Differentiation through Brand Building
Brand building is one of the few differentiating factors that marketers can fully control, says Jens Lundgaard, Founder and CEO at Brandworkz
How do you build and manage a powerful brand, differentiate yourself from the competition and build your business? More than ever branding and good brand management are the keys to building successful B2C and B2B businesses. But why? Let’s take a look at the key differentiators that a company can use to distinguish their brand and generate profitable sales.
Pricing: only one brand in each category can be the cheapest. Hopefully not yours. Profit margins are low and competition is around the corner waiting to undercut you. Conversely, differentiating yourself through high pricing, as with luxury goods, will only be successful when combined with large doses of branding and marketing.
Quality: in most industries, the leading participants have achieved equivalent quality – how much better are those Nike trainers really? Quality is no longer a winning point. It’s a ticket to get on the field.
Customer service: this is dependent on category, but great customer service will always be important. However, a new client will only experience it after they’ve signed up. It will of course influence existing customers.
Product and innovation: in many sectors this remains one of the key drivers for success. If you don’t have a great product which stays highly relevant you will not get repeat sales. Without product and innovation your long-term viability will be close to zero.
Branding: branding and brand management remain key drivers of sustainable differentiation and sales. Without good branding, potential customers are less aware of any advantage you have in the other differentiators listed above. Without good brand management and control, your global message and clear communication may get lost in local or third party execution.
So, investment in building and sustaining your brand is crucial to business success and one of the only differentiating factors that remains fully within your control.
Brand building is all about managing your customer experience. Each time a customer interacts with your brand, that experience defines who you are, how you operate, and how you’re different from your competitors. Your brand forms the foundation of all your marketing and communication activity – your positioning and messaging can be consistent only when you know what your brand stands for.