Branding is of huge importance in marketing. Companies that own big consumer brands are worth billions of dollars, not just because of their plant and machinery, their intellectual property,or the skills of their workforce and management but because of the value of their brands. When we think of branding it is usually consumer brands that are the first to come to mind, but their is no reason why business-to-business marketers cannot use the same principles to power their businesses. Why bother? Because customers are willing to pay a premium price for a branded product compared to a generic one or a commodity.
But what is a brand? Most people think of a brand in terms of names, logos, trade marks or packaging. While these are extremely important for a successful brand, a brand is so much more than just facets of its outward appearance. Brand identity emanates from the totality of outward appearance, product or service attributes, character, personality, promise, recognition, customer psychology, customer emotion, and the history of the brand. The promise of the brand to a purchaser is a certain perceived quality and value.
The process of building a brand can be broken down into two broad steps.
The first step in the branding process is to thoroughly understand your business’ brand. Your organization has a brand whether you realize it or not, the question is, what are your brand’s values? How do customers’ perceive your brand? What about employees and management, how would they describe your brand values? In asking the question it may be better to not use the word: ‘brand’ as people will naturally associate the term with consumer products. Rather, ask what your business stands for, or how are your products or services different from those of your competitors. Ask how you would like your products or services to be different from competitors and what potential opportunities are to differentiate the business.