We are an industry of brands in the K+B business. We represent cabinet brands, countertop brands, appliance brands, hardware and plumbing brands…oh well, you get it. But the most important brand in this conversation is your brand.
The pure definition of “brand” comes from the burning of a mark onto a product. Think cattle for a visual. So, the question remains, how do you burn your brand into the minds of your target consumers?
Hot Irons Not So Practical Today
We have to be a bit more subtle today than in the days of the Ponderosa. And we don’t have a budget for yesterday’s flurry of traditional media which required hundreds of impressions to move the needle.
Today’s shopper is savvier and educates themselves early in the shopping process in what is called the Greenhouse shopping phase. It’s here that you establish yourself as the brand in the consumers mind. What you stand for must be represented in the personality that identifies your brand when a consumer is defining their project.
The first step in brand management is definition. Your special and unique characteristics that relate to your target buyer give your brand a personality. If executed properly, your brand personality helps you justify a price difference in the market. Think Starbucks for a great example: You can get coffee cheaper almost anywhere, yet people line up to pay a premium.
Once defined, your brand must be reflected in your whole organization in the form of a brand promise. Each and every individual who represents the brand needs to be dialed into the personality. This is often intermingled with your workplace culture; if someone doesn’t fit your culture, they sure as heck won’t be able to represent your brand, right?
Remove the Brand Mess
Your product brands should be the least of your focus. Let the manufacturers spend silly money on awareness of their products while you focus on building a brand that assembles those products into a kitchen. After all, the risk of the sale is all yours.
Define your brand and cultivate it in the Greenhouse. Nurture it and soon it will grow to represent your value add to the sale. Who knows, you could be the Starbucks of the K+B industry!