Branding

PERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING

It is better to be first in the mind than to be first in the marketplace. Marketing is not a battle of products; it’s a battle of perceptions” ~Al Ries & Jack Trout

The word brand originally referred to the mark burned onto livestock to set the animal apart as being the property of a particular owner. It this instance it provides a unique identifier, often in the form of a symbol, that protects the rights of the property owner. On some ranches and farms this form of branding still occurs but the marketing profession has effectively hijacked the term and made it their own.

Early marketers used the word brand in much the same way as the livestock owner –referring merely to the trademark, logo or slogan associated with the product. Nowadays brand is a lot harder to define. It is more intrinsic than extrinsic, and its value is in the position it holds in the consumers mind rather than the physical attributes of the product.

Although today’s brand is intangible, just like the livestock of earlier days, it is an asset and can have great value, contributing to the overall worth of the company that owns it. Marketing managers who invest in developing their brand, create and build customer loyalty. This in turn creates demand and allows for higher margins – exactly what most producers are looking for.

Customers like brands because they believe they know what to expect from them. It makes choice easier and the consumer feels knowledgeable and more secure. This is particularly important in complex buying scenarios. [read more – Branding by Jane Delorie – 111K – PDF]

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Positioning

PERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING

In marketing, positioning has come to mean the process by which marketers try to create an image or identity in the minds of their target market for its product, brand, or organization.“ ~WIKIPEDIA

While branding and positioning are closely related they are very different animals. Branding is the place your company or product occupies in the mind of your customer. It is the emotional connection your customer has with your organization and as such belongs to the consumer even though you make have make great efforts to inform and shape it.

Positioning is what you own and control. It is the way you want your organisation or product to be perceived, relative to the needs of your target customers and the positions claimed by your competition. It is developed by you and it is up to you to communicate it to your audience. Good positioning is:

  • simple
  • focused
  • unique / differentiating (two objects cannot occupy the same space)
  • better to be first than best
  • translates into clever “tag lines”

[read more – Positioning by Jane Delorie – 120K – PDF]

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