Building a Brand for your business is more important than many people think. Forget the logo and the fancy fonts and colours for a minute but instead think more about how your business is perceived by those that come into contact with it and buy from you.
Building brand strategy into your overall business strategy means that every decision you make is governed by a set of rules and questions ie does doing this one thing attribute to the overall brand we are trying to build and how we are perceived.
You need to take control of your brand at every stage in creative ways to get control of how your business is perceived, Without this close attention, people will make up their own minds very quickly.
Your reputation depends on what others say about your business so do you really want to leave this to chance? Here is why branding is important in business:
Better branding leads to better trust
By doing this well and consistently at every stage of your business builds trust. Your brand helps tell a story that they can buy into that shows not just what you do but more importantly why you do it. If you say or do one thing and someone else says you do another then this leads to doubt and confusion.
Lets go back to the logo and colours now. These visual cues to your brand builds up your branding and brand identity. To build trust in your brand further you need to work on your branding and it’s identity.
Ensure you display your logo in the same way each time, ensure your colours are correct and consistent in everything you produce and ensure you use the same fonts across all marketing comms.
Doing this consistently and with purpose will lead to better recognition and brand awareness. When done well, people will be able to start to recognise your brand from one single element like the McDonalds example below.
Build your brand from the inside out
Many people believe that Branding is one way street and just about attracting the right customers to your business. However branding can provide greater value when you focus efforts internally as well as externally. Happy energised employees are the key to any successful business and your brand has a key part to play in this too.
Make every person accountable to the success of the brand. Ensure everyone understands the brands values, it’s mission and purpose. Include them in key decisions and discussions. Branding your working environment can also have a big part in giving employees a sense of belonging and unity. Building the right culture for your brand has a huge impact on how your brand is perceived from the outside and helps attract not just the right customers, but employees that want to work with you over any one else or stakeholders that want to be part of your exciting journey.
Remember I said earlier that brand strategy should go hand in hand with your business strategy? By going through this process it makes business decisions such as who to hire or even who does not quite fit in the company a much easier decision to make. Happier engaged employees ultimately leads to better staff retention and loyalty.
Better branding leads to better and more targeted marketing
No one likes wasting money on marketing spend but when your brand and branding is not rock solid then your marketing may not be hitting the right mark with the right people or even attracting the wrong type of people.
By getting laser focused on your branding you can ensure consistency, not only with the initial first impression of a particular ad campaign but the journey and following touch points they experience once they click that button, give you a call or visit you instore.
Remember marketing creates the interest in you product or service, branding is that gut feeling they get that makes them want to buy.
Branding helps build your tribe.
Your tribe is a group of loyal customers or raving fans. The ones who not only repeatedly buy your products or services but actively endorse you at every given opportunity. People become raving fans when they feel that they can relate to the business on a personal or emotional level. Do they share the same beliefs or values? Do they understand their needs or problems.
Harley Davidson have a very loyal tribe. they understand what their customers want and use their branding to support that. Harley Davidson bikes are not the fastest or most powerful on the market and are overpriced compared to competitor bike brands. But Harley fans are not fussed about numbers or high speed but buy their bikes because of how it makes them feel - the roar and rumble of the loud engine, the rugged tough image, long trips along open roads.
Better branding leads to bigger business profits
Branding is often seen as a bit of a fluffy and an unnecessary exercise that comes with a high investment but with no measurable ROI nor featured on any balance sheets.
Markets are getting more and more competitive these days. If you are not actively and consistently working on your branding then it becomes harder to differentiate your self and often you will fall into the trap of competing on price.
Only one competitor can be the cheapest, the others have to use branding. Marty Neumeier
A few years ago according to the Interbrand list of top 100 global brands by valuation, Coca-Colas total market cap was $120 billion. However the brand value was valued at nearly $70million, Therefore it's brand alone accounts for more than 60% of its total market cap.
Obviously there are many factors at play here with a business and brand such as Coca-Cola but if you are able to actively work on building your brand the right way by studying it, measuring it, managing it and influencing it rather than just letting it all happen by chance then suddenly branding is right up there on the list of important things that will help drive profits and future growth