A business’s branding is more important than you may think. At first glance, your brand may seem like it consists only of elements such as colors, fonts, and logos, but in reality, your brand is the entire identity of your business. Your brand gives your business personality, making it easier for people to identify with your business and resonate with your mission.
Although branding has always been an important part of business, it’s even more vital today. With social media, consumers are crowded with new brands every day. This is beneficial for consumers because it gives them plenty of options to choose from at a click of a button. However, for businesses, it makes it much harder to stand out from competitors. Now more than ever, companies need to go the extra mile to make a name for themselves and ensure they stand apart.
Creating a strong brand
According to Investopedia, the term brand refers to a business and marketing concept that helps people identify a particular product, company, or individual. Brands are intangible, which means you can’t see or touch them, but they still have a significant influence over consumers. Having a brand is just the basis of branding. The act of marketing and actively shaping your brand in the public eye is known as branding. There are elements of branding that you’ll need to establish in order to influence how your business is perceived by customers:
- Brand guidelines
- Mission statement
- Brand values
- & more
From these building blocks, a strong brand image can be created. This will give consumers a clear idea of what your business does, what you stand for, how you can support them, and whether they can trust you or not. In order to further solidify your presence as a strong brand in the market extra steps need to be taken to create brand awareness. According to Investopedia, brand awareness is a marketing term that describes the degree of consumer recognition of a product by its name.
Here are a few ways to build brand awareness:
- Take part in brand partnerships
- Start a podcast
- Develop a voice for your brand
- Maximize your organic social media presence
- Use native advertising
The ability to create brand awareness is what will help further distinguish your business and product from the competition. Creating brand awareness is a step of branding that is often skipped by businesses, but it is a vital part of success.
The importance of branding for your business
The difference between businesses that fail and those that succeed is good branding. As stated above, branding is important because it allows your clients and consumers to build an understanding of what to expect from your business. Today, many still reduce the concept of branding to its aesthetic component: visual identity. This assumption is far from the truth. A strong brand strategy has many benefits that can take your business to the next level.
Branding increases the value of your business
When working to generate future business branding is important. A strongly established brand can increase a business’s value by giving them more leverage within its respective industry. Because of its firmly established place in the marketplace, it makes the business more attractive to investors. Research shows that when people are sold on a brand, they represent it with everything they have. The brand becomes a part of what they do and who they are. For example, Iphone owners are loyal to the Apple brand and tend to own other apple products. While there are plenty of other electronic devices available to purchase from competitors, they still prefer Apple products over any other product simply because of the brand.
Overall, a strong reputation translates to a strong brand which, in turn, increases its value. That value can mean influence and increase the price premium. The brand is a piece of the business that holds monetary value in itself. Branding must have a place of its own on a business’s balance sheet because it significantly increases the value of a business.
Branding creates trust within the marketplace
Ultimately, a brand’s reputation boils down to the amount of trust customers have in it. If consumers don’t trust the product, they are less likely to become repeat customers The more trust a consumer puts in a brand, the stronger its reputation becomes Having trust in a brand influences consumers at every age, income level, gender, and geographical location. Approximately 81% of buyers think about the brand and assess it before deciding to purchase or not.
Having strong branding can make all the difference when a consumer is comparing your business to a competitor. Branding searches for the right way to earn and maintain a certain level of trust between the stakeholders and the company. This is accomplished by making a promise and creating a plan to position the brand in a certain way in the market to make that promise come true. If the promise is delivered on, trust built between the consumer and the business.
Improves job satisfaction among employees
When an employee works for a company that is well branded and they truly stand alongside the brand they will ultimately be more satisfied with their job. They will also have a deeper sense of pride in the work that they do. Working for a brand that has a proven track record of success is more enjoyable and employees are more likely to go above and beyond what is expected.
The stakeholders of a brand are not just clients, they are employees as well. Keep in mind that employees are the first line of communication for any brand and act as the first brand ambassadors. Commerce is based on human interaction and interacting with satisfied employees can positively influence consumers. Employees that stand behind the brand they represent will have greater influence further down the line with clients and partners they interact with. This can also translate into more involvement, better leadership, and better products and services.
Branding generates new clientele
A huge part of success for any business is receiving referrals from current customers. Strong branding generally means there is a lasting positive impression of the company amongst consumers, and they are more likely to do business with you again because of the familiarity and dependability of using a name they have grown to trust. Once a brand is fully established, people will keep coming back and ultimately generate more business.
Just like with the reputation of a person, the reputation of a brand is the first thing on a consumer’s mind. Unfortunately, a brand’s reputation can be tainted almost instantaneously. For example, in 2014 the American lingerie company, Victoria’s Secret, received backlash following the launch of an ad campaign using the slogan “The Perfect Body”. The ad featured ultrathin supermodels and implied the “perfect body” was flawless and thin. Consumers gave the brand heat online, and over 30,000 people signed a petition for the company to apologize and correct the insensitive ad. Victoria’s Secret responded by changing the slogan to “A Body for Every Body”, even though no changes were made to the image. Consumers did see this as a small step in the right direction for the company, and for the most part, the company was able to recover. Although there were recent reports of bullying and harassment of employees and models.
This goes to show that once a certain perception of a brand is established word of mouth will quickly pass the perception on and further reinforce or tarnish the reputation of that brand. If it is a positive reputation, the door is opened for potential new customers. However, if the reputation is a negative one the business could suffer a loss in revenue and lose clientele.
Standing out is the key to a successful business
You don’t want your customers who recognize your brand to just be one-time consumers. You want them along for the long haul. Setting your business apart and creating a well-known brand name is the best way to accomplish that.
As discussed above, the benefits of good branding are priceless. With an oversaturated market, finding ways to stand out in the crowd and building relationships with your audience plays a big part in the success of your business. The one thing you should keep in mind is that branding is a verb. It is an action that will keep repeating itself. So, while it may seem like a daunting task at first – considering all of the assets, planning, and personnel that goes into crafting an unforgettable brand – it’s also empowering. Telling your story through your business will keep people coming back and ensure the long-term success of your business.