Marketing 101: 5 Low-Cost Branding Techniques
Branding is a practice which is not restricted solely to large companies. Many small enterprises these days embark on branding campaigns but they do so on a small scale as against the large scale campaigns planned and executed by the bigger enterprises. Branding has definite objectives amongst which are:
i. Differentiation: A brand MUST differentiate itself from others in its field in other to even be capable of recall by the target audience. The ability to stand out of the crowd is a crucial objective of branding.
ii. Competitive Advantage: The need to have an edge above its competitors is also critical to the success of a brand. A successful branding campaign will ensure that a brand has a competitive advantage over others competing with it.
iii. High Brand Recall: If a brand is to be chosen above its competitors, it must be occupy a top position in the minds of its target audience and this position will result from a successful brand campaign.
Five low cost techniques that can be used to achieve the above objectives include the following:
1. Simple and Professional Logo Design: A brand logo is one of the most important components of its make-up. A casual look at the logos of some of the most successful enterprises in the world will show that they are really simple. Hewlett Packard, Exxon, Google and Yahoo! are very good examples. Clean, refreshing and attractive, look good even in black and grayscale. A good logo does not cost lots of money. It must simply be unique and simple enough for the target audience to recall easily.
2. Organizing Free Community Service: This is one of the easiest, most cost-effective and yet high impact means of establishing expertise and positioning the brand. When people get something service of high value at no cost to them, it serves to endear them to the brand as it has created a favorable impression. This kind of forum also creates the opportunity for gathering data (addresses, phone numbers, emails etc) from the attendees that can be leveraged on for future contact. Bottom-line here is that for a small price, the brand can get competitive advantage over others in its field.
3. Writing Articles: This is another way of positioning the brand in the minds of the target audience as an authority in its field. The fact is that customers wish to deal only with experts and the best so every brand needs to position itself as such. Providing articles in places like trade journals will go a long in achieving this expert positioning.
4. Promotional Items: Printing the brand name and logo on t-Shirts and other promotional items like mugs, pens and jotters will enhance the recall rate for the target audience. This can be done quite inexpensively and the amount to be produced can be matched with the available budget. It can be worn by the employees as well as customers.
5. Start a Blog: Blogging is one of the most cost effective means of transmitting your brand message to your target audience. All you need is to make a post on a daily or frequent basis and with an RSS feed, you can easily update your target audience. You can also integrate your social media efforts like your Twitter, Facebook and Buzz accounts with your blog.