||Todays brand is not just a catchy phrase or tagline a brand is an entire experience that is associated with your company. It sets the tone for the how the business is perceived. Is it trustworthy? Competent? Innovative? Customer focused? What is the value proposition? What problem is it solving? What pain is it addressing?
There are simply too many companies and products in the world for anyone to remember, so only the ones with the most memorable names stand a chance of survival. This is true whether you invest millions into advertising or nothing at all. Advertising can get you seen, however, it cant guarantee that you will be remembered.
The structuring of your naming and branding strategy can have a significant impact on not only the way a company and products are perceived, but the time and money it will take for them to be recognized and accepted. The reason is that the cost of penetrating a market today is extremely expensive. Leading brands spend hundreds of millions of dollars per year to establish and reinforce their brand image. Even brands that we feel appear out of no where have generally been around for quite some time and are just now starting to be recognized. The key to successful branding is to choose or create a name that helps short-cut that process.
Brand and Corporate Positioning...Laying the Foundation for All Marketing
To be successful in your branding, you need to focus your early efforts on positioning both the company and its future products. This starts with an examination of the mission of the company, as well as an analysis of the marketplace, your products, your prospects, and your potential competitors. From this analysis a set of assumptions can be created which can be used as a basis for positioning both the company and its brands. This positioning will serve as the foundation for your naming exercise as well as every marketing program embarked upon. All creative and tactical efforts built around that positioning should have a commonality in their message, appearance, and feel that supports the naming convention. Each should express the positioning and mission of the company as an integral part of the overall branding strategy.
"Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind." Walter Landor
Understanding the Brand Positioning Concept
Brand Positioning is a much overused, frequently abused, and generally misunderstood marketing concept. Often confused with a companys own identity and position in the market... Brand positioning is how a given brand is perceived by its many audiences. It is an outside-in perspective which reflects market perceptions as opposed to an inside-out perspective (which although most often rooted in reality) fails to take into consideration what people believe is reality.
Webster's New World Dictionary defines the word Position as "the manner in which a person or thing is placed or arranged; attitude; posture; disposition". Positioning a brand is establishing its attitude or posture in relationship to its competition and the marketplace.
In order to successfully position a brand, we must align ourselves with the prospect or customer. All too often, branding strategies are developed in isolation. They are created by people who look at a company or product from the inside-out -- from the company's point of view, not that of the prospect or customer. Usually, this results in a branding position, which ultimately puts them in a head-to-head competition with a company that may already have established a strong position in the marketplace. Attempting to "unseat" an established company from a position historically results in failure.
We live in a world of firsts Generally, the first person, place, or thing to establish a specific position in the mind is the one that sticks. For example, most people know the name of the first person to walk on the moon. But who was the second? Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. Which is second? Hertz is the number one rental car company in the world. Who is number two? Here, the answer is simple: Avis. The reason for this is that Avis positioned themselves as the number two company and built a marketing plan based on that position. They were, in essence, the first company to position themselves as the number one company in the second spot, and therefore, that's how they are remembered by their prospects.
Reality is in the mind of the beholder
To effectively position a brand, we must associate it with the reality that exists in the mind of the customer or prospect. The basic approach to brand positioning is not to create something new and different, but to manipulate and capitalize upon what the prospect already believes about his needs and the competitors in the marketplace.
The more specific and nuanced your positioning is, the more effective the name will be. All great names work in concert with the positioning of the business or product they represent. Typically the positioning process is built on understanding everything about a brand, where it has been and where it's headed. To do so, we must anticipate what and how we want it to be perceived in the market, then create a forward-looking positioning strategy that takes into account the product(s) and servcie(s), both todays and tomorrows, potential competition, the competitive environment, potential partners, and the various market segments we wish to penetrate.
Understanding your audience
To develop a persuasive and powerful branding and identity program, there is no substitute for classic market research such as focus groups and interviews, as well as third-party reports. This will help to answer the following questions:
- How knowledgable are your prospects?
- Where are your customers located?
- What is the unmet need of the customer?
- Do they have brand loyalty?
- What is the competitive advantage of your company or products?
- How much are customers prepared to pay?
- Is your company the Cadillac or the Chevrolet of the industry?
Once completed, the research will help us investigate the obvious and subtle preferences of the targeted audience, to ensure that its branding strategies and programs address the emotional and practical decisionmaking drivers. The acquisition and analysis of prospect and customer information about product/service use, along with needs, wants desires and behavior, is mission-critical to this process. We look at key trends that will influence oour target audience, society and the marketplace, to design branding strategies that anticipate the future.
Branding builds value
Effective branding creates tremendous value. It establishes instant recognition through its visual and written vocabulary. It helps companies and institutions build loyal relationships. At its best, it can define an entire culture.
Our overall branding capabilities include:
- Brand Creation
- Development of a Brand Voice
- Name Development
- Logo and Visual Identity Development
- Communication and Graphic Standards