Your brand is everything your business represent. Its that image that conjures up when your business or outfit is mentioned. Brand awareness is very important’ no wonder blue chip companies set aside a sizeable part of their budget for branding alone. Studies have equally shown a direct correlation between the extent of how recognised an organisation’s brand is and its performance in the market.

How relevant is branding to your product/service.

If you were already asking that question. I’ll let you in on a little secret. Popular products like Coca-cola, Apple, Toyota, Nike etc attained the recognition they achieved on the strength of their brand.You see, the big time marketing teams of this conglomerates realised effective sales does not start with ‘Product Marketing’ it begins from the brand. Rule!!! Sell the brand before the product.

One more thing, only those who need your product/service pay for it. But everyone can buy your brand. After all, its free.

Starting to grow your brand is not popping corn

You apparently are eager to start working on your brand. Sorry I did not mention earlier, building a brand is not as easy as reading my article. Little wonder not everyone is doing it.  Although I told you it could gulp a lot of money. Talk of Road shows, TV and Radio ads, Online ad and a host of other promotional expenses. For the regular SME [Small & Medium Enterprises] and small business startups, that is a no go area, not with the biting austerity measures and harsh economic climate.

Branding and content correlation.

My preferred solution to the bottleneck above is content. Remember I’m a bit biased towards online media. Content brings you closer to Search Engines, in fact it forces sites like Google and Bing to recognise you without paying a dime. Have it in mind that you are not selling the product, you are simply presenting your brand. When you write, you create relevancy, something for the reader to appreciate. It could be in your niche or outside but keep in mind you are not writing for yourself. Your readers come first, in return you get their loyalty and attention.

Advert is costly, content is cheaper

Google AdWords charge you per click or per view. Content on which ever platform you choose will not cost you a fraction of that. Your cost increases depending on the size and mode of the ad whereas content has no limitations. More views/clicks on your ad equals more bills; on your content page, it only get merrier.

Advert fades, Content stays

Readers can’t bookmark an advertisement but they sure can save a nice article for further reading. I don’t need to convince you that for an ad to be effective and deliver results, it has to be displayed intermittently and yet that doesn’t guarantee conviction. Your content will always remain as long as the web lives. Viewers can always come back again and again and I say again at no additional cost to you.

A good branding strategy should have feedback.

Agreed you can advertise a poll to garner feedback, but that game is best played when people are already aware of your brand. For an unknown new startup, its better to receive feedback concurrently as the brand campaign is running. First your recipient should have an idea on what he/she intends to provide feedback on. This not only help your campaign, it assist you to fine tune your current branding strategy and improve it. We both know that is potentially difficult when your campaign is advert based, but with content its quite easy.

Who says content can’t go further.

Advert guarantees views but with strict limitations to your budget. Your content can be shared on Social media, across board, other websites, just anywhere within the reach of the internet. And the good news is that you pay nothing.

One last word before I bore you. “Branding is all about ideology, and effective ideology is best presented in words”