What is a brand, first of all? What do you understand when you hear the word â€˜brandâ€™? Brand is your businessâ€™ identity in the market; brand is what creates an image in peopleâ€™s mind about your product; brand is what will promote or destroy your presence in the market. Depending on what and how you build this brand or name in the market, your product will receive accolades and market share, or be rejected.
Do not fool yourself with the thought that if you have a good product it will survive anyway. There are millions of excellent products and services out there in the market, which fail miserably because they could not succeed in building a positive brand name. People out there need to know you, to have expectations about you, and to want to be part of you. Only then, your product will survive. You need to connect emotionally and mentally. That â€˜connectâ€™ plug is a good brand name.
Good strategy vs. bad strategy
Strategy â€“ another word that needs to be defined in our minds clearly. â€˜Strategyâ€™ means plan, or approach or technique or method â€“simply put it means HOW. The â€˜howâ€™ you do it is very important because the results of your efforts depend on it.
A good strategy will be a thorough exercise, which will take into consideration all the factors that influence brand building.
These would be:
1. Building brand awareness
2. Positioning of the brand in the market
3. Keeping the brand customer focused
4. Introducing and sustaining brand loyalty programs
5. Studying your customer and their wants
6. Measuring and managing the brand equity vs market
7. Translating the brand identity into the identity of every employee from top management to the bottom
8. Managing and sustaining the brand identity internally and externally
9. Protecting your brand legally
10. Emotionally connecting the brand with your target audience
The impact of bad or poor strategy
There are no half measures about building a brand name for your product and hence, unless there is a full and concerted effort in planning its launch, execution and its positioning, you will fail. A bad strategy would actually sabotage your product and your entity in itself. This is because your existence is concurrent to your name (brand) in the market. The stronger and more visible this becomes to the customer, the better are your chances to compete and establish yourself in the market.
Thus, it is extremely important for the small business to understand this exercise and apply it correctly because this is the very foundation on which the business will build. This is the only way you can build and secure a niche in the market and the minds of your target audience.