Although it may seem seamless to the naked eye, branding that is truly on-target is no easy thing to master. But effective branding can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the long run.

In fact, let’s imagine for a minute that you’ve just spent those thousands and as many hours working with a web developer on a website or a mobile app, or even that you’ve just created a physical product that fills a gap in the marketplace. Essentially, you’ve created the thing you want to sell to consumers and you know it can make their lives better.

So you’re all ready to go out with promotion, right? Sell that product to its fullest potential – you’ve finally perfected it, so why waste another minute? Stop right there, though. Before you spend another marketing dollar, back up and make sure your brand is solid – or risk throwing your hard-earned cash down the drain.

Branding is not a last minute job

Many marketers and most entrepreneurs think about brand as something you do at the last minute. It’s a name, logo or website that you create right before you launch. But this is backwards thinking that will end up costing you money in the long run. 

Defining your brand is the first thing you should do. It’s never too early. When you take the time to think about your brand – who you are targeting, what you are offering that’s unique, why targets should choose and stay loyal to your product and how your promise comes to life at every touch point – then you are essentially defining your market and the potential of your product. 

Once you do the heavy lifting on your brand promise it will actually serve as an incredibly powerful lens for all the other business decisions you need to make. Big decisions like distribution, pricing, and promotion. And smaller decisions like what kind of holiday card you should send, how to decorate your office, even what kinds of tweets to favor and promote.   

Forget about Pinterest until you know what you are using it for

I hear people all the time who say things like, “I don’t have a Facebook page or a Twitter account and I need to get one.” Not necessarily; what you do need is create brand a strategy and figure out what role social media and other off line channels can play in executing that strategy. 

Building your brand from the ground up is fundamental to creating a dynamic and evolving business that will stand the test of time.

As the former VP of branding at Virgin and someone who’s also had a front-row seat in the success stories of brands like Pantene, Intel, Heinz and Orbitz while at Interbrand, I want to help you understand the power of branding and how it can enhance your marketing; I want to give you a guide to doing it right from day one. 

Read on for an introduction to the five-part blog series I’ll be bringing you via Econsultancy starting next week, and prepare to be a better brander in five, four, three…

Top five things digital marketers need to know about branding 

Here’s a snapshot of some of the topics we’ll be covering. Each of these points will be brought to life with tangible examples of real world brands.

  1. Your brand is your business – don’t make the mistake of separating them
  2. It’s not about creating a logo, but about delivering on a promise
  3. A bull’s eye target is key, try to reach everyone and connect with no one
  4. Use every single touch point (consistently) or risk sabotaging your brand
  5. Have fun with it, make mistakes, fail harder and learn continuously

Intrigued? Perfect. Read more starting next week.