What does your Brand tell Consumers?

small business brandingInitially your brand tells consumers what you want them to believe and then experience.  Branding, especially for a small business, is critical as branding is so many times misconstrued as the graphic elements/identity.  The name, logo, corporate brochure, direct mail campaigns, email marketing campaigns support the brand but are not the brand. The brand, as we know, is the initial message that you create about your product/service.  But, what about the brand name- how big of a role does this play in the message?  There is no simple answer as the message is telling people what you want them to believe about the brand and what the name means. However, there are some things to consider when determining the name.

1. Is the brand name descriptive to the product/service? Vienna Beef. The consumer expectations when hearing the name before hearing the message is that they produce beef products.

2. Is there a word association? iphone.  It is a phone but it has the capabilities of internet applications.

3. Did you create something unique?  This can be good and bad. The consumer has nothing to associate it with but at the same time needs to be told how it relates to your product/service and remember it.

The brand name is important as it helps in the creation of the brand itself.  How much needs to be explained? The brand does need to consider the consumer interaction in 2 ways:

1. Brand Image. This the psychological aspect of what the consumer creates in their mind about the brand which is based upon how their expectations of what you have told them how product/service will benefit them.

2.  Consumer Interaction. How will they experience the product/service and will it live up to the expectations they have created for your brand.

In some industries these two aspects are easier identified. In a restaurant, you say you have the best hot dogs.  The consumer sees this and decides to come and see for themselves. You have set their expectations high and the consumer has to come and see for themselves if you meet their expectations.

Small business branding experiences the same challenges of a big brand. How will the consumer perceive the brand and interact with it?  Will the brand live up to the expectations?

How do you believe consumers perceive your brand and what does it really tell your customers?

photo credit: nicholasnova