Business Magazine

Gizmo and the Branding Bug

Posted on the 04 October 2012 by Samdeprima @Mrktngmind

Gizmo and the Branding BugI love to shop, especially for groceries. I love the glistening fresh fruits and veggies, the smell of bread or cookies being baked but most of all, I love the Laundry Detergent aisle. Why? Because like many others I am enamored by the scent of TIDE and for me, regardless of our financial situation, I am loyal to their brand.
Creating a strong brand takes a lot of work, most of which is done thru various levels of consumer inundation through various mediums - web, print, radio, social media outlets and of course, television. Though the world of business and revenue generation can be brutally competitive, having a strong brand is not about beating out the competition; it's about reaching your target market and getting consumers to fully believe that your product is the best option amongst all others in that particular market.
Probably the biggest factor in successful branding is identifying and reaching your target market. Who are you trying to target and how will your business utilize your marketing savvy and put your plan into action? One goal when formulating a strategy is to make sure that your message is clear and uncluttered. What is your mission and why do you do what you do and how what you do is the only choice consumers should consider when reaching for their wallets.
Gizmo and the Branding Bug We typically get bit by the Branding Bug at a very young age. I was bit the day I got very sick, I couldn't have been older than 5, and for lack of a better term barfed all over my Gizmo doll (not a child of the 1980’s? Just Google it). When my mother took it away, I was certain he would be dumpster fodder... instead, my devastating incident with Gizmo was a distant memory after my mother brought it back to my room after running it thru the washer with Tide. Gizmo was clean and smelled so good, I can remember pressing my face up against him and took deep breaths. Add the nostalgia quotient from a childhood memory and you've got yourself a loyal consumer for the life of the product.
I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences. The point here is that although you do need a well thought out and executed brand strategy, brand loyalty also happens organically and often – either through word of mouth or personal experience(s) and those experiences often happens while we are very young and our brains are like sponges, absorbing any and all information from the 5 senses. Next time you visit a grandparent’s home, look around and see what types of products they use. I can almost guarantee that you will see several of the same brands your parents are loyal to as well.   
After working so closely with small businesses over the past 5 years I have seen bad, good and great attempts to brand their respective business. The ones who fall under the category of 'great' understand that building and growing a brand takes time and that your brand is your way of telling your products 'story'.
Here's a laundry list (pun intended) of best practices as far as the creation, organization and execution of your brand strategy:
Gizmo and the Branding Bug-Put Pen to Paper-
Gather your best idea cultivating peeps and let the creative juices flow (bring coffee). Involve only as many people as you need because I can tell you from experience that too many chefs will spoil the strategy soup. Based on the mission of your respective company or organization, come up with a strategic marketing plan for your journey towards strong brand land.  
-Put Paper to Brains-
Take the time and invest in making sure that all involved parties in your business know your strategy, the story you wish to tell with your product or service so they are well prepared to work towards a strong brand
-Use Your Brain-
Gizmo and the Branding Bug Successful brands all have one thing in common - CONSISTENCY. All of your marketing collateral should have similar formats, colors, fonts, your logo and easy to find contact information. Essentially, your 10 foot banner on the side of your building should match the look of your website. The goal is for your brand to be recognizable and motivate consumers to buy your product or service. This also includes your Social Media campaigns. Your brand is your voice and it should always sound the same. Your logo, phone # and website should be on every piece of marketing collateral and easy to find
Gizmo and the Branding Bug  -Cut the Cord-
You've spent countless man/ woman hours on your branding strategy. Your message is consistent. Your marketing collateral is ready to roll and so are you. You can't make money unless you spend money so come out swinging but beware: swing too hard and you risk losing consumers from inundation.
-Analyze & Revise-
After you've launched your campaign, be sure to have ways of quantifying its success or failures. Collecting consumer information can be tough but you need a way to gauge the success of your branding strategy. This can be done in many ways but the easiest is to drive people to your website or social media sites and somehow engage them. Have a newsletter sign-up or other method of gathering contact info. Ask for opinions, offer incentives and gather consumer testimonials; these tools can help you to revise your strategy, identify its strengths and weaknesses, build and learn more about your consumer base.
-Retain Consumer Loyalty-
Gizmo and the Branding Bug Not everyone has a Gizmo doll /Tide experience to create brand loyalty at a young age. Knowing your target market and identifying their needs and wants builds credibility and loyalty – two words often associated with success.
Companies will start to integrate into an existing market even prior to ever opening their doors. For example, we have been seeing a ton of commercials for the fast food chain SONIC in NH for at least the past 3-5 years and they STILL haven't opened one yet. When they do, we'll be ready; saturation of a market is a topic meant for another day, as my coffee grows cold. Gizmo and the Branding Bug

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