This is the first blog post in a series for Phoenix Marketing Week. For Monday, we’re celebrating marketing communications and branding.
B2B technology marketing agency Yeager Marketing wrote a blog post all about B2B tech brand messaging. In this post, you’ll learn five essential steps:
- Understanding the market, buyers and competitors
- Talking with stakeholders, partners and customers
- Reviewing your inputs
- Writing your message
As marketing professionals, we often hear questions surrounding the topic of branding.
- Is branding REALLY that important?
- Do I really need to spend the time, money and effort for brand development?
- Isn’t my logo my brand?
- Can’t we just go straight to creating my logo and website without wasting time and resources on a brand development?
The answer to these questions are, in order – YES, YES, NO and NO! In a perfect world, no marketing professional would ever face these questions by a client, the C-Suite/Boss or other departments within the company, as they want to push forward quickly without the proper preparation to set up their company for long-term success with a clear, distinctive brand.
It is very tempting to push forward for the sake of speed without putting in the proper effort or understanding how valuable an asset your brand is. But a company’s brand is truly one of its most valuable assets.
Defining that brand as a first step is an important step for any business.
A brand defines everything that your company does.
It sets the standard for every communication.
It standardizes how every employee of the company communicates the brand message.
Every single marketing activity is defined by your brand. It determines what your logo should look like, the purpose of your website and what you want people to remember and think about your company and products.
What is the definition of a brand?
Often people will define their logo and tagline as their brand. As much as the logo and tagline are important elements of a brand, it is not the definition of a brand.
A brand is a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” (Defined by the American Marketing Association.)
David Ogilvy, the ad agency founder, has a great definition of brand:
“The intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised.”
A brand needs to be honest and real.
It needs to be a true representation of your product and your company. You will surely run into problems if the brand that you present to the public doesn’t match the reality of the product or your company.
A brand is the essence or promise of what will be delivered or experienced.
Customers have expectations when brands promise a particular product or experience. They have these expectations because that is what has been presented to them by the brand, and they make their purchase decisions based on this presentation.
When they feel lied to, they are often unforgiving. This type of situation is a company’s worst nightmare, and it’s very hard to recover from it.
Winning that trust back is an unnecessary hurdle. If you are honest about your brand, product and company, expectations will be met, and customers will feel like they receive value when they engage with your brand.
Look at the list of the 100 Best Global Brands.
All of these companies have garnered global respect. While there are newer brands on the list, take note that there are several in the top 100 list that have been there through many years of success.
Each one has placed importance on the development of their brand and ensured the message is consistent company-wide when delivering their message to the world.
Stay true to your brand.
Building your brand is an everyday activity done through marketing. It is an ongoing, long-term commitment.
You build your brand equity (a customer’s trust, awareness and association with your product) with a cohesive marketing strategy that all starts with you defining your brand. You continue by delivering on your promises.
- Understand your brand.
- Live your brand through your products and your company.
- Develop your messages based on the beliefs that encompass your brand.
- Stay true to your brand.
Start with brand development, and be sure all employees are aware and understand your brand and its values.
Want to share your work with the community? Get involved with Phoenix Marketing Week.