Black Friday has come and gone, and with it the holiday shopping season has arrived. It’s an important time of year for all retailers, and your small business is no exception. The early results are showing just how important brands are – and they offer some information about how you ought to build yours, too.
The biggest winner of the day was Apple. The company whose product, the iPad, is almost synonymous with the idea of a tablet won the day, according to The Christian Science Monitor. It reigned at the outlets most famous for their labyrinth Black Friday lines – at Walmart, for instance, the 16 GB iPad Mini was the best selling item of the day. Meanwhile at Target, Apple had the three single highest-selling items, with two iPad Airs and an iPad mini. Early estimates say that almost 22 percent of the early sales at Target on Black Friday were Apple products.
These long lines and fevered efforts to grab an Apple product show that the company has very successfully continued in its branding efforts. It’s always useful to look at their recent work to remember how the company achieves it, and how you can use it to help market your small business.
Create quality – but tie it to your brand
There are a myriad of tablet choices available beyond the iPad, but the popular Apple product is by far the most famous of the available options. It goes far beyond quality – many believe the product is the best, but its price point shows many are willing to pay a brand premium. In part, it is because of what Apple has accomplished through its branding in the past. This reliability is an important part of branding, as expert Melanie Spring told Entrepreneur.
“It used to be more identity focused. It was about building a logo and all the pieces around it,” Spring said. “It didn’t really talk about values or how the company worked. Now we talk about branding in terms of how it makes you feel. It isn’t always something tangible.”
The quality of your products is incredibly important, but what is most important is that it is tied into your branding. People appreciate certain brands because they are famous for high quality, but that is not purely dependent on a single product release – instead, it’s important that you are able to create a feeling surrounding your brand, according to Spring.
“It comes down to everything from hiring the right people and making sure they’re saying the right things about your company to making sure your values are upheld with every employee and yourself. If your brand isn’t cohesive with your core values, your clients won’t trust you,” Spring said. “The whole point of branding is to create trust, to get the clients you want and for them to feel you’ve delivered on your promise.”
It takes a sustained effort to create a brand for a small business, but it’s well worth every bit. There are more outlets than ever to create your brand, from traditional word of mouth to social media like Twitter and Facebook. Your company may never carry the day on Black Friday, but there are far more attainable goals to strive for that your company can achieve through efforts at improved branding.
What did you learn about branding from all the Black Friday coverage?