Lie No.1: You Should Focus on 'Getting Your Brand Out'
Every now and then a buzzword hits, and everybody talks about it before it fades away. "Branding" is a perfect example. It originally started as a way for livestock owners to show ownership of their herds. Somehow, this was transferred into the business world. For a long time thereafter, a brand was simply a logo. Add an "ing" and now it’s an activity.
There is so much confusion about what branding actually means that most folks who try it end up wasting enough money to feed a small country. Some operators feel that "getting your brand out" is branding. I guess it could be. But, I can’t think of a more colossal waste of your hard-earned profits than simply running ads with your logo on it.
Media salespeople love to sell you this because you buy into the falsity that you need to run an ad over and over again for it to pay off. Bogus!
Don’t get me wrong: Having a solid brand that people trust, talk about and perceive as having value is priceless. But it’s a holistic process that involves much more than simply slapping your logo on a billboard or direct mailer.
Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble and GM have the billion-dollar marketing budgets to pull this off. Most likely, you don’t. Therefore, when you spend a dollar on advertising, you need a measurable response that puts at least a dollar back into your pocket. An ad with your logo and tagline do not accomplish this, yet many operators have bought into this lie.
Branding is a long-term process that involves an entire customer experience from the time an audience sees your first ad, to thoughts of your customer service, unit cleanliness, pricing, innovations, etc.
When you do all of those things exceptionally well, you will begin creating a brand in your marketplace that is priceless. Just don’t buy the lie that you "brand" by simply putting your logo "out there."