Why building a brand is very important, but YOU DO IT BY SELLING, not advertising - IT'S THE RESULTS THAT COUNT!
Your ‘brand’ is the experience people have of you, what do you remember most – the taste of Coke, or the Coke ads? The way to build a brand is to sell! The car dealer with the best brand in town is the one who sells the most cars. The lawnmower shop with the best brand is the one that sells most mowers. It doesn’t happen the other way around, that’s just silly marketing theory! In real life, first you sell your product, and then, as a result, if they like your product, your brand is good. If they don’t, it’s not!
It follows that the only sensible purpose for your ads is to sell! If you use your ads for branding, you’re wasting your money. Sorry! Your selling, (salespeople, product, point of sale material) is what does the branding, and there’s absolutely no way around that marketing theorists!
If you’re brave enough to break with tradition and follow this common sense advice, use strong selling messages in your ads that will bring enquiries! And make sure you include lots of selling information. Too much pretty ‘white space’ in your ad will actually frustrate people who want to read about your product. And avoid clever branding lines like "things go better with….", " your partner on the land…", "we’ve got it all…" because they don’t increase sales!
The only proven way to build a brand for your product or service is to talk (in your ads) about the benefits of buying it.
This means we need to ask why there are so many big budget brand ads that don’t explain the benefits of buying. Brand advertising is a must! Yet most brand ads fail for these five simple reasons:
The most common mistakes advertising and design people make in your brand ads!
Awareness: Advertising people think that if your ad makes customers ‘aware’ of you, it must have worked. They are wrong! You are aware of Pepsi, but if you like Coke better then you won’t buy Pepsi!
Recall: This is a favourite little smokescreen for advertising and design people! They think that if your customer can ‘recall’ your ad, then it must be working. How many ads can you remember, that would never make you want to buy?
Logos and colours: Design shops in particular think that a well-designed logo will build your company’s brand. They have got it horribly wrong! These misguided professionals offer the McDonald’s ‘golden arches’ as an example of how a logo ‘brands’ a company. They fail to realise that the benefits of eating at McDonald's were what appealed to you first. Those benefits built the brand in your mind. The logo would have meant absolutely nothing to you, if you hadn’t liked the benefits!
Love: The latest argument from the ad gurus is that we all need to get people to ‘love’ our brands. They’re dreaming! There are few brands in the world lucky enough to have this sort of relationship with their customers. BMW, Apple and Harley Davidson have managed it, but the rest of us have to be content with getting our customers to want our products because they fulfil a need.
"Once you have built a brand through selling and not flashy branding, the results will begin to speak for themselves, and before you know it, your business will be well on its way to being a licence to print money."
The DOS and DON'TS of branding