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Brand Marketing 101

Simple Ways to Refine Your Brand Marketing Strategy

According to Maryam Mohsin's article, 10 Branding Statistics You Need to Know in 2021, "Consistent presentation of a brand has been shown to increase revenues by 33%."1

As a business owner you're familiar with the term "brand" (e.g., Day & Night®, Apple® or McDonald's®) and you're actively "marketing" your business. But what is "brand marketing"? And how can you take your brand marketing strategy to the next level?

Today, we'll answer these questions and provide you with brand marketing tips to help your business grow and help you connect with more customers.

What is: Branding? Marketing? Brand Marketing?
"In a nutshell, branding is who you are  and marketing is how you build awareness," according to [Beginner 101] — Branding vs. Marketing: Finding the Difference.2

Your "brand" is essentially your business identity: who you are, who your employees are, the quality of the products and services you provide, how customers perceive your company with every sale, installation, service call, phone call, email, text, social media response, etc. Click here to see how Day & Night has defined itself as a brand: "enhanced dependability and innovation in home comfort."

Most businesses define their brand using "marketing" tools: logos, taglines, websites, advertisements, social media posts, email campaigns, truck wraps, uniforms, billboards, TV/radio commercials, etc. Click here to check out all the marketing tools available to you as a Day & Night dealer. 

So, at what point does branding and marketing become brand marketing? Good question. According to What is Brand Marketing? A Look at the Basics, "brand marketing refers to a type of marketing whose goal is to increase public awareness of your brand, with a focus on building long-lasting relationships with your target audience."3 The primary goal with brand marketing is not simply closing the next sale. Rather, it's developing a long-lasting connection with the customer: "What will help foster an ongoing relationship between my target audience and my brand?"3

Ways to Refine Your Brand Marketing Strategy
To reach your current level of success, you've been actively branding and marketing your HVAC business since day one. Ready to refine your brand marketing strategy and take it to the next level? Here are a few tips from the experts. 

In her article What is Brand Marketing? And How to Create a Brand Strategy, Ali Berg provides five steps that should shape any effective brand marketing strategy:

  1. Understand Your Brand Purpose
  2. (Really) Know Your Target Audience
  3. Define and Sell Your Story
  4. Know Your Competitors
  5. Create Brand Guidelines.4

Let's analyze these tips in more detail so you can refine your brand marketing strategy and build brand awareness for your company. 

1. Understand Your Brand Purpose: Basically, your brand purpose is who your company is and what makes it unique. What is your business mission and vision? Values? Why did you go into the heating and cooling business? How is your business perceived now? How would you like to be perceived in the future?

Once you have defined your brand purpose, think about how you might represent that corporate personality and transfer that feeling to your customers (i.e., through your logo, tagline, colors, website, imagery, language, etc.).

2. (Really) Know Your Target Audience: "If you don't correctly identify your target audience, your brand marketing efforts could be unsuccessful," according to Hannah Harrington's article What is Brand Marketing?5 Knowing your target audience is much more than simply understanding basic demographics. Harrington further explains, "A target market should be broken down by psychographics and explained by creating buying personas."5

When trying to develop a buying persona or a picture of your ideal customer, Berg offers a few questions to consider: 

3. Define and Sell Your Story: What's your key message to customers? Do you have an engaging story that connects your purpose to your audience? It doesn't need to be dramatic or lengthy. It should be true, succinct, and easily remembered. The goal of your story is to build brand awareness and customer loyalty. 

"Remember that your brand marketing messaging should focus on showing why your brand is valuable and worthy of connecting with your audience, rather than trying to get your audience to do something (like purchase)," according to What is Brand Marketing? A Look at the Basics.3

4. Know Your Competitors: Just like you need to research your target audience, you need to know who you're up against in the market. How have competing HVAC companies defined their brands? What's their message or promise to customers? What makes your business different than your competitors?  

For instance, if your competition is gaining a lot of customers because they claim to offer the cheapest AC around, you might focus on the quality, durability , and energy efficiency of the Day & Night ACs you sell. 

5. Create Brand Guidelines: Once you've defined your brand purpose, target audience, messaging, and competitive edge, it's important to be CONSISTENT so you can build brand awareness. That's where brand guidelines can be helpful. For example, click here to download the brand guidelines for Day & Night and then develop a similar guidebook for your company. 

Brand guidelines outline your brand marketing plan for your logo, business colors, fonts, tagline, key values, and messaging, etc. It's like providing any designers or marketers that you work with a handbook on your company. So, everyone is telling the same corporate story, using targeted messaging to ensure brand consistency.

As a successful business owner, you've been actively marketing your brand since day one. But it's good to refine your brand marketing strategy on occasion, so you continue to connect with customers, build brand awareness, and increase profits for your business. Today, we talked about ways to accomplish that: 1) Understanding your brand purpose, 2) Really knowing your target audience, 3) Defining and selling your story, 4) Knowing the competition, and 5) Creating brand guidelines. Get out there and boost your company's brand awareness with these tips!

1 https://www.oberlo.com/blog/branding-statistics
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