Branding Blog

Branding? No, we use word of mouth to build our business.

Written by Dale Berkebile | Wed, Sep 02, 2009

I just read an interesting blog article by a local designer talking about "What makes advertising evil?". In this article she talks about people not wanting to buy advertising services because they only use word of mouth marketing. This inspired me to add my thoughts since I too have heard many of prospects say this same thing.

Realistically, the only reason people say this is to stop us from moving forward in the sale. The prospect just does not understand the value we are trying to bring to the table. The same people not buying professional marketing for their company are doing it while they stand in their Calvin Klein shirt, Polo Ralph Lauren pants, Kenneth Cole shoes, Rolex watch for the guys and for the ladies in their fashionable ensemble from Banana Republic while holding their Coach purses. 

Ok so my point is not to knock the fashionistas of the world. I am just mentioning that a large percentage of business owners are probably brand loyal to some products, be it software, clothes, cars, cell phones, cereal, whatever. 

My question now is… what has made them loyal to one brand over another? Obviously some loyalty stems from the product making them feel good, successful or important, it is easy for them to use and provides a way of making their life better. This being said, people will save up and go without one of these products until they can afford the quality product they associate with and have a connection to, even if it is 5 or 10 times more expensive than the competitors brand.

So, my next question is… if this is the case, does your product not offer some of these same features and benefits? Does your brand make the customer feel good? Does it make them feel successful? Does it make them feel important? Is your brand easy for them to use? Does your brand provide a way to make their life easier? If not, you may not have a brand at all. Does your business have the no-frills generic type of brand? Those of you born 35 or more years ago may remember in the 80's when generic brands were printed in black and white and just said "Cola" on the cans. These days, Target and others have cashed in on branding their store brand items and are really cutting into some of their competitors market share.

When was the last time your customer was beating you up over price? Do you know why? Well, it is because you have not created the value in your brand. You missed the boat on creating the next Polo, TAG, Coach, Rolex, Cartier. Their is no way you are able to compete with the prestigious brands, heck not even the Walmart & Target everyday brands without strategically marketing your brand.

Want a perfect example of this, let me introduce you to John Deere. John Deere is now a hip trendy brand for the urban (mostly youth) market. How many times are you walking down the street and pass some college kid wearing a John Deere hat or t shirt? Have any of these people ever sat on a tractor or been to a farm, for that matter? Not likely. They don't care, they just want to fit in. Don't get me wrong, Nothing Runs Like a Deere. I know because this has been John Deere's tag line for years. It is genius what they have created and how they pushed their brand beyond they local farmer using their product. Farmers just want a product that works and helps them be profitable. The new market (the youth) just want to be cool and want to be associated with success or the best of the best. This is the image John Deere has created and uses to position themselves in the marketplace. So I say keep "runnin' John", your doing a great job.

Wouldn't it be great to have your clients and prospects craving your brand? The only way to do this is by creating a brand that is highly desirable and we are sorry to say, this is not through word of mouth. It may start there, but it will never have the buy in or cool factor of a John Deere unless you build it, position it and market it with this in mind.

When you are ready to build desire into your business brand, we are ready to help.