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Branding is much more complex than one might first imagine. It can even be considered both an art and a science. The objective of effective branding is to evoke in consumers a certain emotion when they see a name brand or an image associated with that brand. To establish consistently the desired implicit associations in consumers regarding one's brand, one must take control of the shaping of their brand's reputation and go about branding mindfully. To execute this, consider these tips for successful branding.

1. Know Your Target Audience

Branding should be targeted marketing. Being cognizant of one's intended audience allows one to create a brand that will appeal to them and therefore be more successful, as different brands appeal to different demographics. For instance, the types of brands that appeal to a teenage audience rarely appeal to their grandparents.

2. Be Consistent

It is important that all branding efforts are consistent throughout the company and product line. The image that represents the brand, as well as the general aesthetic of the brand, should remain the same on its website, uniforms, business cards, etc. Without establishing a consistent image, a brand cannot establish itself to and build a reputation among consumers.

3. Do Not Pretend to Be Something You Are Not

It is important for a brand to be true to itself. Marketers often attempt to associate their brand with things that will result in customers' having positive feelings about the brand. For example, L.L. Bean strives to provide exceptional customer service and a no-questions asked return policy, a major strength of the brand. It would be foolish to associate customer service with a company that lacks an adequate return policy. Instead of doing this, L.L. Bean remains true to its principles and image while promoting the brand.

4. Make Your Message Clear

While the reputation of a brand relies on the opinions of consumers, marketers can influence the way their brand is perceived by providing clear brand messaging. Marketers can often include messaging that will impact the way a brand is perceived through a tag-line or slogan; this power can be used to a brand's avail if marketers put forth clear slogans and content that is consistent with their brand and its overarching message.

5. Constantly Promote Your Brand

Branding is not a one-time effort; rather, successful branding requires constant promotion. Each time a consumer sees any sort of media referencing a brand, that brand's image is reinforced. To take hold and become recognizable, newer and smaller brands must repeatedly assert themselves and the image of themselves that they wish to perpetuate to consumers.

6. Make It Personal

Brands are more likely to receive a positive response from consumers if they project an image that feels "human" and to which consumers can relate. If a brand has no personal elements, it may seem cold and impersonal, which can be disagreeable to consumers and affect a growing brand adversely. To avoid this, marketers should seek to personalize their brands through advertisements, networking, or other media they may use to promote their brand.

Building an effective and recognized brand takes time and sustained effort. To execute successful branding, one must not only market shrewdly, but be patient. While one cannot establish your brand overnight, one certainly do so through consistency, messaging, and clarity over time.

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for RecordForAll audio recording and editing software.


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