What is Branding?
According to Vincent Grimaldi de Puget, a brand strategist at Grifin Partners, branding is the blend of art and science that manages associations between brands and memories in the mind of the brand’s audience. In other words, branding is completed once a brand is established and the need for marketing, advertising and promotions are established. However, what does it mean for a business owner with a business, idea, concept or product in a new market? These business owners face the challenge of branding in emerging markets.
Before concepts are identified for effective branding strategies for new and emerging markets, the core components of branding must be identified. These core competencies are:
The brand is the product, service, business or individual that you want to establish a presence with. Think about it this way; the things you buy and use every day are brands regardless of their popularity.
The attributes are those things that make the product or service worth buying or using. On the other hand, value is the worth to the buyer. You may have that one thing you can’t live without and that is your perceived value of that product.
Finally, there is brand management, which is what your company is doing to effectively manage the messages, marketing, advertising and promotions of your business.
Entering into an Emerging Market
Now that you know the fundamentals of branding, let’s look at what an emerging market is. An emerging market is a new or up and coming market that is untapped. Emerging markets can become a silent killer to businesses if market research is not conducted. Yes, even companies with a popular brand carelessly enter into markets without researching them and thus lose millions.
So what can you do as a business owner to mitigate any loss of revenue as you consider entering into a new market? Here are some tips:
First, research the market you are considering. Emerging markets are notorious for making unprepared companies slink away into nothingness. Do not do this. Take the time to research what the market is looking for and what it wants from your business.
Next, test your product or your service. Have you ever noticed the presence of a product or service in one place but when you go to another one, it isn’t there? Well that’s because of market testing. Companies that market research understand that goods and services that may be good in one well established market may not work well in a new one.
Then, pick you brand management campaign. You need to understand how you are going to brand your business as well as track what’s working and what’s not working. A good management plan deters losses; a bad one doesn’t.
Using the Right Resources
To go further into brand management, you need to use all available advertising media. These include:
Social media: Most companies have access to millions of customers through the top three social network sites, which are Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. These businesses are riding the wave to position their brand at the front of the pack, so grab your keyboard and connect with potential customers.
Networking: While this is a traditional form of brand management, networking is still effective. Networking allows businesses to find opportunities to sponsor local sports teams, events or fundraisers; attend local events; or join local groups or chambers of commerce. Networking opportunities are plentiful in emerging markets and help establish a strong brand.
Spread the word: Yes, you can send an email; get on the radio; take out the biggest ad in the newspaper or on a billboard but the most effective branding strategy for a new market is word of mouth. Give people something positive to say about your business in an emerging market; it helps with awareness and customer experience.
Involve the press: Contrary to popular belief, the press is not only interested in reporting bad news. You can get your business free press through media inquiries and invites. If you get rejected, then keep trying and don’t limit yourself to the most popular media outlets either. Start small and work your way up.
Branding in emerging markets is only difficult when market research is not conducted. If you are targeting a new-found market, then it is beneficial to the success of your business to do the research to find out if your service or product will be needed or wanted. Test the market to determine if there is a need for your business.
Finally, develop a brand management campaign to ensure your business’ success. Get the word out through social media, traditional media, networking and word of mouth. Tackle a new market by strategic placement, not wishful thinking.
Grimaldi, Vincent. 2003. The Fundamentals of Branding. http://www.brandchannel.com/features_effect.asp?pf_id=183.
Free Digitial Photos. 2010. Target Market by jscreationzs http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/agree-terms.php.