Branding is more than just your company image or logo. It speaks of your philosophy, who you are, and a catchy slogan which gives people something to identify with you. It’s these elements that can often set you apart from so many other businesses competing for customers through effective branding.
What a Brand Does
The whole premise of branding is not just limited to coaxing people to select your brand over your competitors’, but rather getting them to see YOU as “the go-to solution provider” to their needs and desires. Good branding achieves:
– The deliverance of a clear message
– Long-term user loyalty
– An emotional bond between the business’s offerings and target audience
– High credibility for the business
– Inspiration and motivation to buy
Why Branding is so Important and How the Best Brands do it
A great brand doesn’t just happen overnight – it’s the result of a dedicated and strategic marketing plan.
What do brands like Facebook, Google, Apple or Coca Cola have in common? All got people talking about them without even the need to explain what the business does. It’s as if it subconsciously became a part of their users’ daily vocabulary. The best brands quickly become adjectives; when’s the last time you heard somebody say “Just Google that” or “Facebook your details to me so we can keep in touch”?
Then you have brands that have transformed into nouns at the subconscious level – ‘Cola’ was replaced with the word Coke. When asking for a Coke at a diner, you’ve probably never heard the waitress reply “Sorry, would you like a Pepsi instead?” Take Apple for that matter, where you won’t hear people saying “check out my new tablet”; you will most certainly hear them say “check out my new iPad”. It’s all in the branding and this is how the giants separate themselves from the herd.
Unfortunately, many large and small businesses today as well as start ups do not give branding the importance it deserves. Here are some of the most common reasons why branding is so important to overall business success:
Branding sets you apart – In today’s uber-competitive global market, you just can’t rely on a seasoned sales team or fancy company logo to stand out from the lot. Even if you’re competing locally and catering to a limited user base, chances are you will be compared to the best global brands out there, when prospects stack you up against so many other choices. You need to give yourself a unique voice which branding effectively accomplishes.
Branding improves recognition – People will most certainly buy from the businesses that resonate well with them, the one they are most familiar with. Make your branding consistent and easy to recognize and it can greatly help to incite feelings of trust and confidence so that people start buying from you. Keep it all consistent; from your website design outlay to your store apparel.
Branding best represents the promise you made – Remember, your brand represents you, your marketing materials, the staff etc. What does it all say about you and more importantly, what does it say about the promise you made to your customers?
Branding is a major motivational booster – Having a clear brand strategy gives the formula for success to those working for you. It’s like a blueprint which tells them how exactly to meet the business’s objectives. HR Managers often talk about how a specific candidate can ‘blend well with the organization’. What they’re referring to is how well they are able to embrace the organization’s values and effectively sell the brand.
Some brands in the past have gone the extra mile when it comes to branding. This includes designing a customer’s wedding venue in the brand’s color. Imagine a red and yellow themed wedding, it will instantly remind you of McDonald's, especially if the M in marriage is designed in a similar manner. Brands are already doing it, Burger King paid for Burger and King’s marriage. Coke sponsors events on certain conditions and so on.
Branding to Create Long-term Loyalty
A good branding strategy is crucial to determining if the product/service performed according to expectations. Whether the customer was delivered the quality they expected, or how they found the experience, especially when buying from you for the very first time.
As long as you find positive answers to the above, you have cemented a customer’s loyalty towards your brand. Good branding does not only create loyal customers but also loyal employees. They have something to believe in, something they will stand behind no matter what. It gives more purpose to their existence in the organization.
Give branding the importance it deserves and don’t just save it for the weekend.