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Branding Essentials – Three Impressions Every Seven Days
by Tim Whiston

The average citizen is exposed to thousands of ad impressions every day (statement based on U.S. studies). Most of us have learned to gloss over or look past the advertisements we are bombarded with as we go about our daily routines, so how can you be sure the money you spend advertising your business is “sinking in”?

It’s easy to blow money on ad space, promotional broadcasts, etc. and see absolutely no results. Society is inundated with so much advertising that we as small business owners face the danger of simply ‘blending in’ and not even being noticed by our prospective customers.

There are actually several things you can do to rise above your competitors in the advertising arena, but one of the most important things to ask yourself is this: Will your customers know who you are without an ad staring them in the face to remind them?

In other words are you trying to rely completely on direct response to your ads, or are you creating a broad and lasting awareness in the minds of your target audience? Direct response marketing is what pays the bills here and now, but without a strong effort to brand yourself you will be required to constantly be advertising for this week’s profits.

By branding, I’m referring to the act of exposing prospects to your name, logo, tagline, etc. on a recurring basis, and to the extent that people are already aware of you when they are ready to purchase a product or service that you offer.

Odds are when you feel like a soda, you already know which particular brand you are going to purchase before you walk into the convenience store. Likewise I’ll bet you already know right now, this very minute, the brand name of the next computer you intend to purchase.

This is because in almost every case your preferred product has been stamped into your consciousness by effective repetition. And believe it or not, you can create the same results within your target market without spending a fortune or running the same ads for many years.

In fact research shows that shorter ad campaigns can actually be more effective as a means of long-term branding.

Most marketing firms will agree that for optimal results a business needs to expose each prospect to the same ad impression three times within a seven day period. So by running a very strong campaign during the course of a month you can easily create a very lasting effect on the people you would like to have as your customers.

I recommend a variety of advertising mediums be used in any given month, but care should be taken to maintain continuity through use of the same logo, business name, or tagline in all your promotions so your targets are receiving the same impression with each exposure, regardless of the exact mode of delivery.

Radio and television are by far the most effective means of brand creation available for any business model. And these formats can be reinforced with yellow page ads, flyers, or even the aggressive distribution of simple business cards.

You want people to be aware of your name, logo, or tagline and associate this awareness with your products and services well before they even need what you have to offer. Time and again, the top branded business will outsell the second and third most branded entities in their field combined.

What can you start doing right now to see that your prospective customers are exposed to the same message at least three times over a seven day period?

You can and should contact local radio stations to discuss time slots and programming that might cater to your specific prospects, and invest in an aggressive monthly package.

Also, if your target customers spend most of their time on the web, invest in banner advertising and Web radio spots.

And certainly any product or service can be effectively promoted on broadcast television. I encourage you to beg, borrow, and scrape if need be to at least test this most powerful of mediums.

Your tactics will vary according to your exact business model of course. But the important thing is an awareness of the three on seven rule and a willingness to test various avenues of execution.

Many of today’s most renowned companies started as very small operations, and have grown into the giants of their market place as a result of proper branding strategies. While perhaps less exhilarating a topic than sales conversions and lead generation, no advertising plan can live up to full potential without applying the concepts of brand awareness creation.

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Tim Whiston is a full-time entrepreneur who helps small businesses and indivual professionals develop a profitable web presence for their ventures. Have a look at his Website Design Service to find powerful and cost-effective solutions for your business. http://www.timwhiston.com


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