Flower growing

Harness Business Growth Using Brand Associations

If you’re not growing, you’re dying. Does your marketing strategy truly allow your business to grow? Are you growing at a fast pace, or is your growth slowing down? Critiquing your brand is the first step to analyzing your business’ potential for growth, and is the reason why we love creating and executing brand strategy. Let’s dig in and discuss the ways your brand will help your business grow!

Branding 101

Your brand is a representation of where your product lies in the mind of your customers. Is it classic and reliable? Hip and refreshing? Strong? Fashionable? Professional?

Every brand has a number of “brand associations” that represent its strengths and weaknesses. For example, when I mention “Coca Cola” you might think of the terms “red” or “refreshing” or “cool,” while you may think of the words “young” or “blue” when I mention Pepsi. When you have a brand with such a strong associations, it becomes easier to link the brand to similar associations that may not necessarily relate to the product itself. This means taking advantage of your brand strengths to grow into new business opportunities.

Developing Brand Associations – The Value of Sponsorship

Coca Cola and Red Bull have been avid sponsors of The Olympics and sports in general. Coca Cola has been an Olympic sponsor since 1928! But why the Olympics? If Coca Cola simply wanted more eyes on their product, their several-million-dollar sponsorship could just as easily get them a huge amount of advertising. The reason is simple. Coca Cola wants to be associated with the celebration that comes with the Olympics. What better way to brand a “refreshing, ice cold” product than to have your brand shown on the slopes of a world-class skiing competition?

Red Bull, Pepsi, a huge number of big brands love to sponsor events that can strengthen brand associations. Red Bull gives you “wings” and a boost in energy? Let’s associate that with a high-octane runner sprinting across the finish line! A lot of work comes in building these brand associations, much of which is done without anyone noticing!

Sponsorships and branding is not limited to large brands. Brand associations exist in every single brand, and are immediately projected to a consumer based on the brand’s logo, icon, message, and surrounding environment. The best way to build your brand is to have a complete stranger take a look at your website, and have them give you their first impression of your work. The first impression is the most important step in building your brand, which is why we place so much emphasis on building a custom website that will generate a great first impression.

So, why does it all matter? What’s the value of a sponsorship? It all comes down to the bottom line: long-term profit. Branding pays off, big time, and in many more ways than one. Check out our blog on the Value of Branding to see how branding can effect your bottom line.

Harnessing Brand Extensions

So you’ve worked tirelessly to build your brand. You’ve kept your customers happy, and your happy customers have converted into long-term loyal customers. You’re at the top of your game, and everyone knows you. What now?

Keep Growing.

Just because your business is doing well doesn’t mean that you can relax-in fact, it’s time to kick it into high gear and keep the momentum going! The brand associations you’ve worked so tirelessly to build are not tied to your product, they’re tied to your brand. This is where brand extensions can kick in. Is your chocolate famous for being rich and creamy? Think of how much easier it would be for you to enter the ice cream market as compared to a brand that customers have never had prior exposure to! Are your sneakers lightweight and water-resistant? Entering the rain jacket market would be a lot easier for you than others!

Growth is led by strategy. Good branding strategy looks at your business from all angles. Click To Tweet

The product helps shape the brand, but ultimately the brand is in control. Sponsorships help your brand build important associations that come naturally, while other forms of advertising such as PPC help reinforce these associations. These associations lend strength and legitimacy to your brand, which makes it easier for you to sell your product, expand to different markets, and ultimately grow your business.

Growth is led by strategy. Good branding strategy looks at your business from all angles. It answers the following questions:

  1. What does my core customer want/need? – Market Research
  2. How does my brand fulfill this need? – Brand Book, Brand Identification
  3. How do I promote our core message? – Marketing Strategy
  4. How do I grow my business? – Growth Strategy

To answer all your questions and more, we’re releasing our Branding Green Paper soon! Keep an eye out for it. Interested in reading more about how branding can help you grow your business right now? For more details on how to brand your business, check out our blog post on how to optimize your CPG/retail branding strategy. Or, visit our marketing agency in downtown Vancouver and we’ll be more than happy to speak with you on ways to grow your brand! We always have chocolate.