What Kind of Branding Works for You?

Branding can encompass a number of variables that are important to an organization’s strategic decision-making process. By understanding the needs of your target audience, you can successfully grow your brand based on the benefits you offer them. In addition, your success depends on brand awareness and customer loyalty. Various types of branding take the sales process to a new level.

o Personal – This is probably the simplest type of branding. You market yourself by becoming an expert and building a reputation for yourself in your chosen field. When you excel in your field, you increase your perceived value in the marketplace.

o Company – Products with the company name as the product name (e.g. Coors)

o Corporate Parent Brands – Combines individual product names with the company name (e.g. General Mills Cheerios)

o Unique Product Brands – Used in an individual main strategy. Chances are, if the particular product fails, it wouldn’t hurt the reputation of the manufacturer (e.g. Tide).

o Brand Extensions – This happens when a popular brand name is appended to a new product in an unrelated product category. Products are free. Symbols and logos can also be transferred while retaining their meaning.

o Co-Brands or Range Branding – This happens when two companies combine their individual products to make both names stand out in that product.

Branding isn’t just about advertising, it’s about taking what you know and turning it into something new. Although the Great Depression is believed to be the most severe economic crisis triggered by the 1929 US stock market crash, a handful of companies in various industries continued to advertise to consumers. By continuing to reach out to consumers when many thought they were crazy about it, especially in the current economic climate, they actually catapulted their businesses to a faster recovery with a larger customer base and higher sales after the Great Depression ended.

Brand equity, a set of assets or liabilities associated with a company’s brand name and symbol that increase or decrease the value provided by a company’s products or services, consists of:

o Brand Associations

o Brand awareness

o Brand loyalty

o Perceived value and quality of a product or service

o Other assets, including trademarks and patents

For organizations to achieve and exceed their goals through greater product differentiation, they must remain aware of and responsive to changing needs of their target market, those of their competitors, and the mitigation of risk through ethical and socially responsible practices.