In today’s ever-growing market, we all know it is crucial (and sometimes challenging) to stand out from a crowd, especially now that the hub works on a global scale. A brand helps to set you apart from your competition while maintaining customer loyalty to your company and product or services. Branding builds the financial value of your company and, if done well, can reward you with lifelong consumers. If your business is not actively branding, you could be missing out on endless benefits that materialize with a powerful brand.
What is Branding?
Branding is a fundamental way for companies to build value in their product. A strong brand provides your business with value by operating as an experience, as opposed to just a trademark.
Branding goes far beyond a graphic component or a reputable logo - when you create your brand, you need to consider the entire customer encounter, including website, social media, and employees. Essentially, your brand is the way your customer perceives you and the experience they have with your business. Branding promotes recognition, which is crucial as people have a tendency to do business with companies they are more familiar with. If your branding is recognizable and a consistently enjoyable experience, it will help consumers feel more comfortable using your product or services.
It is important to remember that your brand represents your company in every aspect, from your staff to your marketing materials. It helps you create a perspective of clarity and stay focused on your goals, mission, and vision as an organization. The full brand experience tells your consumer about the kind of business that you are, which means you want to be telling the right story about your company.
Significance of Branding
Your brand tells people about the DNA, the purpose, of your business.
A quality brand creates user loyalty while motivating the consumer to buy. It confirms your credibility and clearly delivers the message that your business is what they need, and they will never feel the need to look to the competition.
A clear brand strategy provides the direction that your staff needs to succeed by guiding them in how to meet your organization’s goals. Not only does it help give your employees clear direction, but a brand that is straightforward and consistent also helps the customer know exactly what to expect each and every time.
Additionally, many employees need more than just work - they need something to keep them inspired and goal-oriented, something to work toward. How hard would you work for a company if your values didn’t align with theirs? When your mission and brand resonate with your employees, they are more likely to feel the same pride and the desire to work toward the goals of your organization.
Branding + Marketing Strategy
Brands act as a strategic guide to marketing efforts, which ends up saving your business time and money in the long run. Marketing is what you use to get your brand in front of potential consumers.
One of the major components of your brand is your logo because it directly affects recognition by the consumer and is essentially the “face” of your company. A logo should be stately and influential; simple enough to be easily memorable, but effective enough to give off the impression you want your business to be known for. The goal here is to have your consumers experience an emotional reaction, as those reactions are extremely substantial influencers. People are more likely to purchase from a business that is recognizable and polished, all beginning with your logo.
Advertising is another key factor of your brand to consider. If you have too narrow an advertising focus, your business risks losing an opportunity to expand into new markets. If you have too broad a focus, then your company could fail to create a tangible impression of your brand in potential consumers. While it can be challenging to find the right middle ground in advertising, the benefits are indisputable.
Good branding connects with people at an emotional level, so that they feel good when they buy the brand and want to tell people about it. This helps consumers to engage with the company and have a heightened buying experience. Word of mouth referrals are only possible in a situation where your company has delivered a memorable experience with your customer.
Think about some of the most iconic companies in the marketplace - Budweiser, for example. They rank in the top 25 on Forbes World's Most Valuable Brands List due to their strategic brand marketing commercials, which centralizes around hard-working individuals, full hearts (who can resist tearing up during their Clydesdale commercials?), and the wholesome spirit of America. Budweiser’s branding not only makes their product feel relatable, but also triggers an emotional reaction that people remember long after the commercial ends. Budweiser has been using Clydesdales as a branding technique for over 80 years, which proves that this strategy is reliable and successful.
Branding Means Direction
One of the key factors of branding is not just getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but by getting them to see you as the sole provider or solution to what they need. This allows consumers and businesses alike to both receive what they desire - a quality, trusted product for the consumer, and a loyal customer for the business.
Longevity is another important factor to consider when branding. Products have life cycles, so brands have to outlive products to a point where, regardless of the deliverable, consumers will trust that your company will fulfill their needs.
Branding builds financial value in your organization, so think analytically about how you want to be regarded and what will deliver the most effective results. That being said, it is important to not try and appeal to every single person - you know what they say, “You can’t please everyone,” and this holds just as true in branding. Rather than sticking with a vague audience, focus on the niche target market for your product.
Another prime example of exemplary branding is Nike, which was founded in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports and rebranded as Nike Inc. in 1971. The famous curved line that goes thicker at one end initially had the company name included in the logo, but after over 50 years, it has simply become the “Swoosh.” The Nike brand is so notorious that the logo doesn’t even require the company’s name - minimalism at it’s finest.
This is the direction you should aim to move towards when branding as an organization.
The best branding is built on a strong idea, something that you and your team can commit to and deliver on. Your brand needs to be felt through your entire organization - when a business is clear on a brand and can deliver that promise, loyalty among your customer base will follow suit. The most profitable companies, regardless of their size, all have one thing in common: they have established themselves as a leader in their particular industry by building a powerful, memorable brand.
One of the easiest way to boost your branding in this day and age is through online marketing - utilizing your website and social media platforms is the simplest way to show customers the voice of your company. A powerful brand is essential to generating referrals or viral traffic.
If you want people to recognize your organization and have an emotional connection to their experience with you, let them see the personality of your company by utilizing the infinite customizable opportunities of online marketing. Contact our specialists today to learn more about how we can boost your branding for 2017!