Defining a Brand
When thinking of some of the most successful companies in the world, Apple, Amazon, Nike, or Google, people often speak about how much they love the brand of that company. Or perhaps when talking about similar products between competitors, consumers will often think about which brand they prefer when weighing their decision. The word brand is thrown around quite a lot to describe various goods and services and to also describe a company. Additionally, the word brand is used to describe influencers and famous people. For example, LeBron James has a brand that is associated with success on and off the basketball floor. However, not a lot of people know how to define the actual word. Often times, they might describe what a specific company’s brand means. For example, Amazon’s brand is often associated with efficiency and timely deliveries, or Nike’s brand is known for innovation and optimal physical performance. But what exactly is a brand?
Why is Branding Important?
A brand is more than just a reputation, it’s a promise. A promise to deliver on certain expectations. It’s more than just a matter of developing a state-of-the-art product, it’s also a matter of consistency. Specifically, making sure that upon buying a product, a customer can expect the desired experience every single time when purchasing. The word brand and promise are practically interchangeable. Amazon promises fast and timely deliveries. Apple promises the most cutting edge smartphones. This is why companies succeed where others don’t. The ability to deliver consistently for customers over time is what creates the reputation that ultimately leads to retaining and gaining more customers along the way. Apple has a reputation for delivering on an experience whereas some of its customers don’t. If I were to ask someone to describe Apple’s brand to me, they would describe the iPhone, and its ease of use along with a plethora of other products that consistently outperform competitors. On the flip side, imagine if I asked you to describe to me Blackberry’s brand. What would you say? Think about it for a second. You get my point?
What Startups Need to Know
At this point, it should be clear that branding is one of the most important aspects, not just as part of the marketing side of a business, but to the entirety of a company. Establishing an identity, a reputation is everything. As a start-up, no matter what industry you are competing in, it will always feel like you are working from behind. As described multiple times in this article alone, there is a reason why the top dogs stay at the top, and customer behavior can be extremely rigid. If you want a shot at gaining market share and creating a solid, dependable customer base, establishing a reputation and identity is the only way to go about it. But even the largest corporations didn’t build their brands overnight. It takes years of trial and error and many mistakes to finally get something that clicks in the minds of consumers. Even today, I guarantee the most popular companies and individuals still dedicate tremendous amounts of time and resources to strengthening their brands. The problem arises that these businesses have the luxury of affording marketing teams with thousands of individuals at ease. With any start–up, capital is tight. That doesn’t mean you should just give up, but rather, use the tools available to you and work efficiently in your marketing campaigns to build the reputation you want for your businesses which will ultimately give you a shot at competing with the most successful companies in the world.
CRM software is the Answer
Customer relations management – CRM software has many benefits that companies of many different sizes take advantage of. Data analytics and automation has transformed the economy across all sectors and marketing is definitely not an exception. But one of the key benefits to CRM software is the ability to track and manage leads. Generating successful leads is imperative for any start-up to stay afloat. Having software that give you the data on which marketing campaigns are generating the most leads is a solution that start – ups can and should utilize. Understandably, CRMs worth thousands of dollars in monthly subscriptions may not be the most attractive tool, but there are significantly cheaper tools in the marketplace, without the unnecessary complexities, that can do the most important tasks like tracking leads. If building a brand is a priority to you, you should start with investing in one of these CRMs.