Branding – It’s not just for companies any more

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in ComLead

Branding – It’s not just for companies any more

Branding has become a buzzword in marketing. It may sound trendy or fashionable but it goes much deeper than that.

Branding is not a superficial process, designed to attract consumers to a product or service. It is at the core of the product or service itself – its identity, its personality. The consumer’s relationship with the brand makes it important to that consumer. That’s important for the products and services we offer to the public, whether through a commercial enterprise or a non-profit organization.

Roberts (2004) uses the term “lovemarks” to describe how this important relationship between a consumer and a brand can be elevated to an even higher level. Lovemarks are different for each of us – that car make, or fragrance, or lipstick, or laundry detergent you can’t do without. (Anybody else out there a Wen girl?) Harley-Davidson motorcycle fans don’t just ride one, they wear the logo on their t-shirts and jackets, and sometimes even tattooed on their arms. If your mom gave you Cheerios when you were little, odds are that you’re feeding them to your child. Lovemarks are about developing emotional ties between brands and their consumers, building a relationship, not just selling a product.

Once a brand becomes a “lovemark,” it is an integral part of a household. Consumers increasingly rely on their relationship with their favorite product or service, and will not want any other. This level of brand loyalty is not bought with snappy slogans or clever promotion, but through respect and trust.

This sort of relationship-building process increases in value for companies, and the role is important for professionals as well. We often hear the term “self-branding” used to describe how professionals should position themselves in the workplace. Self-branding is said to enhance the professional’s chances for employment or promotion, and it can use those principles of lovemarks as well. As we build relationships in the workplace, not only with our co-workers and managers, but also our customers, suppliers, neighbors, even our competitors, our reputation grows, the bond strengthens, and our value to our organization increases.

Communication and leadership are key aspects of the process of earning respect, cultivating relationships and building trust. They are part of the knowledge, skills and abilities you’ll develop in the Master’s Program in Communication and Leadership at Canisius College. You will have the knowledge to collaborate effectively; the skills to bridge relationship networks that you will use throughout your career; and the skills to influence and motivate others. In other words, you’ll become a lovemark in your career – the one your organization can’t do without.

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Guest Blogger:

S. Catherine Foster, Ph.D., APR

Associate Professor

Communication Studies

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