assign a subconscious understanding of the goods or services that the business provides the community that it serves.
The concept of building a brand is slightly foreign to many new business owners. Unfortunately, many people believe that building a brand is as simple as getting out there and doing good work regularly.
Unfortunately, message in this world, particularly messages that have to do with commerce, are not easily transmitted, and those business owners who are looking to distinguish themselves by building a brand do so by understanding that the message needs to be driven into the subconscious or even unconscious mind of the intended demographic.
An Example of Brand
Coca-Cola is arguably one of the strongest brands in the world. For just about everyone on the planet, it is understood that if the desire for a cola is on the mind, a Coca-Cola will likely satisfy this desire. Coca-Cola has done a tremendous job of reaching out with its marketing in a way that puts its product on the back of the minds of just about everyone on the planet.
Defining your own brand, even within a small community if you are a regional service provider, is really no different. The effort is not to translate message into immediate purchase or service from those you and your message engage with; rather it is to translate message in a way that engages on a regular and sustained level so that whenever your demographic has a problem that needs to be solved with either your service for your product, you or your company come to mind.
An Example of a Regional Brand
Regional brands are everywhere. The best professionals within any region build brand with their community interaction daily. Imagine that I am a New York City real estate agent. If I am a leading-edge in Manhattan I likely have a regular advertising campaign is marketed either through fliers were billboards off-line. I probably also have an online campaign that targets the community through geo-targeting. Lastly, my regular professional engagement is also building brand. Over time the blend of these efforts translates into the brand that is me, the New York City real estate agent who comes to mind for many people when they either look to purchase or sell a Manhattan property.
Distinguishing Brand and Direct Marketing
A common mistake many people make when starting new businesses is that they do not distinguish the two: Brand versus direct marketing.
Direct marketing has to do with an advertising campaign that has pushed out and is designed to translate more revenue than cost. Brand marketing has a long view to consider, and the brand marketer understands that he or she cannot look at marketing costs for brand and expect immediate returns.