A product is tangible. . . a brand is intangible, how you feel about a product and the level of affection for it. You see a product, but branding is what the customer perceives about the product. The product is 2-dimensional. . . branding is multi-dimensional.
Branding is the quantifiable, long-term, strategic marketing process of building and overseeing the perceived value of an asset and determining the re-allocation of the asset’s value.
Four Action Plans To Build Your Brand
- Evaluation – Decide on the position of your brand in the marketplace.
- Get management involved to facilitate your strategic plan.
- Create an integrated marketing plan that ties together all the various strategies, marketing vehicles, and objectives into a long range consistent program.
- Check on the campaign’s progress after it has been underway for a reasonable length of time.
3 Phases Of Brand Development
- 1st Phase The publication is a commodity with no distinctive characteristics.
- 2nd Phase Publication becomes a differentiated platform with a unique reason for being which enables it to secure a premium price.
- 3rd Phase The publication is converted into a multi-platform brand franchise, delivering content in print, electronic (radio/TV), internet, fax and various promotional events.
The Multi-Platform Branding Process
A multi-platform publication might look like this:
Own the news market: Your direct publication, website, fax newsletter, and niche publications.
Own the information market: Own multiple brands, with or without the core publication. This would be a strong emphasis on niche publications: sports, health, entertainment, etc.
Own the advertising market: Display advertising, pre-print inserts, direct marketing and delivery methodologies.
A Hard Look At Branding Procedures
The vision is to build the community. The marketing model must be that long-term supercedes the short term. We must move our thinking from being totally dependent on sales and promotions as a priority, to thinking that is “real marketing.” This means that the customers are primary and that products and services are adapted to fit the changing needs and behaviors of the customers.
Future Of Branding For Publications
A declining factor in the publication marketing mix is traditional selling. Most products and services today are bought, not sold. Branding pre-sells the product or service. The endorsement of the publication is represented by the branding process, not by the personal recommendation of a sales person.
Your publication is at the heart of the community, you have a real opportunity to provide great service.
The personnel of the publication must be like an evangelism or missionary team, constantly getting more involved in community building activity . . . creating a book club . . . bringing sports fans together . . . launching a new community project, etc. These things are not P.R. and they are not charity – it’s real life service that no other organization in your community does regularly.
Publications aren’t about journalism or press freedom or marketing or new equipment. These are only the ingredients of the basic foundation platform. Branding brings out agenda setting – leadership – community involvement – truth – religion – politics. We are more about branding, not direct sales. More TV, radio, internet, direct mail, niche publications and less reliance on in-paper advertising. More about what we represent . . . less about what we produce.