When you see the swoosh of the Nike logo, you think of running shoes. When you see the Facebook logo, you think of interacting on the world’s largest social network. When you see an apple with a bite taken out, you think of Apple’s many electronic products. Branding is defined as communicating your core message with your name, symbol or logo that identifies your product and company, and despite many marketer’s feelings a core part of successful companies marketing strategy.
Here are the common objections companies use explaining away their need for branding, followed by why their positions are wrong:
- We don’t the have name brand equity of a Nike or Apple so it’s not important for our target market to recognize us. The problem with this thinking is that many of their competitors are establishing name-recognition with their market through strategic branding tactics. This is diminishing the “marketing power” of the non-branding company.
- Branding won’t bring in any clients or direct sales. Although branding has a lesser impact on direct sales than other forms of marketing, studies have shown that the more touchpoints a market is exposed to with consistent branding and messaging, the higher likelihood that all forms of marketing from that organization will perform better.
- We don’t have the marketing budget to spend. Branding can be the one of the least expensive forms of marketing. For example, a company can purchase 250 personalized ink pens for less than $100.
- Even if we did brand, we wouldn’t be able to measure its impact on our sales. Although this generally can’t be disputed, it’s important to understand that assigning sales to specific marketing initiatives can be tricky when companies advertise through multiple channels. Many times, customers will see your marketing message in more than one place before making a purchase decision.
Based on the size of your company, the competitiveness of your industry and the nature of your target customer, we recommend allocating between 12% and 21% of your marketing budget to branding. And of course, a great place to start is with promotional products like custom pens, pencils, mugs, backpacks and other gifts.