Why “Cultivating” a Brand is so Important
A coke can lies empty on an Ikea nightstand with its label out. In the living room, a Spaulding basketball is rolled around the floor by a corgi wearing a Ruffwear collar while its owner is sitting at a Dell laptop chatting with a friend over Skype. In the kitchen, the sounds of a Hiware teapot boiling can be heard over the conversation of two young adults, likely siblings. The girl is wearing an Old Navy sweater and yelling at her younger brother who’s cleaning off his Air Jordans.
Turn your television on or go to any movie theater and you are very likely to see a scene like this play out, or at least something similar to it. In less than five seconds of actual screen time that you are taking in, you’ve been bombarded by almost ten different companies attempting to pull your senses towards their product. Your attention is worth an incredible amount of money to these companies and what better way to advertise to you that their product is worth your time than to show your favorite characters using and enjoying them? This type of marketing tactic known as product placement has completely invaded the fabric of our society. You can’t even go to a YouTube channel of someone with a few thousand subscribers without seeing them advertise one product or another before their video begins. Why has this sort of thing become the norm though? The simple answer is branding and profitability. These movie and TV screen cameos help to endear and ingrain these brands into everyday life and they’ve done a bang-up job doing so.
Branding is an incredible weapon that you as a business owner are allowed to wield in the battle for bringing your company to the top. The best part about branding is that there are so many pieces to it that you can develop to make your product stand out. Website design, logos, jingles, advertising, social media, and more are all fragments of your brand. On their own, they may catch a few customers’ attention, but working in tandem they can breathe enough life into your product or service to sustain and maintain its profitability for a lengthy amount of time. A farmer’s best asset might be her tomatoes, but every single crop that she plants is an important part of her farm’s overall image. If she doesn’t do a good enough job cultivating all aspects of her farm, it matters not how great her tomatoes are, she will (in general) not be successful. So while you might have done an awesome job in creating a really cool logo and website, if you aren’t using social media or advertising to get potential customers to SEE your logo and website then you’re doing your business a disservice. In addition, it is important that these pieces of your brand make sense together. If you have a cutesy jingle but a hyper-professional or boring Instagram page, you’re signaling different things to your customers. If the joking nature of your twitter page is what garners most customers attention, you should try and be as consistent as possible in that style in order to keep them enthralled and seal the deal.
Consistency is essential in building your brand, and it’s not hard to see why. Figure out a logo for your product and decide on a color scheme and style. Next, design your website keeping those same characteristics in mind. If you’re taking pictures of your product, look for backdrops that match the traits you have already decided on. The more often everything you do coincides with and complements the product you're selling, the better. If you create a YouTube video that goes viral because you're being naturally charismatic and speaking openly about the wonders of technology, your next video should do more of the same. Don’t suddenly create a video that is completely outside of this field or has nothing in common with what helped you find your initial success. You’ve found a niche that your audience is in tune with and wants more of, there is no reason to change up your formula. In fact, doing so may harm your channel (or product) more than doing nothing at all.
Your brand is everything that people immediately think about when they think about your company and your product or service. Whether it be the contemporary snarkiness of Wendy’s twitter account, the sleek commercials for Acura vehicles, or the iconic Apple logo, branding is everywhere we look. So the next time you sit down to brainstorm for your company’s brand, make sure you are being consistent in your ideas and original in your concepts and maybe you’ll stumble upon the next great “crop.”