It’s time to build your brand (or your re-brand). Will you hire a brand consultant, or try the DIY approach? Either way, there are some primary strategies you should employ, and others that you (or your marketer) should avoid at all costs. Let’s study this example of marketing gone wrong, and then talk three critical branding strategies.
Marketing Gone Wrong
On Naming Your Brand
Super Cheap Signs is a real Austin company that sells “custom signage, yard signs, vinyl banners, magnetic signs, car decals, and more!” Presumably, one can buy a sign from them at a great price (“super cheap”). However, there’s also built-in potential for the brand to become negatively associated with poor (“cheap”) quality. The Interaction Design Foundation reminds us that the best branding evokes “positive qualities, rather than negative ones … to turn public perception around.”
That’s why last year Super Cheap Signs hired a brand consultant to re-envision their marketing strategy. The result? Signs-n-Bacon. Falling back on the trope of what’s hot this minute (how could we forget the bacon mania of 2014?), Super Cheap Signs’ newest marketer launched a rebranding complete with super cute mascot KevinBacon … and then struggled to sell anything at all. [p.s. The brand consultant in question outed himself at an event last month in Austin. He now laughs at his own mistake and sees it as a teachable opportunity.]
On Sending a Clear Message
The problem with Signs-n-Bacon is that the message isn’t clear. Does this company sell signs about bacon? Do you get some bacon with every sign purchase? What about the pig–is he for sale?
Without a clear message, there was nothing to which potential clients could relate. Nothing about Signs-n-Bacon made them think “I need this product in my life” because they didn’t know what the product was. The rebrand never took off because the message was stuck in the metaphorical outbox: it simply didn’t deliver!
Three Critical Branding Strategies
Brands sell best when they pair a strong name with a clear message. To achieve that killer combo, test your brand against these three marketing strategies:
Start with why.
What solution does your product/service offer and to which common problem? Do the brand name, logo, and mascot (if applicable) all support a simple promise: to deliver one product/service effectively? If so, congratulations! That’s clear messaging.
Choose timeless, not popular.
If you want your brand to thrive for longer than a trending hashtag, opt for colors and themes that convey a meaningful and lasting message. You can learn how to quickly and easily apply color theory to your brand here.
Protect your brand.
In the event you still find yourself saddled with a well-meaning but misguided brand consultant, are you protected? How much money have you sunk in upfront, and what is the cost-benefit analysis? Take care of yourself and avoid brand confusion. Good luck!
Need advice on creating your brand? Contact Craveity now.