With so many different companies competing in the clean energy industry – many with similar product and service offerings – it can be hard to stand out and differentiate yourself in the eyes of your potential clients. Good branding can separate your company from other sellers.
To develop a brand that is relevant to audiences in the clean energy market, it’s important to find a service provider that understands the industry, such as Clean Energy Marketing Solutions. Clean Energy Marketing Solutions is a division of Great Southern Press, publisher of leading titles such as EcoGeneration, Solar Australia and Sustainability and Infrastructure and specialises in marketing communication for businesses in the clean energy industry.
What is branding?
Many companies misunderstand the concept of branding. Branding is much more than a logo design and colour scheme. Good brands tell potential buyers what your company stands for, giving meaning to your product or service in their minds. Simply put, it’s how your customers see you.Article continues below…
Branding is just as relevant in business-to-business (B2B) marketing as it is in business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing. Many B2B marketers assume that marketing to professionals should be devoid of emotion, resulting in brands that look and act the same. Well-branded companies are differentiated and rise above the sameness of other B2B companies to get more attention and therefore more sales.
There are strong examples of great branding within the clean energy industry. These are companies whose values are clear and well-known in the industry, values such as innovation and unique solutions.
Potential buyers will only purchase from companies that they trust and branding builds trust in two ways. Firstly, a brand that is consistently and repeatedly exposed to audiences makes the company more recognisable, and brand recognition implicitly builds trust. People instinctively trust a brand that they have heard of over one they have never seen before.
Secondly, a strong brand makes the company more relatable to the audience, and their ability to relate to the values and identity of a company further builds trust. For branding to be successful, it is important to know what your target market’s needs and motivations are. A good brand tells potential customers/clients how good the product or service is before even trying it.
The components of a brand
Symbols, logos and colours are important cues for consumers – in both business-to-business markets and business-to-consumer markets. They aid recognition and help form a perception about what company does and what it stands for. A well designed logo can represent the professionalism of a company, leaves a greater impression on potential customers or clients, and can even demonstrate the type of service or product that the company offers.
This relates to how the company wants the brand to be perceived by using associations that show what the brand stands for. For example, the company may believe in providing outstanding service, which they demonstrate through being available at any time. Or, the company may stand for innovation, in which its modern and innovative products are featured in their advertising, with all language focussing on innovation. The identity helps establish a relationship between the client or customer and the company by implying a promise of a particular type of service or product.
Brands have human-like characteristics that personify the company. A strong and understandable brand personality will help the company portray itself more clearly in marketing material and advertising, and build a stronger message. The clearer and more coherent the brand portrayal is, the better clients/customers will recognise and recall the company. A clear brand personality also helps clients and customers identify with the company on a more personal level.
Also like people, brands have values – most companies have beliefs and core values. They might believe in outstanding service; creativity and innovation; quality; dedication; honesty; or value. The clearer the values are, the stronger prospective clients and customers will identify with the corporate brand, which will increase their preference.
Once all of the components have been determined, the brand needs to be implemented. This is done thought coherent and consistent use of the logo and other design elements; taglines that sum up the brand; use of language in advertising and other marketing communication tools; image choices in marketing communication; and interactions with clients and customers. For branding to have its maximum effect, all staff must understand and engage in the company’s brand to ensure the message is clear, coherent and consistent.