by Caryn Smith © 2007
If you want to know about branding, ask Dr. Kevin Lane Keller. As the E.B. Osborn professor of Marketing at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, Dr. Keller has consulted with a horde of Fortune 500 companies. As author of two of the best-selling branding books, he is a well-versed, highly experienced expert. During a personal appearance at a marketing seminar, Dr. Keller pointed out several effective methods of building a brand.
Before his presentation, Dr. Keller made a point to remind his audience that branding is not a one-time event. Rather, branding is an ongoing process. Branding also reaches farther than just your marketing department. The core values of your organization must be defined and then everything else should reinforce those values.
Walt Disney World is a great example. Their core values outline their intense desire to give every person who walks through the gates of one of their theme parks the happiest, most fun experience of their lives. They are geared to be the best in every aspect, and nothing less will do. These values are instilled in every minute detail of the parks from the calculated positioning of the trashcans to the smiling faces and cheery dispositions of every employee.
When developing your brand, Dr. Keller recommends you follow a similar strategy to that of Disney. He recommends connecting with people, being distinctive and standing out from the crowd. One good way to do that is by offering faster service, better quality or a larger selection than your competition.
Dr. Keller also advises that all efforts should be focused on getting your customers to think of you often. This is most easily accomplished with imaginative ideas that make a memorable impact at every touch point. For instance, promotional products bearing your logo can be given out to customers. Whenever the customer uses the calculator or ink pen, wears the lapel pin, sees the magnet, etc., s/he will think of your company.
Creating mental associations between the customer and your brand at every opportunity is also important. From the way your telephone is answered to the type of bags retail stores use to the way your employees dress – these are all underlying signals of your brand. Each time a customer comes in contact with your organization, the entire experience needs to reflect your business’ core values.
Lapel pins are an excellent vehicle for reaching customers and reinforcing brand image within and outside your company. Because they are completely customizable, lapel pins can be designed with your organization’s logo, with some type of product identity or practically anything else suitable to your brand. These can then be given to customers through promotional mailings, at grand openings, during sales and more.
Create lapel pins for internal branding as well. For instance, employees may receive a lapel pin to commemorate years of service, for reaching specific goals, for generating ideas that led to savings for your firm and more.
Make a quick list of your business values and then tape that sheet of paper to your computer monitor. Every time you make a decision, create a new product or service, change a policy or develop a promotion, weigh it against your values to be sure your brand rings true.
Caryn Smith is Manager of Signature Pins. When you need promotional advertising products including custom-designed lapel pins, contact Signature Pins for creative ideas. Visit http://www.signaturepins.com today for custom lapel pins in just 10 days, guaranteed!