Marketing gets you seen,
Branding gets you recognized!
Social media has given consumers exposure to new brands every day! Unfortunately, though it’s good on the consumers’ part — since they now have various options, it is getting quite hard for brands to stand out from the crowd.
In short, your marketing can get you to consumers, but your Branding will get them to recognize you.
Now you got it why Branding is important for a brand, right?
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of Branding for a business, its importance, some of the proven branding strategies in marketing, and Branding for small businesses.
But, before moving any further, let’s understand more about Branding.
Read Also : IMPORTANCE OF BLOGS FOR PERSONAL BRANDING
What is Branding?
Oberlo sums it up perfectly — “Branding is the process of creating a strong, positive perception of a company, its products or services in the customer’s mind by combining such elements as logo, design, mission statement, and a consistent theme throughout all marketing communications.”
In short, Branding is everything your consumers look, feel & hear from you.
Importance of Branding for a Business
Branding has numerous benefits, most of which depend on business. Here are some common benefits that your business can have from Branding:
It’s the most common of the benefits of Branding, and we’ve discussed a use case for it in our introduction. So let’s discuss more on the topic.
If you think offering a tangible product is Branding, we’d like to tell you that Branding goes well past that.
Brand Recognition is based on its visual & apparent features. So how can you make your brand stand out — distinct logo, attractive colours, other visual elements, and tone & voice?
It would help if you gave your target consumers something worth wondering about so your brand sticks out positively. Then, once those consumers are in need or search for your category, there’s a good chance they’ll reach out to you.
Builds Consumers’ Trust
Ultimately, a company’s reputation is determined by how much trust its customers have in it.
However, trust isn’t that easy to gain, especially if you don’t have Branding included in your marketing strategy.
Many look for that instant connection with a brand when we see it on our feeds or on media. This level of personalization is easy to establish with Branding. Hence, if your brand is missing out on Branding, this could be a red flag to those expectant.
Branding conveys to your prospects that you’re an established, credible business and what they can expect from you in a personalized way.
Without this personalization, these are merely words, and words alone can’t build & develop trust.
Creates Brand Loyalty
As conveyed in the above point, Branding is the easiest way to establish an emotional connection with your existing customers.
As I always say — Good Branding captures attention. Great Branding establishes the connection.
It is the reason why your customers come back to you time & time again, and not just for once.
Not only does great Branding help you get repetitive customers, but it also generates referrals.
Because people love to tell others about the brands they like, after all, you can’t tell someone about a brand you can’t remember.
Increases Business Value
Did you know that a brand holds monetary value in itself?
Yes, you heard it right! A brand is also a business asset and has a place on a business’s balance sheet as it adds to the company’s overall worth.
John Stuart, previous CEO of Quaker, sums it up perfectly — “If the business splits up and I give you the land, bricks, and cement, and take the goodwill and trademarks, I’d still stand better than you.”
A strong brand is always a lucrative opportunity for investors because it has firmly established itself in the industry.
Also, a well-recognized brand can command higher prices than the competition. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for a well-established brand compared to a not-so-well-established brand for almost the same product quality.
Furthermore, when you’re a well-established & well-known brand, your suppliers don’t want to lose you, as you drive profits for them. So it puts you in a position to bargain over the prices also.
Keeps Competition at Bay
Ask yourself this question: Why do BMW, Audi & Mercedes compete with each other but not Rolls Royce?
The answer is simple. Rolls Royce has established itself as a leader in the ultra-luxury car segment. However, it is evident that when normal people think of a super luxury car, most think of Rolls Royce only.
Your Branding is what can save you as well as sail you in this highly competitive market. Once you get it right, you don’t need to be afraid of the competition because now you have a consumer base who trusts you & are loyal to your brand.
Branding for Small Businesses
The first challenge that comes before small businesses is how to create a brand identity. There needs to be some distinction between you & your competition. Otherwise, you will look like any other brick in the wall.
However, when they start, many businesses don’t exactly know what brand identity is. They often use style guides, marketing materials, or colour palettes as brand identity.
So let’s understand what a brand identity is.
Brand identity, in simpler terms, is the culmination of how your brand looks, feels, and communicates to customers.
By aligning these things to your target audience, you can create a strong brand identity for your brand that people will remember for a long time.
So how do you get to this?
Research, research, research
The secret to a brand identity that resonates with your prospects often lies in research.
A deep understanding of your prospects’ likes and dislikes, hobbies, and values helps you create your ideal buyer personas.
Now move to the competition research to know how your competitors are positioning themselves in terms of visual elements, personalities, and themes.
At last, take feedback from the people closest to your brand — Your employees. We’re sure they have a lot to add on how the company should be portrayed, and what has and hasn’t worked in the past.
So now that you’re done with the research, it’s time to put that into work.
Start translating all your learnings into visuals. Here are some of the common brand assets:
- Colour palettes
- Photography and graphics (for marketing campaigns, and other purposes)
- Style guide (a detailed guide on logo usage, voice & tone of your brand, etc.)
A word of advice here — follow the 3C rule.
- Clarity: Be clear in the interaction with your customers. Make sure that your communication, whether through visual elements or verbal, is delivering exactly the information you want to convey.
- Consistency: There should be consistency in your voice & tone across each & everywhere you’re interacting with your customers — Whether it’s your website, billboard, Twitter & whatnot.
- Commitment: Understand that creating brand identity takes time & commitment, and it’s not something that can be achieved overnight.
Define your Brand Story
People, by nature, relate more to stories than any other thing. So if you can tell your brand story in a way that people can relate to, it will cement your brand identity.
Here are some common questions that your brand story should answer for it to be more relatable:
- What does your brand believe in?
- What pain points does your product or service ease?
- Why did you decide that your business should ease those pains?
- Where do you see your business going?
Remember, your brand story is not about an elevator pitch. It’s rather about how your brand relates to people and why it exists in the first place.
Iterate and refine
No one can get the brand identity right on the first attempt. Go with the one you’ve decided, and based on the feedback you get along the way, you can analyze and change it to what works best.