Brand and branding strategies were a concept that became popular when companies and advertisers in the last century discovered the power of advertising. It quickly became a mantra to have an active branding strategy, and when branding was linked with a business plan, the strategy helped strengthen the company’s image and boost its familiarity among potential customers.
The aim of branding is to create such a strong position on the market that, for the user, there does not really exist any satisfactory alternative. In practice, it is almost impossible to achieve, but a good branding strategy can still get you part of the way there.
It is important that your branding strategy is closely linked with the company’s real set of values, so users can clearly see how your product or your company’s culture, history and visions differ from the competition. Play on values and your own unique story. Unlike a product, they can’t be copied.
An airy branding campaign is not the way forward. In the best case, it is a waste of time; in the worst case, it will hurt your company’s image in the end and create confusion regarding your credibility.
The stronger the brand, the greater the market value. It is as simple as that
Get the word out on a product’s or a company’s identity, and focus work on creating a particular image. Do it to such a degree as to create close relationships with your target group, so they choose your product or service, regardless of price and alternatives.
The social media are the perfect place to do this. If your products or services live up to the target group’s expectations, the positive message will spread like rings in water. So make sure to be visible wherever your target group may be.
Branding – new tendencies
New studies show that the credibility of forms of communication branding is plummeting, and more and more people are opting out of advertising that arrives in their post box – both the physical and the virtual kind.
Perhaps that is why the self-centred branding (version 1.0) is also in decline. Today we talk about 2nd generation branding – or branding version 2.0.
It is no longer enough to brand one’s company or product based on the well-known image advertisement model. This form of branding simply creates less and less value, and by continuing down that path, many companies will experience that fewer and fewer product launches are as successful as they had hoped.
In the newest branding strategies, there is much greater focus on diversity, pluralism and individualism. Users are the co-players who help define the product’s possibilities. It is logical, therefore, that it is no longer only the company that brands a given product. Instead, branding takes place through user-controlled media, such as the social media.
The companies have focus on building lasting relationships and creating two-way communication. They listen and learn and take part in interactive communities with the target group. Often, the communication will be based on the opinions and ideas circulating in a given culture and which help shape a common identity among the users.
Branding 1.0 believes it is the company that decides and controls consumer behaviour. Branding 2.0 knows that it is the users and customers and the culture they are a part of that determine this.