Building a sustainable competitive advantage (SCA) through Branding
What is a Brand?
A brand is much more than a name, logo, or a design. It is actually something that has created a certain amount of awareness, reputation, prominence etc., in the marketplace.
Product vs Brand
As one of Australia’s longest standing marketing consultants for small businesses, we understand that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between your product and brand.
A product is anything you can offer to your market for attention, acquisition, use, or consumption that might satisfy a need or want. This may be a physical good, a service, a retail outlet, a person, an organisation, a place, or even an idea.
A brand, on the other hand, is therefore more than just a product, as it can have dimensions that differentiate it in some way from other products designed to satisfy the same need.
The key distinguishing factor is that a product is tangible and rational whereas a brand is intangible and psychological. In other words, brands reside in the minds of the customers. The key to branding is that consumers perceive differences among brands in a product category. Some brands create competitive advantages with product performance; other brands create competitive advantages through non-product related means. As an experienced marketing consultancy firm, we can help you identify and create your competitive advantage.
Managing and creating SCA through Branding
Before we delve into the steps involved in building a SCA through branding, it is important to build a strong brand through brand knowledge. The associative network memory model views memory as a network of nodes, which represents stored information or concepts, and links, which refers to the strength of association between the nodes.
The strength of the brand node is key in building brand awareness, which is imperative to establish a strong brand knowledge amongst customers. Brand image is also crucial as it involves consumers’ perceptions about a brand, which from a business’s perspective should ensure that they are positive.
Step 1: Create Awareness
In order to create awareness, it is critical that you create brand elements that are likable but also meaningful to your target customers. As small business marketing consultants, we can help you determine the key elements your customers are looking for in your product / service. Our dedicated Senior Marketing Consultants could further help you identify ways to effectively communicate them. Indeed, the marketing strategies will be tailored to your business and customer needs so that you get the maximum ROI.
Step 2: Brand Positioning
After creating the awareness that your business exists, it is time to focus on determining which market to target and how you want them to perceive your brand. To accomplish that, it is important to understand where your competitors are positioned and identify the free spaces in the market. You then have to highlight your brand’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP) point of difference, saying why customers should pick you over your competitors.
Step 3: Build emotional connections
At this point, your customers know what you do and how you do a better job than your competitors. You then turn your focus onto more personalised promotions and product offerings. For example, Coca Cola launched “Share a Coke” campaign to build personal connections with their customers by labelling the containers with the most popular names (people were even able to customise their Coca Cola’s with their own names). Another way to build emotional connections is by creating a community for your brand. This could be as simple as an online forum where your customers could interact with each other, conversing about your product / service.
Whether you are small business owner who is looking to take your first steps in marketing your business or someone who has already done some marketing, and know what you want. Our Senior Marketing Consultants can help you in every way possible.
Take your first steps towards driving growth, and achieving your business objectives through our Sydney and Brisbane based marketing consultants for small businesses.