Branding 101: When in Doubt, Peep the Competition

When it comes to owning and operating a business, it can be hard to know if you’re making the right decisions, especially with so much competition in the market trying to get a leg up on you. And although this keeping-up-with-the-Joneses situation can create tension within your business, learning from those that are pulling ahead in the race can definitely work in your favor.

Something that every successful business has, that many less than successful business don’t have, is an established brand identity. Whether they sell sports equipment, mufflers, or tube socks, the brands with a stranglehold on the marketplace all have defining characteristics that consumers recognize when it comes time to buy stuff.

From a branding standpoint, companies like Apple and Disney, although controversial at times, are always able to rack up serious profits every year because of how powerful their image is. In other words, when certain situations hit the fan, these powerhouses are able to come out on top while maintaining customer loyalty.

Apple, for instance, doesn’t sell just computers, they sell an entire lifestyle. With every iPad, iPhone, and MacBook that people buy, they’re also buying the hip, provocative image that comes with it. That’s been Apple’s schtick all along, and unless you’ve been hiding under a rock since 1976, you should be able to see that it’s definitely worked for them.

Much like Apple, Disney has the glossy product line to support their name. But, unlike Apple, they don’t have the sexy image attached to help them sell movies, stuffed animals, children’s toys, etc. However, what they do have is an incredibly specific target market that they cater to every time, creating a sense of brand loyalty that is pretty much unsurpassed.

So, as you can see, by investing time and money into your image and your brand identity, you can establish a loyal customer base that will always come back for more. Even if what you sell doesn’t necessarily appeal to the senses, leveraging your products with a strong brand can not only compensate for that, but help you garner profits in the long run.

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