Without brand marketing services, there’d be no brands. But what services exactly does your business need to become an established brand?
How to Know You’re in Need of Branding Advice?
There are times when you just can’t go on all by yourself – you need expert help and advice. Usually, it happens right after you’ve got some initial success with your business: sold a few items, served a few customers, gained some recognition.
When they’re just starting, businesses usually don’t have a firm branding strategy or a long-term development plan. They’re so bent on achieving the practical, everyday results that these strategical thinking activities are of least priority.
However, when the time comes to plan ahead – six months, a year, 3 years – branding starts to come into the picture.
Deep down, most entrepreneurs are well aware of the importance of branding in their overall business strategy. They read blogs (like VG!), they’ve studied the cases, they’ve heard the stories.
However, when it comes to creating and implementing the branding strategy for their own business, many owners just give up – simply because it’s no easy task.
One thing in particular that they’re lacking is the experience – you can read as much as you want about how to build a brand but putting this knowledge to practice is always a bitch.
Self-Marketing: Don’t Try This at Home
Marketing your brand is like walking a minefield with eyes closed – every step you make, you risk losing all the progress that’s been made up to that point. There is no map and there are no shortcuts whatsoever.
Sure, every once in 100,000 attempts there might someone who would successfully run through the whole field thus establishing their brand but the fate of other 99,999 runner-ups is rather unfortunate.
But what if you had a chance to rise above the minefield and get a view of the whole picture? What if you’ve had a partner who’s been walking minefields for years and hasn’t landed on a single mine yet?
If this was the case, then you would get to your destination with much less hassle, effort, and time.
The ability to see the big picture (the scope) and the years of walking minefields (the experience) are two main things that most starting businesses owners don’t have – which doesn’t make them unable to succeed though.
The key to success in every business isn’t to know everything – the key is to know where to look for an answer.
5 Characteristic Features of Successful Branding
Now that you’ve realized the importance of brand marketing services, it’s time to talk about how they are different from other services you might get out there.
When you’re doing a marketing campaign, you’re pretty much dealing with numbers all the time: cost per click, ROI, CTR, etc. At any given moment, you can measure the current outcome and predict the potential one by simply running the numbers. The rates and coefficients are there, you just have to apply them.
With branding, it’s never like that. No one can predict the actual outcome of a campaign until it’s been executed and even after that the results may vary.
For instance, take the recent Kendall Jenner ad by Pepsi (this case is described in detail in my article «Kendall Jenner Pepsi Ad: Smart Company Branding Move or a Flop?») – by all means, this was not a successful branding campaign.
However, the outcome can hardly be considered a failure. The ad had generated quite a buzz in the industry and, for a while, it was among the top Internet trends. One way or another, Pepsi had managed to get the publicity although not exactly the kind they’d like to have had.
It’s hard to directly measure the effect you’ve achieved with branding but once your brand mentions start to grow and the number of clients and orders begins to increase steadily, you know you’re on the right path.
Branding is a whole set of different measures and activities, some of which may not look like marketing at all.
The funny thing is that branding works only when you’ve got all the pieces of the puzzle together. Going only after design or social media presence is nowhere near as effective as running a balanced, multi-dimensional branding campaign.
With the current rate of technological development, it’s easier to predict what will happen in 10 years than in 10 days.
The next mini-revolution is always behind the corner – all you can do is react quickly to what’s already happened than trying in vain to predict the future.
I believe, Nokia had a 10-year plan of development back in 2007 when they were ruling the world their smartphones. However, the release of the first iPhone with its revolutionary iOS in the same year and the release of the Android operating system in 2008 effectively ruined all Nokia’s plans for the brighter future.
What happened next is a testament to the cruelty of our ever-changing world: in 2011 Nokia abandoned the plans to develop their own operating system (Symbian) and partnered up with Microsoft borrowing their Windows Phone platform.
Strangely enough, Nokia relaunched one of its most successful models, Nokia 3310, this year, which is an interesting case of rebranding by itself (read about it in this article «Nokia 3310 (2017) Relaunch: A Classic Case of Rebranding»).
Talk about a strategy, huh?
4. Real-time Interactions
Nothing is more intangible than a brand and, at the same time, nothing is more tangible than a customer-brand interaction.
The decisions made about a brand influence the way people will perceive the brand and products/services sold under it. This makes for a very careful decision-making process.
Ideally, your brand should become your prime (and sometimes the only) commodity. Through years of hard work and smart approach, a brand turns into something more than just a logo or a word. It becomes a synonym for reliability, quality, fashion, style, power etc.
For example, if Apple put their logo on your old, shabby slippers and sold them the next day on their website as iSlippers, the next thing you know would be millions of people around the world buying these iSlippers as if they were a godsend.
A great responsibility also comes with a great influence.
Top Brand Marketing Services for Your Business
These are the services you should expect from any serious digital marketing/branding agency – as I’ve stated before, they rarely work separately.
Most of the time, you will need to implement a whole set of activities to achieve meaningful results.
There are cases when not much input is needed – just a piece of advice for some tough situation that a business might have gotten into. Consultation can be delivered either online or in person.
Developing Brand Promise
A lot of strategic thinking is going on here. The branding company collects as much information about your brand as possible and brainstorms on the possible brand promise options.
Creating Tagline/Brand Message
After the promise has been developed, the time comes for coming up with a proper slogan that will sum up the promise and give the target audience the initial idea of the brand.
The most controversial, disputed process ever. One thing you should keep in mind: logos do not make companies iconic – it always the other way around.
Identity Package Design– Letterhead, Business cards, etc.
Once the logo is done, it’s time to expand on it and put the corporate design onto various mediums.
Website Design and Development
If your business does not have a website yet, a professional branding agency can develop one for you although it’s quite a time- and effort-consuming process.
Establishing Social Media Presence (SMM)
Once your website is up and running, it’s just the beginning. The most important marketing channel now is social networks – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and others.
The agency will set up your pages on these networks and fill them with proper content.
Maintaining Brand Messaging on All Marketing Channels
It’s never enough to just initiate something. In order to keep yourself on the bike, you need to pedal constantly. The branding agency will ensure all of the initiated marketing channels are running smoothly and bring results.
That’s it for now – thanks for making it to the end of today’s «What Brand Marketing Services Does Your Online Business Need Most?» article.
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If you have further questions on the subject, please write them in comments – I’ll be glad to answer.
If you’ve got interested in the subject, here’s another piece worth checking out: