Monday, August 27, 2012

Brand Building - Part II

Can small to medium-size companies build their brands?

The answer is yes, but it takes time and a real, long term commitment. The key is to develop an integrated marketing communications program. You need to understand your customers, your markets, your strengths and weaknesses, your competition, your distribution channels, your awareness level and current perceptions. The more intellence gathered, the greater the odds of being on target with strategies and positioning. Without this information, it's like shooting in the dark.

Long haul is the key.

A "start and stop" program doesn't work and is a waste of time and money. Creating a branding program involves more than advertising with a tagline. It is only a part of a total marketing program integrated with everything produced including advertising, email marketing, website, brochures, data sheets and PR. Everything needs to have the same "look and feel" to project the personality of the company.

Too many B2B companies view marketing expenditures as discretionary, to be cut immediately if sales soften. Some CEO's expect immediate results and kill programs after only a few months if they don't get them. This is unrealistic. Brand building is a long-term process.

Next time: Let's define branding.

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To share common sense lessons learned with 40-plus years experience in marketing, sales and as a B2B publisher.