Branding Experiment - Do you like this candy?
KOPIKO. There, I've said it. Free branding for them, serves a point for me. This is a branding experiment that once you've laid eyeballs on it, you have no choice but to participate. There's no going back. Once you've been told about Kopiko, you can't go back to not knowing about it. You've heard of it now.
You've also been exposed to our publications, Sevierville Living and Seymour Neighbors. These are local community magazines delivered monthly to local homeowners in Sevierville and Seymour, Tennessee. Learn more here.
OK, so what is Kopiko and why are you sharing this with us? Kopiko is my favorite hard candy, it's a Cappuccino flavored candy that tastes like creamy chocolate and coffee all in one. They last longer than chocolate bars (unless I bite them, which is a no-no for teeth), so my theory is they'll help me lose weight. :) You can buy Kopiko in two flavors - Cappuccino and Coffee.
Like the label says, it's "mini coffee"! They're so good! So why am I giving
Kopiko free branding and advertising? To prove a point:
You were NOT searching for Kopiko candy!
You've never heard of it!
You don't know what it tastes like!
Your appetite and curiosity have now been aroused!
I created that response by getting you to stop and take a look, I provided you with an image and an explanation. I have created business for Kopiko out of thin air because you were not looking for this candy and you would never have known about it unless someone put it in front of your face. The brand name is forever seared on your brain, especially if you like the sound of this product, maybe you even NEED this product. I do (creature comforts). The more you see it, the more you want it.
I gave one to my hubby, and now he's hooked too. Sometimes I give them to my clients who need help understanding how branding works. (If you meet with me, ask me for one!) Honestly, that was me for the longest time... branding, advertising... same difference. anh-anh (is that how you spell it?). It's not that hard to understand, let me explain:
Branding is about your image, creating the image of who you are and what people think of you. What is your business about, how does it make me feel, do I need to remember you, will I forget about you if I don't see you, so many brands, which one is the best, is it you, do you have the right personality, are you a good fit for my needs. It's your name, your logo, what you care about, your community involvement, your work culture. These things take time to communicate, and communicate you must if you are to have and maintain top of mind awareness. The only way to do that is to be in front of people consistently in a positive and friendly way. Branding is the feeling people get when they see your name and do business with your company. You can create a positive image of your company that people want to do business with simply by being around (in the right places, in front of the right people at the right time), and of course taking good care of your customers.
Advertising may create a direct response in a person who is looking for a particular product today, right now. Advertising is soliciting a meeting with your customer through a particular call to action, such as a coupon, or persuasive language. These types of ads are not as effective as they used to be because they're everywhere, they get annoying. Branding allows you to generate the type of emotion that's needed in order for a potential customer to trust you enough to do business with you. Again, the best way to do that is to simply be around, they'll come to you when they need your service.
Branding takes time, but it's worth the wait and pays off big. If you're a brand new company in a sea of competition, it will take even more time.
With my dozen or so years of social media marketing experience, I can help you create a slicked-out image on all the top social media sites, and I can help you create a more pleasing and navigable website so people find you online when they are looking. The Internet is good for large, national brands, but not so for local businesses - unless they already know about you! If people aren't looking for you, your Internet presence goes unnoticed and your dollars are wasted. Getting in front of your target market where they have no choice but to see you, is how you build your business. The Internet then becomes sort of a maintenance campaign - get people to connect with you online so you can continue to market to existing customers. But first you have to get in front of them!
So how can you fast forward this local branding process? Here's a couple tips:
Be consistent. Be present. Be simple. People need to see your brand before it becomes a household name in your local community. Choose places to 'advertise' (or should I say 'brand') that reach your target market. We mail our Sevierville and Seymour publications to homeowners, so if you serve local residents, individuals and families, then we would be a perfect fit for your business. (We do have publications all over the USA and Canada - so I can point you to the right publication for your business, wherever you are.)
Residents buy cars, cars need repairs, residents go to the doctor and dentist, they have clothing needs, they buy and sell and/or refinance homes so they need realtors and mortgage brokers, they have parties, they need glasses, they need to know how to invest their money, they need a place to exercise, they get their homes remodeled, roofs replaced, their lawns cut and yards landscaped, or they do it themselves and then need a massage therapist, the elderly might need to enter an assisted living facility, or kids might need daycare, their pets need medical care, their water tastes funny so they need water filtration, their kids are getting married and they need a venue, a wedding planner, a jeweler, a photographer, a caterer, and they hope to God their financial advisor knew what they were doing so they can pay for these things. Get the picture?
This branding experiment worked! So can your experiment - when you bring your products to the right target market. If you're a national company, I'm guessing you need a national campaign, although you love local campaigns because they're so much more effective. If you're a local company, especially a local company near Sevierville and Seymour, Tennessee, I invite you to reach out to me to see if I can help you carve out some space in people's hearts and minds for your goods and services in the local market.
Try Kopiko and let me know how you like it. You can buy it here and here (affiliate link). Visit my website for more information about me and the services I offer to local businesses in the Sevier County, TN, areas. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Twitter @isq, and on Facebook.
Bonus: If you meet with me, ask me about my YES button and how it can save you money!
By Sheila Hansen, Publisher of Sevierville Living and Seymour Neighbors. (East Tennessee)