Your Branding Strategy: Staking Your Claim In The Me-Too Propane Industry - Warm Thoughts Communications
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Your Branding Strategy: Staking Your Claim In The Me-Too Propane Industry

Posted on June 5, 2017

As the face of your business, your logo shoulders a heavy marketing load. So when it comes time to get that face lifted – as it recently did for the Western Propane Gas Association – it pays to take the time to get those nips and tucks done right.

The question is – what does right mean?

The obvious answer is to make sure the new logo design is visually distinctive and memorable. What is less obvious – and far more important in a commodity-based industry like propane, where everyone offers similar products and services – is to make sure that the logo emerges from a branding strategy that continually reinforces your company’s unique identity and strengths.

What your brand is – and isn’t

Ask many people what a brand is and they’ll immediately think of a logo. But your logo is merely a symbol for your brand, not the brand itself.

What, then, is a brand?

At its most basic level, your brand is an accumulation of impressions that exists in the minds of your customers – a unique perception of your business (or its products and services) that builds over time based on “touches” they’ve had with your company in person, online, through advertisements, or by phone.

At its most basic level, your brand is an accumulation of impressions that exists in the minds of your customers – a unique perception of your business (or its products and services) that builds over time based on “touches” they’ve had with your company in person, online, through advertisements, or by phone.

A brand is also:

Seen through this broader lens, it becomes clear why brand is much more than a logo – and why it is so critical for a propane business, where brand can be the only differentiator in a crowded field of similar companies.

Brand or be branded

One of the most important concepts to understand about your brand is that it will form with or without your consent, since at its most fundamental level it exists in the mind of your customers. That makes the act of “branding” – shaping the perception of your brand – an ongoing and strategic process that pervades every aspect of your business.

It also makes developing a comprehensive branding strategy one of the most important investments you can make in your propane business.

A good branding strategy is more than a marketing document – it’s a master guide to who you are, what you stand for, and why you are different (i.e., better) than your competitors. It governs every piece of material your company produces (including your logo), every interaction your company makes with your customers, and every hiring and business development decision your company makes – all with the goal of continuously accruing positive associations with your company and making it more distinctive in the minds of your customers and prospects.

The business case for investing in your brand

Investing in a thoughtful and comprehensive brand strategy brings substantial and undeniable long-term returns, including:

The bottom line

Having a clear sense of your brand can make or break your business – and the key to developing that clarity is to invest the time, money and effort to develop an insightful and encompassing brand strategy. In a “me, too” landscape of the propane industry, you need to stake your claim in the minds of current and future customers and protect that cognitive parcel with every action, word, and decision your company makes.

Nothing does that like good branding and a logo that is perfect for the brand.


Tom Jaenicke: For more than 25 years, Warm Thoughts Communications, Inc. has brought cutting edge strategies and performance based marketing and sales solutions to the residential energy industry. For more information contact Tom Jaenicke, Vice President, Propane Marketing Services at tjaenicke@warmthoughts.com or cell: 810 252-7855.

This article appeared in the summer issue of Gaslight, a publication of the Western Propane Gas Association.

Tom Jaenicke
You can reach Tom Jaenicke online or call our office at 201-330-9276

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