Five Levels of Branding
If you are excited to get branded, then you need to know that there are four levels. In this article, you will:
- Learn all four levels and fully understand them;
- Realize which level you are now at;
- Set your short-term goal to climb up to the next higher level;
- Set your long-term goal to attain the highest level.
The first level is, unfortunately, not a level of branding at all. It is actually life without a brand and it is called Brand Absence. 97% of entrepreneurs are at this level. For them, life is tough. Sales are tough. Price cutting is the norm. Working overtime, evenings and weekends is required. Vacations are rare. Income lower than desired is usual. This level is way too common and is responsible for chronic overwork, failed marriages, ill-health and many other woes related to working way too hard for way too little money. This level (or more correctly, non-level) is worth zero out of ten.
Brand Awareness is the first real level of branding. Awareness is nice – it’s better to be at least known versus unknown. But, don’t take too much comfort at this level. Simply paying for a huge billboard in the middle of town will ensure that you are known by many, many more thousands of people. But, awareness alone does not well translate into sales. You may know of Rolls Royce, but it does not do the Rolls Royce salesman any good if you are never going to buy one. Hence, this level is worth one out of ten.
Finally, we arrive at a level of branding that has some value – Brand Preference. It’s really nice to be preferred. If people prefer you, they will go to you first. They will ask first if you are available. They will call you first or visit your website first. Nice. And, if you are available, you’ve likely made a sale. If you are a little out of the way, or out of town at that moment, or busy, or your price is just a shade too high for them at that time, then their preference fades and they will soon seek another. So, there is definite value, but not too great. I assess this level at three out of ten.
Now, we finally arrive at the top. Brand Insistence. I am insistent on Starbucks. If I want coffee and there is no Starbucks, I will not buy coffee. Period. Many of my own clients are insistent on me – they will go to my bootcamps and workshops and conferences on branding and will not go to others’. That’s really nice. It means that your attrition (that means loss of existing clients) will be low to zero. It means that you do not have to spend marketing money or time to get new business from those who are already insistent on using you. I evaluate this level at the full ten out of ten. Interestingly, though, it is not the top.
The very top is Brand Advocacy. At this exalted level, your current clients tell others about you. At this level, you get an endless stream of new clients for free for the rest of your life. Apple is the most valuable company of all time because such a very higher percent of its clients are brand advocates. I am, for example. I’ll tell anyone how wonderful Apple is. Because I am an opinion leader, many Apple products have been purchased by those I teach. I don’t get any financial benefit from Apple. So, why then do I do it? I do it because I feel such love for Apple that I am compelled to tell the world.
You now know and understand the five levels. Identify at which level you are at in your business. Set your goal to get up to the next higher level. Set your long term goal to have many brand advocates.
If you wish to learn about branding from me and indeed actually be branded by me, simply attend one of my powerful branding experiences: