Apr 24, 2010

Marketing - the importance of brands

Branding strategies can change the minds of customers if implemented properly.  
The most important part of marketing is the brand management. All the businesses must need unique brands in order of getting success. Some people think, branding is only for big companies. This is not true every business whether small, medium sized or start-up needs brands that give them identity and represent their image. 
Brand is the name, symbol, logo, character or anything that represents the product/service. It makes you unique and differentiated from your competitors. Whole the marketing concept runs around brand – from the product, price, and place to promotion. Branding is the process of creating unique, positive associations in the consumers’ mind relative to the brand. And for creating these associations, we need to promote our brand and position in the best way. 
So first starts from the product – 1st P of marketing, you need a specific logo and slogan for your product. While developing logo and tag line for your brand must keep in mind: easy spell and recall, simple, memorable, attractive, not more than two words; tag line can be a sentence too. After designing logo and slogan for your brand, there is a need to do test – trial. You can do sample marketing for your brand. You set the price for your brand – 2nd P of marketing. The trail marketing also helps you lot in setting the best price. You need to position the brand in a best possible way. Positioning strategy contains; POP (points of parity) and POD (points of difference). For getting the best results, focus on developing POP’s similar or match to competitors’ PODs. So, you can get the uniqueness by offering POD’s. Then distribution strategy (Place) comes – 3rd P of marketing. You can either work on intensive distribution – maximum coverage, every where or selective distribution – segmenting, where you have most customers, alliances, few places or an exclusive distribution – niche, authorized dealer, only one or few. The 4th P of marketing, Promotion is contributing in every stage of marketing. You need to continuously build awareness of your brand in the target market in order to get the results. The 4th P of marketing related to the communication strategy or communication mix – need advertising, personal selling, sales promotions and public relations. And all these are the tools of promoting brands; your brand’s success depends on your marketing communication strategy. By implementing a good mix of communication strategies, you can get the top place in consumers’ minds. 
Brands can make or break your business; good brands are the source of new product lines. You can use your brand for leveraging the strengths of your other products and services. A one single brand can make you leader in the market and provide sources of expansion in new categories and even in new businesses too. 
Branding is all related with research; research of company, market, competitor and the environment. Track your brand’s strengths and weaknesses of weekly basis. Treat branding as a separate department having professionals for every brand you have. Prioritize the associations your customers have with your brands and put more focus on top associations that are unique and different. Try to develop relationship with your customers. Increase customer equity through brand equity.

Must think, Branding is the philosophy of changing minds.

Apr 23, 2010

Public Relations - One Important Online Branding Strategy

A public relations (PR) is a skill applied for receiving exposure and know how. It is one of the important strategies of marketing communication mix. Marketers used PR for building reputation and promoting brands among their customers and business partners. A Public Relations is the important strategy of developing an online brand.
There are specialists, PR professionals who focus on building such a relationships with publics that help in establishing repo. Public relations is very much differ from advertising, it is intangible and sometimes work for free and from anybody; customer, employee, owner, media, or some other. They basically want to get what are the customers’ top positive associations related with brand. So they better able to make their offerings more unique and attractive.
There are many different types of tools that can be used for practicing public relation. Tradition tools including, press releases, annual reports, media kits, brochures. They are still very useful till now, especially press releases. It gives credibility to the business and builds trust too. But there is a world of IT and for getting success you must move from traditional approach to interactive social media.
For getting success and implementing best strategies for public relations, someone must have complete knowledge about his/her target audience. You must know about your target audience, for which you tailor the massage. Your target audience can be a small niche (Small Consumer segment) or whole world. But in order to get best results, you should divide the audience geographically, demographically or psycho graphically.
Many companies use interactive social media for building a good repo and image. The most common types and sources of interactive social media are blogs, articles, Twitter, Facebook, and You Tube. Social media allows companies to engage in two way communications. And they will able to receive immediate feedback from their stakeholders and public. Customers and other public to feel convenience and recognition while interacting with company through social media. It now becomes the habit of almost all the people to use Twitter and Facebook.
Even the best plans and ideas are failed if executed poorly, must think. You can change the minds of customers by implementing useful online branding strategies – social media.

Apr 16, 2010

Online Brand Development

For developing online brand, first and important thing is your perceptions about the internet medium, take your site as a business. In order to drive more traffic on your website, you must develop following strategies.

  • First and important thing is ' know your audience and indentify their needs'
Do research on your target market, make decisions on, either you target whole internet audience or ready for dividing them into segments. Do surveys and try to analyse what are the similarities with your site users adn what they want from you. try to identify their problems and find the possible solutions too.

  • Develop the necessary brand elements - Logo, Slogan and Value Proposition.
design the best logo for your website and position it in a unique and differentiated way. Develop tag line for your business that communicates your offerings in a unique way to users. Try to develop USP - Unique selling propositions that you offer

  • Promote your brand through social marketing activities
You must have active social media presence. Post on facebook, twitter and other social media and convey your massage. Publish articles and develop blogs that communicate your business. USe You Tube to promote your online brand. More you socially active more you get traffic.

  • Advertise your online brand (Website)
Use PPC (Pay per click) advertising for getting more traffic and attracting potential users. Try to use CPA, affiliate marketing also. While advertising online, must deeply analyse what are those keywords you select and in what ways they place and are these keywords related with your business and meaningfull or not .

  • Provide users  communication facilities including; online forum and communities.  
Provide the interactive place to users where they can share their experiences and exchange views. Your unique users are your partners too - they give reviews about your services on forums and communities you build and also refer other potential clients.

Branding is the philosophy of changing minds, must think.

Apr 12, 2010

Brand Management’s Importance in Affiliate Marketing

In advanced affiliate marketing concepts, the name, ‘affiliate brands’ has more worth and identity as compare to ‘affiliate sites’.
While making your affiliate site a successful brand, you have need to do following;
- Start buying domains which are easily converted to brands. Including a key word in your domain is good strategy, but brand management is most important and necessary.
- Differentiate yourself from others and add value for your customers.
    Creating a point of difference means creating a brand
In old business strategies, affiliate sites are based on keywords variations – some keywords identified in a article and linked to the site, anybody who then read the article click on the keyword and get access to the affiliate site. But in today’s economy, these tactics are not proven best.
Now you must think on creating a unique, powerful brand. Look at the example of Shopping.com, the site is nothing more than an affiliate data feed collector. However with the help of strong memorable domain and by giving consumers the facility to do product reviews, they able to create a strong point of difference – brand.
There are the following key steps that are helpful in creating a strong affiliate brand;
- Buy domain names that are memorable and easily converted into brands.
- Make sure that most of the content in your website is unique, compelling and most importantly looks interactive.
- Encourage users to participate in the online forums, communities and must allow user-generated content.
- Focus on points of difference – what other sites not offering and what customers actually want.
Affiliate marketing is a complete business entity, not only a source of generating sales. By putting little efforts, you can able to earn great profits through your affiliate brand.
  Must consider, branding is the philosophy of changing minds.

Building a Brand

Brand management is the most important part of overall marketing strategy of the company - This will change your customers mind if focused properly. 
For building a good brand, there is a need to answer some vital branding questions;
How good your product or service - what customers think about your product/service, what you offer to them better relative to competitors, analyse the your offering in a real way without giving any favor. 
Then ask question to yourself, what I am here - the purpose and vision of your business 
How can I serve well - what steps needed or helpful for you in getting success and consumer's attractions. 
Who can I Serve - what are your target market, are you did segmentation or not, what is the profile of your customers. 
After answering the above mentioned questions, you will get a clear picture about your business, target market and your offering and now will move towards the brand development. 
Then you have need to do market research and competitor research too in order to answering following; 
How can I serve better or differently - first find the similarities in offerings between you and your competitor and then try to develop points of differentiation, the features or benefits that your competitors not focusing on. You must think deeply and differently. 
Why customers use your product or service, what benefits they get, is your service or product unique from others, are you provide more services related with product, is your product more convenient and reliable. 
What is your positioning statement, on what features and benefits you focus while doping advertising. Are you try to involve customers in the form of creating memorable experiences or talk about product's specifications. 
This all leads to the developing of a good brand. 
           Must consider that branding is the philosophy of changing minds. 
You will need to continuously track your brand and analyse your customers positive brand relating associations. Increase in brand equity - increase in customer equity, and customers engage with your brands. 

Apr 9, 2010

Online Brand Development

Your Domain Name can be your successful brand. The only need is to analyze what users want from you and what are their perceptions about your site. And how you satisfy them more and drive more traffic.

The first important thing in online brand development is Loge, Slogan and USP - Unique Selling Prepositions that you are going to be placed in user's mind. Repetition is must..you have to convey the same massage with same content and design again and again so that users can able to recall your brand.
The Next is the, 'active social media presence'. You have to go in online forums, publish articles, arrange online discussion sessions, develop blogs and must use social media included; facebook, twitter, myspace, linkdin and many more. The more you socially active the more you get traffic.
While doing social marketing, you have to know your fans and followers and their needs too. Discuss with them and share ideas rather then only focus on postings.
Every article or blog you post must have link to your site and branding copy - logo, tag line and USP so that every reader know about you and your business.
Develop auto respondents (Automatic response to users' email if they want to know more.
Develop customized newsletter for your clients and users. Give them access to write reviews.
Now customer wants more convinience and care. Make your site interactive in order to get users retention.
No idea or strategy is failed if implemented properly.
             Must remember, branding is the philosophy of changing minds.

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