How to Apply Strategic Branding In Your Business

Designing Your Business Communication

When you say the phrase “name brand” you probably have about a dozen names flash through your mind. McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Firestone, Wal-Mart and several other company names pop into your head in a fraction of a second. That’s because these companies have spent millions of dollars in order to have those brands exposed to the level that they’ve become household words. But odds are there are a couple of local companies that come to mind as well. That’s because they’ve used strategic branding to do similar things that the “big boys” have done. And they count on you knowing their name when it comes to doing business.

One way strategic branding works is through having catchy slogans and jingles that creates a focal point for customer attention. While these are great, and some of these slogans and jingles have reached iconic status (can you say “I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke” or “Ronald McDonald”?) that isn’t the approach that is the most successful. In the short run, a good catchphrase or tune may be effective, but in an overall campaign, these only have limited effectiveness.

However, what does work is branding saturation. Having a corporate name virtually everywhere you look not only brings about a similar level of recognition, but also has a more permanent level of effect. While we all do remember the Coke theme from the late ‘70s, most people remember Coca-Cola because they push the brand on everything from banners on Little League baseball fences to NASCAR drivers. Anywhere there’s an event where a thirst could be developed, Coca-Cola has an advertisement somewhere. If they don’t, one of their competitors does, and if they don’t, especially in major league sports, a beer company probably does.

On a small business level, putting your name on table tents, menus, placemats, those same Little League banners, football programs, high school annuals, on door hangers and mail outs with flyers, brochures and postcards can achieve a similar level of brand recognition. While it may only be on a local level, that brand recognition will represent customers and dollars for companies that do employ that type of strategic branding penetration.