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Developing a Branding Strategy

Submitted by Teo Graca and Stephen Adler | RSS Feed | Add Comment | Bookmark Me! | IBC

Most people think of a brand as a logo or image, but it is more fundamental than that. Branding is something that can be found in everything from color, font, sound, feel, and much more. It is perception. More than that; it is the consensus of perception. There are many ways that you can brand your business online and in person to generate a successful marketing strategy for your business.

If you need a little help in understanding how sound can be used in a brand, just think of T-Mobile's famous ring tone. Branding can even be found in legal documents, where it is least expected. In this sense, imagine the hard lined 2-year contract from Dish Network versus the the month-to-month contract from Comcast - other considerations aside, the month to month is more attractive. Comcast doesn't currently use this in their branding strategy, and this is a huge missed opportunity.

You may not notice branding at all, but it is there, intended or unintended. The biggest companies are spending millions of dollars on branding to subtly get there message across to you. The smaller ones may be missing the mark, and this becomes part of their brands and limits the growth of their businesses. Properly executed, branding is the most effective way to sell and increase the demand for any product or service you offer.

Think about how you feel when you hear brand name "Tylenol". In fact, it is just Acetaminophen, also called Paracetamol in some countries. You may well be one of the more astute shoppers out there who has the good sense to buy generic brands like Walgreens or CVS, because, after all, it's the same drug, with the same effect, right? NOT!

Branding comes into play here because there is an extremely powerful psychological effect that is well known to medical scientists called "the placebo effect", and this actually makes one drug work better than another identical drug based on the name on the box. BRAND name drugs were shown in studies to work better than their generic counterparts. What's more astonishing, is the fact that in some cases sugar pills (just sugar, nothing else) worked better than the ACTUAL generic drug! Multiple double-blind studies (where even the researchers don't know what is in each pill) have shown this to be fact. The tests showed that though sugar-pills (placebo's) don't work any better than generic drugs, they often work equally well to them.

If people BELIEVE that something is better, it IS better, it's that simple.

The difference between good branding and bad branding will often determine the success of your company. According to the American Marketing Association, branding is not just for large corporations. As a matter of fact, small businesses have a greater advantage over their larger counterparts simply because it is often easier for them to provide consistent brand experiences. Because of the intimate understanding of communities served, small businesses have a greater advantage in targeting niche markets.

There are many ways that you can brand your business online to become a successful Internet Marketer. From websites to customer services, everything you do online or related to it contributes to your brand. By developing a positive and exciting brand around your name and business, people will continue to look to you, learn from you and follow you and your success. Your successful personal branding as a leader in your field and a mentor people will follow, and the relationships you create online will help your business continued to grow and prosper!

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LinkedIn Recommendation: John Alderman - Strategic Advice Consultant for business and individuals - Teo is a master at building business-to-business 'social' networking systems for the Internet. His vision for the business networking community (e.g. Chamber of Commerces) is exactly what that market needs to serve their members effectively. - August 16, 2008, John was with another company when working with Teo at Net-Teams, Inc.


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