“Management is doing things right;
leadership is doing the right things.”
The next step is not simply making your product available to your customer, through sales channels, venues, retailers and markets. That is just expecting the product to sell itself and unless it’s water, hot cheese, or chocolate, that’s not going to happen. The real next step is figuring out what exactly you want your customer to know, think, feel and understand about your product so that they are persuaded to take action and make a purchase. This is branding.
Too often, businesses treat branding as if it’s just a matter of slapping their logo on everything they make. That’s usually a part of this process, but done without a sensitivity for the end-result and the possible implications, this approach can work against you. Branding is the process of creating a personality for your company or product that will continuously and consistently express everything that’s important about your value proposition. Branding not only creates recognition, it creates a familiar bond, sometimes referred to as brand loyalty.
Along these lines, the truth is that advertising is not about selling. Selling is simply putting a price on an object and presenting that to the closest person, whether they are interested or not. “Widgets for sale! One dollar! Ten for nine dollars! Gechyerwidgets, heah!”
Advertising is persuasion, the act of dramatizing the value of a thing to a person or a group of people with the result that they “get it” and then voluntarily step up and pay for it, whatever the price is. “Widgie’s Widgets are waterproof and pressure-proof down to 100 meters! And you can cook with them…” Of course, there are other concerns, such as pricing, but the customer has to understand in their gut as well as their head why this thing you’re offering them is of value to them, sometimes referred to as the Why-to-buy.
Therefore, branding is not just one thing but a whole set of elements that work together, a holographic entity that flips that switch in the consumer’s head that’s going to make them say “Ah ha!”