You may have heard something about ‘branding’ in regards to marketing, but possibly you’ve wondered what that means exactly.
Sometimes it is good to explain something about something else. That’s what I am going to do – so first I will begin with ‘positioning’. You also may have heard that term, but also did not know what it meant. ‘Positioning’ is a marketing term that means to take a product or service and “site” it in the mind of your prospects/clients by matching it with or against something already usual in their minds. Al Reis and Howard Geltzer first published a done about it in the 1970s.
To give you a plan of positioning, take Avis. Hertz car rental now had first place in the market. By being first place, they preempted that position. Everyone knew that they were . So, Avis, to get any recognition at all, had to position themselves with Hertz, but really couldn’t take their spot. Do you recall what they did? You got it – “Avis. By positioning themselves as the best secondary runner up, they were eligible to help on a greater part of that market.
Some people guess branding is like positioning, but it is different. The main difference is that positioning is a fluid idea. In other words, you can position yourself at different eras in different markets as different things. Branding is also set in stone- it’s a hard-core recognition factor. To give you a better idea, the other day one of my helpers noticed a cup of mine with red circles on it. He said it looked like a ‘Target’ cup. That is branding. That red aim logo is a brand in that person’s mind. He noticed it and immediately thought of the chain store.
However, Target positioned others it’s a discount chain with good style. Some people even refer to it as ‘Targ ‘ this is positioning. The positions the store with some hoity-toity posh boutique but everyone knows it’s correct there with Walmart price-wise. Good position.
Branding is more about the following rules because if you don’t follow those rules, things don’t see the same and people won’t remember you. What if you changed your body periodically – I mean change your body. “Oh, today, I think I’ll be Asian – straight black hair, slanted eyes” – but yesterday you were Caucasian; how do you expect anyone to remember who you are when they see you on the street? It is kind of the same. When you put out your marketing pieces, you want to create a related look and feel so that people remember you. And you want that alike look and feel on everything you put out.
The good thing is that you get to make the rules…colors the same, the fashion of lettering the same, logo, etc. And there is some flexibility as large as you follow the rules. You can’t go too far out of bounds, but you can improve some things within the frame of what others can still recognize.
There was an actual study done by GE (General Electric). They found out that it only takes 22% of their logo for people to recognize. Only 20% of their logo needs to be seen before people recognize it.
So, it sort of is like the Western concept of branding your cattle – making sure people recognize what is yours.
Remember I said ‘the same look and feel’? Well, the other side of branding is what it makes you feel about it. Chevrolet used to tell it was America’s vehicle – baseball, hotdogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet. Now it is “like a rock”. That makes you feel a certain way about it. It still is in line with the old thought about Chevrolet. Americanism = loyalty = dependable = Chevrolet. That song that comes on is their brand. Being America’s vehicle is its position. Both give you a certain feel.
Branding in your marketing has to do you feel something. A technology company can’t have an old-style font – you might not guess they were very far advanced.
Take PostcardMania. Our colors, bold style font, and humorous quips give you the feeling that we are happy and lively. We make sure that our prospects and customers get that same feeling every time they view our mail, emails, packages, logo, etc.. Therefore it is important to look the same every time.
Take a dry cleaner for example. His postcards, packaging, hangers, etc. need to have his logo, colors, and font all the time all the alike – on everything. This way when people get his postcards in the mail, they look for what specials that he has because they already like him and have him identified in their mind as something they are familiar with. If he is constantly changing what he seems like when they get his postcard they don’t know whether they are seeing at his specials or what some dry cleaner, in general, is offering. If they are already familiar with him, they are most likely going to pause and see what he has to say.
Branding is just like the old coat of arms that families handled to have connected with their name. It would instill honor, fear, and wealth – whatever. Likewise, a country’s flag makes people feel a certain way about their country. Heck, Stalin even used branding! He used the same picture to portray who he was to his people – I am this, I am this, I am this – he wanted them to think a certain thing. It’s not a new idea – I’m trying to get you to see it has been around for quite some time.
At Postcard Mania, we want people to recognize that we know how to get their attention – bright colors, loud type – shows that we know what we’re discussing in terms of marketing. But ‘Postcard Marketing Experts’ is our positioning. Does that make sense? You can view how the two tie in together. One is our area and one is our brand. We’re hoping to create a feeling of being an expert, the best in the business, etc., but also friendly and easy to confront.
Think about what message you want to portray. What do you need recipients of your promotion to think about you? What image of your company do you need to put out there? That is your brand. When people see you regularly as one thing, they begin to expect the same from you and they make used to you.
Remember when Pepsi came out with clear Pepsi? People freaked out. They didn’t want to drink it. It was a flop. It wasn’t what they too – so it didn’t even taste the similarly to them.
Branding in marketing is recognition – color, font, and logo – keep it the same.
If you can get them to remember what it is you are selling, the more likely they will come in and get it…if not, you are depending on drive-by traffic and are wasting your money in marketing. And don’t ignore this very important marketing fact – if you’re only planning to promote merely one time then branding is not going to help you. Branding is only for marketers that already know the concept of repetition.