Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Branding - Is It Really All That?

Branding....ah yes, it seems to be the buzzword in the marketing world these days!  Some say, you simply must have a branded product in your store and the people will come!  Many books, seminars, etc. have been devoted to this very topic.  And yes, even I've been seduced by this type of marketing/advertising myself, but then I "snapped out of it"!

I think retailers have lost sight of what the most important brand is and its "Their Own Brand"!  Yes...I mean themselves or their businesses!  The brand we need to concentrate on building is not some suppliers line or today's latest fad, but instead building the brand which is our own!  For instance, in my jewelry store, I'm much more interested in folks thinking, "Wow, that store has the nicest and most comprehensive wedding band collection anywhere at a great price" instead of someone thinking, "Hey, lets go over here because they carry XYZ Brand".  It can't be repeated enough, the most important brand you sell is yourself and your store...work on building it instead of making some supplier rich....do it for yourself!!

While I'm not against offering a great product and I do believe great products enhance trade with our businesses, so many retailers have forgotten how to sell and rely on the brand to sell for them!  Oops...did I say that?  Yes..and I mean it!  Instead of pouring so much money into a brand and the marketing of it...lets pour the same money, time and resources into training our salespeople as well as ourselves in selling the products we already have!  I think it will be a much more worthy pursuit and better use of your money!

Before I close, let me give you a quick test and something to think about:  When I say "Pizza"...what name automatically comes to your mind?  I'll bet you said Domino's because we've been conditioned to that brand...but is it really the place you use for Pizza?  If I say "Car"...what comes to mind?  Ford or Chevy I bet...but is it really the car that you drive?  The power of a brand  and top of the mind awareness (known as TOMA) is great, but is it really the most important thing?  We'll talk about it more in another posting.

For now, concentrate on your brand (YOU) and build your biz from that point...let branding come as a part of people saying, "Wow...that store was so awesome...they treated me so well, I wouldn't think of going anywhere else...I can't wait to tell my friends".....now there is the right kind of "Branding" we need as retailers.

'Til Next Time,

Bill Warren
Warren Marketing Systems

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