A company can establish itself in the marketplace by creating an effective and memorable brand name. By establishing a brand, a company can insure that its name or image comes to consumer’s mind when they are looking for a particular product or service.
Through the use of printed advertisements, a company can reach its potential customer base and effectively make that customer base aware of the brand and the services or products being offered.
The goal of building a brand is to allow your company to literally make a name for itself.
There are two components to an effective brand, naming and visual identity. If a brand has been established effectively, then either the mention of the brand name or its visual identity (whether a logo, color or style) will allow the consumer to immediately tie the service or item to your company.
The goal in creating a brand name is to cause the consumer to tie your name to the services or products being provided so that when the consumer chooses to purchase your particular service or product, he or she immediately thinks of your brand name.
As an example, think about the brand name Starbucks. Nothing in that name suggests or relates to coffee, but mention it to any person you meet and they will know that it is a company that sells coffee. The same with companies like Xerox or Reebok or McDonalds. The reason for this recognition is that the company has effectively established their name.
The most successful use of a brand name is most likely Google. Once perceived by investors as a childish and weak name, Google rose above its competition and became a synonym to web search. Over time the branding was so effective that the word eventually became a verb, with everyone from Fortune 500 CEO’s to a web-savvy 3rd grader saying things like “Google it.”
This same process can be used on a smaller scale. For example, a locally owned restaurant or store may be named after its owner, but locals will likely know not only that it’s a restaurant or store, but in many cases, what type of food or merchandise it sells. The point here is that if done correctly, a company can get the consumer to associate its name with its service, leading to a much higher likelihood of the consumer choosing that service or product over competition.
Alternatively, a company can choose to focus its attention on building a strong visual identity. This can be a logo, a color or an overall “look” or style which the consumer can associate with a brand.
For example, Nike does not need to put its name in a visible location on each of its products, because just the presence of its trademark “swoosh” symbol is enough to allow a consumer to know he or she is purchasing a Nike product. The same is true with McDonalds’ golden arches, the stylized Apple insignia found on an iPod or Mac, or the Tiffany’s signature turquoise color in an advertisement.
These visual identities are so well known that there is no need to accompany them with a brand name for them to convey the information as to who made the product.
Some companies even choose to combine both the name and their visual identity in their branding. Think of Xerox’s block lettering or Disney’s cursive writing.
The presentation of your company’s name in your advertising can help create a unique identity, even if your company name is more generic.
B. How to use printed advertising to improve and strengthen your brand
1. Catch the Consumer’s Attention: The primary goal of advertising is to get the consumer to pay attention to your product. Design your advertising to draw the consumer’s attention to both your logo/name and to the service being offered through the advertising.
2. Know your Customer Base: Knowing your customer base is essential to determining the most effective manner of printed advertisement to use. You need to choose the type of printed advertisement that will be the most likely to reach the largest portion of your customers.
3. Consistent, but not Repetitive Advertising: You want to keep exposing your customers to your brand. A consistent advertising campaign, such as a weekly or monthly newsletter or postcard, can insure that your client remains aware of your brand and your services. Well planned campaigns can ensure that your marketing mix is not repetitive but maintains a consistent look-and-feel and communicates in one voice.
A strong brand name or visual identity is invaluable in helping a company become familiar to potential purchasers in the competitive marketplace. With a little planning and the right advertisements, a smart company can establish a strong brand. Once that happens, when those potential customers do need to purchase services or products, the first thing they will think of is your brand, allowing you to influence those potential customers in their purchasing decision and helping your business to grow.