Build Your Brand With A Marketing Strategy

The majority of small-time online businesses do not bother with branding, thinking that the latter is only for large companies or those with a big marketing budget. However, applying the habits of a big business to your own small website by developing a brand marketing strategy can help your sales to climb, and help you to make a bigger profit this year than in any other year. By designing and applying a brand to your own company, no matter whether you are selling products or offering a service, you can encourage potential clients into your website, and persuade them to stay long enough to make a purchase. Brand building can also help you to develop long-term relationships with your clients, a significant step when you want to make a living from a business website.

The first steps towards promotional branding of your product involves developing an action plan and setting aside a reasonable budget. This often means creating a brand marketing strategy, beginning with working out what your customers want from your brand, and moving towards an appropriate brand for your website, complete with a ‘brand promise’, a set of ideals and values which visitors to your site will associate with your brand. In most cases, it is a good idea to employ an expert to create this brand for you, as they are more likely to be able to spot gaps in the market which your products can fill, and will also ensure that the brand matches your website’s themes.

One of the most important early stages in your brand building strategy will involve the creation of an image. Many small businesses start with a picture. This can be a photograph of yourself, or perhaps of a pile of books, or maybe even a hand-drawn image by a friend or relation. This picture should represent exactly what you want the clients to think about you, and represent the products or services that you are offering. For example, if you work from home and offer IT services, you may want to consider a brand marketing strategy image that involves a photograph of yourself sitting at your computer, perhaps with books or computer DVDs on a shelf behind you. This image will help to represent you at your work, and your client will not have to look at the text to understand that you are offering a from-home internet based service.

Short and simple messages like this form the basis of any great brand marketing strategy. You should not need a lot of text or content to get your brand’s message across to the client, and if you are finding it hard to create a brand that does this easily, then you may want to consider talking to an expert and asking them for advice or tips about how to create the brand perfectly. Once you understand how to get your message to the client without having to write them an essay, you should find that your brand evolves naturally to suit your own needs and what you want to offer to potential customers.

There are so many different ways to extend your brand marketing strategy once you have developed the design and color scheme of the brand that you can sometimes be spoiled for choice. You might want to look into promoting your website through audio and video messages, and there are plenty of places on the web that provide free hosting sites for these brand messages. With this method, you can get attention for your website from people who like to use video hosting services or listen to audio broadcasts.

You should also concentrate upon the basics of any brand marketing strategy, including regular creation of different content for your website. Content for your site is essential, and you will have to make sure that you regularly write new texts in order to be interesting to visitors of your website. Once you have rewritten content for the site itself, you can also work at spreading that content to other areas, including writing essays for article directories, with a link back to your site.

Any modern brand marketing strategy should also try and make an impact through social media networks. These allow a brand greater access to the general public, and can also bring in new clients through connections to your social media pages.

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Dany Bahar – The Story Of A Brand Guru

Brand awareness is the buzz phrase of the 21st century’s marketing philosophy. A few decades ago we didn’t talk brand we talked ‘make’. What ‘make’ is your new television… what ‘make’ is your new car… we’d eagerly ask – in an era where brand recognition was not such a fundamental part of our lives as it is today.

But brand – a word which, funnily enough, is derived from the Old Norse ‘brandr’, meaning ‘to burn’, is defined today as a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers’, according to the American Marketing Association. In actual fact the legal term for brand is trademark.

Conversely, in the auto industry, brands were originally called ‘marques’, a word which is still used in reference to motor vehicles. Creating a brand and then making people aware of it to the point that they immediately identify its logo, advertising jingle or such like because of associations in the memory, is what every brand guru sets out to achieve from day one.

Brand gurus are a special breed of people: they have generally created and then grown a ‘make’ until it has become a household name and is respected – even coveted – in the market. Real brand gurus are few and far between – there are probably over 100,000 brand managers for just one ‘guru’ in today’s market and their specialist knowledge, their determination to rise above all others is not the result of training, it’s the product of instinct.

One such man with this special instinct is Dany Bahar, Group Lotus’s CEO, whose career this writer has followed for some years. Regarded by some in the industry as an enigma, Bahar is nonetheless one of the finest brand gurus around today. Why has he been called ‘an enigma’? It’s probably because he has, through much of his recent career, managed to keep his background and private life quiet while at the same time, promoting some of the world’s most recognisable brands.

But these brands were born out of his enthusiasm and nurtured until they became phenomenal global successes. Already a seasoned marketing professional in the field of sports marketing before he was headhunted for Red Bull by Dietrich Mateschitz in 2005, Bahar has nonetheless become known as the man who took Red Bull by the horns and made it a global brand. One of his first moves on joining the company was to negotiate a deal for Red Bull Racing to use Ferrari engines.

During the two years he spent with Red Bull, he had built up such an enviable reputation for – and a global awareness of – the brand, that it remains today hugely successful.

He moved from Red Bull to Ferrari in 2007 where, as Senior VP for the Commercial and Brand Department, he set up a new division within the company, which managed and developed the Ferrari brand around the world. He headed sales and service on the production side as well as marketing, licensing and merchandising for the F1 team. Bahar shaped and tweaked in his inimitable way and the name Ferrari today trips off the tongues of enthusiasts the world over who, if they can’t afford the real thing, have at least some item in their home or wardrobe branded with the famous prancing horse logo.

And now he is at Group Lotus where he is working to a five year plan designed to rejuvenate the company and put the Lotus image, brand and reputation as a world-class sports car and engineering outfit back where it belongs – on a winning streak.

I once asked Bahar to explain his philosophy on branding. “I believe that the brand should influence the people working for it, not the other way around,” he told me. “I also don’t take the traditional approach to brand awareness. With Lotus we don’t do traditional advertising with the exception of one or two special markets. Instead, we focus on brand experience activities – our motorsport engagement is the perfect example of this,” he explained.

And then almost as a throw-away comment, he added: “People should feel our brand and want to become part of it.”

There, in a nutshell, ‘become part of it’ epitomises this guru’s brand philosophy. He has helped to build dreams for people – the carefree and fun image of Red Bull which he created, the aspirations of consumers to want to own a prancing horse, and now the desire to re-ignite enthusiasm for the famous Lotus roar.

Already he’s on track with his plans for the whole brand – just a year into the five year plan, he’s been able to achieve results so far, despite the challenges which faced him when he took over as CEO at Group Lotus just 21 months ago. And just so people get the message that Bahar the brand guru means business, the company’s motorsport side announced in July that it had formed Lotus Sport USA.

In fact, Bahar’s keeping the Lotus brand well in the forefront of motoring circles at the moment for there has been serious talk this week that it will unveil a new LMP2 racer at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show with the aim of competing at Le Mans next year, starting with ALMS, the American Le Mans.

On top of this, Group Lotus has also just confirmed it will be entering the Lotus Evora GTE in a full North American and International schedule for 2012, with a testing programme starting later this year.

There’s a certain ring around things at the moment Chez Group Lotus – there’s a positiveness at Hethel which, to a seasoned motorsports’ writer like me, tells me that Bahar, the brand guru, is definitely in business – and it’s been a good news week for him as he ploughs through his five year plan, 21 months down and just 39 to go till that final goal is achieved!