WHAT IS BRANDING?
And does your branding measure up?
Branding is much more than a logo or a single graphic element associated with your organisation.
When you think about your brand, you really want to think about your entire customer experience…everything from your logo, your website, your social media channels, the way you answer the phone, to the way your customers experience your staff, products and/or services.
When we explain this broad definition to clients it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming to think about what is involved (or not involved) in your brand; whether it is when creating an initial brand or assessing what brand is currently in place.
So, to keep it simple (and avoid overwhelming anyone!) we suggest you…
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and have a plan to create the brand experience that you would wish to have if you were the customer. Always remember a good brand doesn’t just appear overnight… it is a well thought out and strategic plan of action.
We have found many small organisations and start-ups neglect to spend the necessary time considering their brand in this broad sense and the impact it has on their business; which ultimately costs them valuable time, effort and expense in the long run.
With this in mind, here are 10 reasons why developing a strong brand is important…
1. BRANDING PROMOTES RECOGNITION.
People tend to do business with companies they are familiar with, whether physically or online. If your branding is consistent and easy to recognise, it can help people feel more at ease when purchasing your products or services.
2. YOUR BRAND HELPS SET YOU APART FROM THE COMPETITION.
In today’s global market, it is critical to stand apart from the crowd. You are no longer competing on a local stage, your organisation now competes in the global economy, where choices and alternatives are readily available to your customers. How do you stand out from the thousands or millions of similar organisations around the world? The same applies within a local market too.
3. YOUR BRAND TELLS PEOPLE ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS DNA.
Your full brand experience; from the visual elements like your logo or website to the way that your phones are answered, tell your customer about the kind of company that you are. Are all of these touchpoints telling the right story about your organisation?
4. YOUR BRAND PROVIDES MOTIVATION AND DIRECTION FOR YOUR STAFF.
A clear brand strategy provides the clarity that your staff needs to be successful. It tells them how to act, how to succeed, and how to strive to meet the goals of your organisation.
5. A STRONG BRAND GENERATES REFERRALS.
People love to tell others about the brands they like. People wear brands, eat brands, listen to brands, and they’re constantly telling others about the brands they love. On the flip side, you can’t tell someone about a brand you can’t remember. Additionally, a strong brand website strategy, like backlinks, is critical to generating referrals or viral traffic. This is more technical and don’t worry we can look after this for our clients!
6. A STRONG BRAND HELPS CUSTOMERS KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT.
A brand that is consistent and clear puts the customer at ease. They know exactly what to expect each and every time they experience the brand. Think of successful global brands such as Coco-Cola, Disney, Apple but equally so, SMEs and start-ups need a strong brand. A great example of this is Dorking Brewery who we worked with on a brand refresh image when they relaunched after a change of ownership.
7. YOUR BRAND REPRESENTS YOU AND YOUR PROMISE TO YOUR CUSTOMER.
It is important to remember that your brand represents you…you are the brand, your staff are the brand, your marketing materials are the brand. What do they say about you, and what do they say about what you’re going to deliver (and promise) to your customers?
8. YOUR BRAND HELPS YOU CREATE CLARITY AND STAY FOCUSED.
It’s very easy to jump around from idea to idea with nothing to guide you – clients have told us it can seem overwhelming at times! It really doesn’t take long to veer from your original goals or plans. Or to forget what they originally were. A clear brand strategy helps you stay focused on your mission and vision as an organisation.Your brand can help you be strategic and will guide your marketing efforts saving time and money.
9. YOUR BRAND HELPS YOU CONNECT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS EMOTIONALLY.
Purchasing is an emotional experience (there are many studies into this which can be found online) and having a strong brand helps people feel good at an emotional level when they engage with the company. On your journey to work look out for how many brands you recognise which just proves the point it is not just large global brands (with equally large budgets!) who invest and nurture their brand image.
10. A STRONG BRAND PROVIDES YOUR BUSINESS VALUE.
A strong brand will provide value to your organization well beyond your physical assets. Something to consider if your long-term plan is to sell your business.
HOW STRONG IS YOUR BRAND?
The best branding is built on a strong idea… an idea that you and your staff can hold on to, can commit to, and can deliver upon. Your brand needs to permeate your entire organisation. When your organisation is clear on the brand and can deliver on the promise of the brand, you will see tremendous fruit while building brand loyalty among your customer base.
If you need assistance with your brand, from creating your initial brand strategy to the visual identity elements please get in touch with us… we’d love to help you identify and share your brand’s story!