As a seasoned marketing professional, Karl Talbot—founder of business development firm TALK Enterprises—knows that branding strategies can mean the difference between profit and pitfall when launching a new company. While some entrepreneurs may not have a branding vision for their business at its launch, Talbot explains that it can pay a great deal to lead with a corporate identity from the very beginning. In fact, according to a recent article from Forbes companies that start with a strong brand are often able to produce consistent marketing power for the life of the business.
Talbot explains, “When new companies start to formulate a marketing strategy, business leaders sometimes jump into the really complicated aspects of promotional development. For instance, an entrepreneur may invest all energy and resources into consumer analytics and market research to determine which marketing tactics will pay off best. While such comprehensive approaches are important—especially when launching a startup—it is important for today’s business owners to realize that marketing efforts for a brand will not go far or last long unless there is brand to begin with. Essentially, in order to access ongoing marketing success, you have to start simple and establish an identity that will resonate through all advertising and consumer outreach strategies.”
To provide example of how brands can create strong marketing campaigns, the Forbes article highlights the continued success of Apple. The article explains, “Apple is an iconic brand that seems to blunt all threats, setting the stage for a surge in desire for style and sleek design in everyday life. Apple continues to lead the global brand value rankings and has maintained its reputation as an innovator despite the entry of other competitive products and a string of recent issues.”
Karl Talbot responds, “Apple is such a great example of branding; although the image of Apple and its products have changed throughout the years, the company has always remained a thought leader and innovator in its space. Consumers have always come to value Apple as a company that offers simplicity and versatility. Despite all the technological trends and evolutions that have occurred throughout the modern era, this identify has continued to serve this brand well.”
So how can companies achieve the long-lasting branding success that Apple is so famous for? Talbot points to the Forbes article as a good starting point for entrepreneurs when faced with this question, as it offers a few tips to those who are trying to brand a new enterprise. For example, Forbes encourages entrepreneurs to establish a brand that “[strikes] a deeply emotional chord.” Talbot responds, “Many entrepreneurs are afraid to put emotions on the line when creating a brand, as these feelings can sometimes create controversy or prove fleeting. However, in the eyes of the consumer, if a brand conveys a real sense of emotion, it is a company that can be trusted.”
Forbes adds, “To understand what drives mass-market trends, first we have to consider the individual and what influences them. Purchasing decisions are personal, driven by emotions connected to our own identities, who we want to be and what’s appealing to us. Brands that connect to these emotions, to an individual’s sense of self, forge a deep bond with the consumer. Demonstrating how products are right for you, improve or establish desired lifestyles, fulfill aspirations and ambitions have the potential to become highly relevant for our everyday lives. They move beyond the transactional moment and link to personal stories, which are shared and embraced by like-minded consumers.”
Karl Talbot observes, “Creating and presenting emotional stories is extremely relevant in today’s business world of marketing, especially in the presence of social media where the line between consumers and brands is constantly blurred.” Continuing on the idea that social media plays a heavy role in today’s branding challenges, Forbes also encourages new companies to “empower social influence” as a way to establish a strong, valid identity that can be shared between many different types of consumers.
The article explains, “According to a recent Crowdtap study, 92 percent of consumers trust and are influenced by their friends, family and colleagues—over any form of advertising or engagement—when making purchasing decisions. We trust those we know because our friends and family understand our values and we believe their advice is genuine and good for us…Trusted networks can transform an individual/brand experience into a community brand experience, spreading messages and making recommendations via word of mouth that catch like wildfire and quickly surge into a trend.”
Talbot responds to this suggestion, “This tip really plays into the idea that with a strong brand or identity, a company can become a thought leader and a trendsetter that is respected by consumers. It takes confidence to encourage this type of thought, but many will find that it is much more rewarding to define trends, rather than to respond to what popular concepts are already out there.”
While trendsetting can do wonders for a new brand, Forbes notes that it is still important to pay attention to cultural tides. The article reveals, “Being relevant to the cultural dialogue and tapping into the social news of the moment is a central aspect of bringing a brand to the forefront amongst consumers.” To provide an example, Forbes explains how the recent revamp of The Great Gatsby has inspired many companies to engage with trends focused on the ‘20s era, the love of entertainment and “the Jazz age.” Although many brands can benefit from interacting with cultural trends, Talbot notes that this tip should come with some caution.
“Aligning with cultural trends can be a positive thing for a new brand, but if marketing is developing around a fleeting fad, it could mean that the brand is just as temporary. When deciding whether or not to infuse marketing efforts with popular culture, business owners must always ask, ‘Is it true to the identity of the brand?’” Karl Talbot concludes.
Karl Talbot is the innovative and driven founder of TALK Enterprises, a comprehensive business development firm that stands to offer solid services in marketing, technology and entertainment. As a seasoned professional of the marketing world, Talbot has had the ability to lead this company to success since its inception in 2010. Although TALK Enterprises serves a diverse set of clients from multiple industries, all efforts under the firm are designed to meet the same goal—to produce unprecedented business growth and opportunities.