3 Simple Essentials for Creating Any Brand

July 3, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

Whether you want to create a brand for a company, a particular product or service – or merely want to create your own personal brand built around who you are and what you excel at – the three essentials for creating a brand remain basically the same: Uniqueness, Focus, and Acceptance. Uniqueness and Focus you control – almost exclusively. As for Acceptance, you definitely have some influence, some leverage, but when it comes to control, that’s not totally in your hands.

Whether it’s a company, product, service or yourself, the more unique the item you hope to brand the better the opportunity to develop its brand. You’ll notice I’ll continue to use “item” rather than repeat “company, product, service… ” etc. But keep one thought in mind as you begin the process: Giving a name to an item is not the same as creating a brand. That name – even your name if you’re creating your individual brand – may become a brand over time and with substantial effort, but a name is not a brand. Certainly not in the beginning.

To start the process, clearly define all the ways that make the item, the subject of your brand creation effort, unique. Not just one or two obvious differences, but all of them. How does your item stack up against each of its individual competitors? Analyzing your item in that way – against each individual competitor – typically provides a longer list of your items’ unique benefits and features.

Speaking of which, please note that there’s a big difference between benefits and features. Features tie to the item. Example: An attach√© case that has a thickly padded handle. Benefits tie to the consumer, what’s in it for them. However, features can be made to appear as benefits. Example: If that padded handle were advertised as “Includes a soft, padded handle for increased comfort.”

When it comes to Focus, there are three areas to concentrate on: The message, the media and the target market. The message – several of them, actually – should be carefully and professionally crafted. Media can vary from print and broadcast ads to blog and newsletter, to websites and landing pages, to direct mail and email. As for your market of potential users/buyers, that should be targeted as narrowly as possible so as not to waste precious marketing dollars on the non-interested.

Now comes Acceptance, and that takes time. Sometimes months, occasionally years. Time for those in your target market to buy and use your item, to become enamored with it, hooked on it, to provide you with feedback – good and bad. And time for you to respond, hopefully in a customer-friendly manner, to the comments pro and con you’re certain to receive. How you respond, and how your buyers perceive your responses – fast enough, concerned enough, complete enough – is really the only vestige of control you have over the Acceptance process.

Creating a brand is actually that simple. While you may have control over most elements of that process, don’t confuse that process with “branding,” a similar sounding word but with a totally different meaning. Branding refers to the process by which customers eventually accept a company, product, service – or an individual with your particular set of specialized skills. It is only that buyer acceptance – in large numbers – that ultimately creates your “brand.” Everything else to that point is just a name.

© 2012 Philip A. Grisolia, CBC

Got questions about this article, or suggestions for related articles? Email them to: staff@philgrisolia.com. An accredited Certified Business Communicator (CBC), Phil Grisolia specializes in creating results-oriented marketing programs that generate additional revenue for his clients, money they can take to the bank. An award-winning copywriter and respected marketing professor, Phil is also the author of a new 99c ebook titled Shut Up And Listen! The subtitle describes the book’s contents: 10 Easy Steps Guaranteed to Help You Communicate Better. The book is available online from The Reader Store and other ebook sellers. Phil provides a broad range of services for his clients. Visit his website at http://PhilGrisolia.com.

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