“Brand Your Efforts!” We’ve seen that call to action in every strategic action plan, so it must play a significant role in the optimization of your business product or services. “Branding” refers to the process of separating one’s company product or services from another firm’s based on its specific identifying marks, symbols, or characteristics.
Brand Association refers to the degree to which a particular brand is associated with the general product category. Often a consumer will ask for a product by the specific brand name rather than the general name—for example, a person wanting facial tissue may ask for Kleenex. When this happens, the consumer is making a brand association. Brand association is a powerful draw for consumers since it offers them familiarity with the product or service!
The only way to continually grow your demand for your products/services is to differentiate yourself in a novel way.
In a sense, each one of us is a unique brand; likewise, every brand is a specific commodity! Consequently, it is extremely important and wise for you, as an entrepreneur, to craft a niche for yourself as soon as possible. Create a unique trademark that no one can imitate or plagiarize, and then register it.
Branding efforts differentiate your products/services in the market and create market recognition that establishes you as a unique business concern in the industry. Aggressive, yet not “pushy” branding efforts with both your online and offline marketing activities traditionally produce great rewards. Maintaining your presence in your target audiences’ “world” is the key to your company’s continual prosperity and its sustained longevity.
Donald Trump is one of the best examples of personal/business branding to the max! Prior to Donald Trump’s entrance onto the real estate stage, real estate icons were seldom part of the mainstream marketing success scene. Donald Trump’s string of successful business ventures, along with his personal demeanor (confident, well-spoken, knowledgeable, and flamboyant) brand him as a “winning commodity.” He parlays this Trump branding around the world (New York, Dubai, and Istanbul) as he constructs his real estate developments. You may be shocked to know that these structures that carry his name virtually cost him nothing… really nothing at all! The world is under the impression that he spends millions to build these lavish buildings; but in reality, he is actually licensing the use of his name to the developers! Such is his vision of branding Donald Trump. . .
Although his personal wealth (approximately $2 billion) falls short in comparison to Gates, Buffet, or Ambanis from India and with a history of several filed bankruptcies as well, Donald Trump’s image and the business world’s perception of him as a marketable brand remain intact. With his unique branding, he is still able to this day to successfully market many beauty pageants, television programs, numerous public speaking seminars, profitable clothing lines—just to name a few. That’s the magic of branding. That’s the kind of success it creates.
If you have the time and opportunity, read one of Donald Trump’s books entitled, Think Big (co-written with Bill Zanker). It will be well worth your investment of time. Mr. Trump clearly indicates that the success of today’s business is about “thinking big,” remaining in the limelight, and staying out of the ruts of complacency. At one time, Bill Zanker wanted Trump to speak at one of his public speaking seminars. Trump never took his call until Zanier gave in and offered him more than a million dollars for the event!
Trump is continually able to expand his business ventures into a variety of markets and industries. Trump’s branding activities continue to diversify. Recently, Donald Trump launched his newest business venture —the famous online Trump University!
Here are a few tips on how to create a niche brand for you and your company:
- Distinguish your market offering: Even though your product may appear to be generic in nature, it is critical for you to find the product/service characteristic that distinguishes it from your competitors’ product/services. Branding is vital in terms of features or value, if not in terms of its image or benefit.
- Label yourself—your label is your logo. Your logo visually identifies your brand. With the continual use of your logo, you create lasting visual images in your customer’s mind. For example, when you visualize golden arches, you associate them with Mc Donald’s.
- Promote your name: Associate every activity of your business with your name/brand. Trump Tower and Trump University are brilliant examples of branding your names loud and clear.
- Ensure quality at all levels: Make sure that every product that bears your name resembles the best of its kind—nothing less and with no compromises! Remember, claiming to be the best company means that you have to be the best in every facet of your business, and not limited to your products and services.
- Look for cross promotion/tie ups: Continually look for strong brand partners—people who are as eager to market themselves as you are to market yourself. If you are aware of a current promotion in the making, then attempt to connect with them. If one is not ongoing, take the initiative and generate cross promotion activities. Keep in mind that branding is an investment. If you don’t do it wisely, it can quickly become an unwanted expense.