Your brand is not your product, service or company. Your brand is how people recognize your product, service or company and what they think about it.
Branding is a function of marketing. And let’s face it, the super brands usually become super brands because of their marketing.
A super brand is one that the majority of the market recognizes and considers superior. They Don’t always buy it, but they always compare what they buy to the super brand.
Often a super brand will represent a category. For example, Kleenex often represents facial issue, Xerox used to represent copiers, and “Google it” means search for the word on the internet.
And whether or not it represents the category, a super brand usually Dominates a large percentage of the market. If you can achieve it, you want to be a super brand.
You can buy the position of super brand. It may be costly, but the more budget spent on marketing, the better chance you have of becoming a super brand.
For larger businesses, that means spending Dollars on promoting the brand. For smaller businesses, that means spending hours promoting your brand. Even if you have a smaller budget, you can understand your customers and market better and have better messaging, and have an interactive website and a good social media program.
You can become a super brand without a giant budget. But it takes work.
Here are some of the things you must know and Do (and not Do) if you want to become a super brand:
- Do stand out. Your brand must stand out from the competition. Your advertising, packaging, promotion, messaging, etc. must be memorable and top-of-mind.
- Do connect. Your brand must connect with customers and prospects — not just informing them, but engaging them.
- Do not change your message too often.
- Do not fail to simplify…being hard to understand makes a product difficult to buy.
- Do ignore “industry-standard guidelines” for promoting your business. Tell your CFO and CPA that great brands are built with guts, not calculators.
- Do not think that just because you created a better mousetrap, you’ve created desire.
- Do remember that no one cares how great you are…they care how great you can make them.
- Do get the “we” out of your website and sales materials text. Revise wording so it frequently refers to “you” and “your.”
- Do ask yourself “Why Does the market need my organization?”
- Do find out what your organization stands for in your customers’ minds.
- Do find out the #1 thing the market needs to know about your organization.
- Do find out about the people or organizations you serve most often. What are their demographics? For people: age, sex, income, location. For organizations: size, location, customers they serve.
- Do find out who is most aware of your organization and what it Does? Why is that?
- Do find out who is least aware of your organization and what it Does? Why is that?
- Do identify who you want to reach that you aren’t reaching now.
- Do not fail to create a call to action with EVERY message. Tell people what it is you want them to Do once they know all the great information you’re giving them.
- Do spend a lot of time making sure that the response vehicle — the click button and response form, the coupon, the email link, the phone answering, etc. — is working smoothly and effortlessly for the person who may be responding.
That seems like a lot of work, Doesn’t it? But super brands are not born — they’re built. And it can be tough, even painful. But remember the words of Muhammad Ali when asked about his training routine. “I Don’t count my sit-ups until it starts hurting. When I feel pain, I start counting because that’s when it really counts.”
Now is the time to get busy building your super brand.