The Types of Brands
Different types of brands work for different marketing approaches that your business might take. Basically, there are a few general types of brands that your business could fall into:
Product brands: Products (commodities) become branded products when you win awareness in the marketplace that your product has compelling characteristics that make it different and better than others in the product category.
Branding is a powerful tool that differentiates your offering in ways that create consumer preference and allow you to command premium pricing.
Service brands: Services are products that people buy sight-unseen. People buy services purely based on their trust that the person or business they’re buying from will deliver as promised. If you sell a service or run a service business, you absolutely, positively need to develop and manage a strong, positive brand image.
Business brands: You can brand your business, itself, in addition to or instead of branding your products or services.
If you can only build one brand — and that’s the best advice to any business that’s short on marketing expertise or dollars — make it a business brand because this brand can attract job applicants, investors, and (maybe most importantly) customers.
Personal brands: Whether you know it or not, you have a personal brand. If people know your name or recognize your face, they hold your brand image in their minds.
Personality brands: Personality brands are personal brands gone big-time. They’re individual brands that are so large and strong that they not only deliver wide-reaching personal celebrity but also create significant value when associated with products or services. Think Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse, or Oprah, and you’re on the right track. Sure, these are all just people, but their names are associated with a superior quality and subject expertise that speaks to their personality branding.
If you aspire to become a leader in your community or industry, keep that goal in mind as you build your personal brand. Develop a personal reputation that you can leverage into a greater good by becoming a small-scale personality brand in your own backyard or business arena.