The branding process is really important for two reasons. First, your primary objective is to help your client (you know, the advertiser) craft an effective brand image for his or her business. So you are going to want to help them answer questions regarding their brand equity like…
“What do you want to be known for in the marketplace?” and “What separates your business from the competition?”
Second, you will also be creating an effective brand image for another important client… I’m talking about YOU. And the same questions apply. "What do you want to be known for?" and again "What separates you from your competition?"
If your brand message currently consists of a blank canvas (it's okay if it does), it’s imperative that you understand the branding process so that you can properly fill in those blanks. Today we are going to discuss this process and the steps needed for you to begin to establish yourself as a brand in your marketplace.
But first, let’s get started with a quick quiz… are you ready? First, I want you to name three fast food chains. Seriously, pause here and give this thought.
Do you have them? Okay, here's what I came up with for fast food. The first one that I thought of was McDonalds… that was pretty easy. But then I also came up with KFC, Burger King, Taco Bell and Wendys. So many choices, I know I have missed some major ones but these were fairly easy to rattle off.
Okay, now to the second question, name three smartphones.
Alright, do you have them? This one was a bit more challenging for me. I came up with Apple's iPhone and then Samsung's Galaxy phone. Otherwise, I seriously couldn’t come up with a third brand.
So what does this mean to you? Most consumers are only going to purchase an item or two in any given category. I mean, you don’t need more than one smartphone. If your product falls beyond number three on the list you’ve got yourself some problems.
You need to be the first product that someone thinks of when it’s time to make that purchase. We call this "top of mind" or "top of mind awareness". Actually the name of our company, P1 Learning, is a derivative of an old radio programmers term. The term "P1" stands for first preference. Most people listen to more than one radio station. Think about the presets on your car radio. You’ve got 6 or 8 buttons but to be "P1" is to own the first preset. That was our logic for you. We want you, your personal brand, to be first preference in a very crowded advertising community. To be that first person they think of when they are ready to make a purchase.
So what is the value in creating a brand? A well-established one is priceless. For example, does anyone actually use an overnight mail service? No we FedEx it! We don’t use a search engine, we Google it. This list goes on and on with brand such as Coke, Chapstick, Sharpie, Weed Eater, Band Aid… you get the point. The end result is that these products have become such a part of the vernacular, such a part of our language, that the product name has become synonymous with the product or service they represent, and that’s huge!!
So how do we go about building a brand? It’s a process. In fact, I like to think of it as a recipe and the cool thing about our recipe is that there are only four ingredients that we need to remember. And they are… reach, frequency, consistency and imaging. And like any recipe if all are used correctly, no skipping steps, no substitutions, branding will occur. Let’s briefly unpack each of these…
Specifically, how many people do we actually deliver the message too. The more people that are exposed to your message, the more people available to react to that message. This is smack dab in the middle of broadcast media’s wheelhouse. We are in the reach business.
Reach is how many different individuals will see our message, frequency is how many times will they see it? Frequency takes time and patience. In fact, the accepted rule of thumb deals with a frequency of three. It will take roughly three exposures to your message before you can expect that individual to react to the message.
Or in this case… frequency of message. A major mistake that we make as marketers is that we try to pack way too much into the message. We try to be all things to all people and we end up meaning nothing to anyone.
So we have reach, frequency and consistency. The final ingredient is the message itself. What do you say? How do you say it? This is an art form. The words and images have to be crafted as such to motivate your target audience to get up, get out and react to your message. Great advertising does not happen by accident… we have more to cover on this topic within our training videos.
Remember you are a brand. You need to think of yourself as a product that needs to be positioned in your marketplace. Your goal is to be "P1" or first preference in your advertising community. That first person to get that call from a potential advertiser when they are ready to do business.
Ultimately to be successful you have to craft your own unique brand and it starts with our four-part recipe. Then you’ve got to develop it, shape it and own it. Good luck and if you need assistance, we're here for you. As a P1 learning subscriber, just drop us an email and we'd be happy to help.
Looking for additional help with branding? Log into your p1learning.com account and watch courses such as The Branding Process, Branding, Brand Management, Your Professional Network: Promoting Your Personal Brand, and more. Not a P1 Learning subscriber? Register for a 7-day demo, here.