Branding, Part One

All marketing jobs are focused on "return on investment," or ROI, a comparison of the dollars spent on marketing versus the income derived. A good brand strategy will guide the company resources and narrow the vast array of opportunities to the small handful that will move the product or service in one specific direction.

Your brand strategy helps articulate what that direction should be, what your product is, what value it offers, and who it's for. That eliminates irrelevant markets and defines the people not likely to buy from you. You can peel them away from your strategy to find the core group that is left.

Define what your company is, what it does, what it includes, what benefits it offers, what pricing is right, who your competition is, what do they have, how are you different. Small business owners actually have an advantage here because they're so close to their customers and they can draw a lot of that from the answers they've given to questions. If you're going through a re-branding or a brand clarification, you might want to ask them.

Be specific about your target audience. If you try to be all things to all people, you're going to end up with a very generic composite of someone who doesn't really exist. That's not going to help you create messaging or create a visual look-and-feel that will connect with a real person.

Think of your ideal customer. Let's say it's a woman. Give her a name, an age, a place of residence and an employer. What does she read on the web or watch on TV or listen to on the radio? Is she married or is she single? What does she do in her spare time? What organizations or clubs does she belong to? If you're not clear and focused about who you're talking to, you can't make that connection and create that power brand.

This is not to say that you are eliminating everyone who is not in that age group, who is of a different gender, or who does not share those interests. Instead you will likely discover that some middle-aged executives play video games and some young people listen to National Public Radio.

Branding, Part Two

Last Updated: 05/21/2014