We all live in a world of brands. They surround us everywhere, regardless of our desires. Using the word “brand” has become common when choosing what to buy or discussing a new purchase with friends. This term and its derivative, “branding,” is now used by almost everyone.
“Branding” has a lot of definitions. In essence, it means the process of building and developing a brand. A brand is a set of ideas, associations, images, and promises formed in the customer’s mind about a particular product or company in general. A brand is more than a company’s visual picture. It is a powerful but intangible asset that inspires emotions and penetrates to the depths of consumers’ collective subconscious.
By building a website, promoting your goods and services through various marketing channels, creating your corporate identity, and presenting it across all your social media accounts, you are shaping your company’s brand.
Establishing a strong brand image is half of your business’s success. The way customers evaluate a particular product affects their consumption behaviors. Customers usually trust big-name companies that have already earned a good reputation. Do you want to become such a company? Then this article is for you.
Why Is Branding Important?
In the 20th century, with the rise of brands, there was a common belief that branding is a privilege reserved only for mighty corporations, while small organizations could do with just a humble company name. The truth is that branding is an essential aspect of any business, especially a new one. Branding allows your business to become not just another company in the industry, but a company that offers something unique and meaningful. This is why small businesses can also benefit from branding and should make it the centerpiece of their promotion strategy.
The six key benefits branding can bring to the company are as follows:
- Branding determines the public perception of the product’s quality. A product from a strong brand and in branded packaging will always bear more significance for consumers. You can win the hearts of your target audience by offering reliable products with a quality warranty.
- Branding brings additional value to the goods and services, expressed in monetary terms. Thus, it increases the value and assets of the brand. If you work with the brand strategically, consumers will be willing to pay more for your product or service, as they will consider that your brand is worth it.
- A brand is an emotional trigger. The brand image evokes an array of impressions and associations in the consumer’s mind. The design of the product, its name, and logo create an emotional connection between the brand and the audience. Consumers may forget the product itself, but the impression it makes and its advertised image will leave an imprint in their minds. A brand capable of stirring up the customer’s emotions will always stand above competitors who are talking only about generic features and benefits.
- Branding helps your customers make a choice. Most consumers don’t like to spend much time choosing a product. Therefore, they usually choose a well-known and reliable trademark they trust. Selecting a product based on its quality or rational characteristics may sometimes be difficult if you are not an expert. And brands come to the rescue with their convincing and well-advertised USPs (unique selling propositions), making the choice so much easier.
- A strong brand engages employees. When you have a well-defined and attractive brand, people feel better about working for you. However, this is not a panacea, and branding can not fix your personnel issues if you have any. Still, employees are no different from customers. They want to know they are involved with something big. A distinct branding strategy accompanied by a clear internal communication strategy can turn your employees into brand ambassadors.
- A compelling brand attracts top talent to your company. Since the job market is so competitive today, and the labor pool is so thin, finding the right employees is becoming a real challenge. Nevertheless, with a strong brand that positions you as a winning company, you will have a better chance to find the ideal candidates to join your team.
Shaping Your Brand Equity
Consistent and strategic branding leads to positive brand equity. Famous American businesswoman Meg Whitman said:
“When people use your brand as a verb, that is remarkable.”
Google it. Skype your family. Xerox this document. Photoshop that picture. Sometimes we don’t even realize that we use brand names in everyday speech. However, to become a world-known brand, it takes years of hard work without any guarantees of success. The only thing that can be guaranteed in branding is a complete failure if your brand concept fails to resonate with your audience.
The following questions will help you evaluate your brand:
- Is your brand authentic?
- Does your brand relate to your audience? Why is your product important for your target audience?
- Does your brand reflect the values of your company?
- What emotions does your brand awaken in people?
- Does your brand inspire your employees to be its ambassadors?
- Does your brand have a distinctive positioning that sets it apart from competitors?
- Have you defined the proper market for your brand that is right for today and the future?
We recommend you to refer to these questions as guidelines when developing your brand. If you are not sure about the answers, you should probably consider revamping some of your branding elements.
Leverage Branding to Boost Your Business!
Branding is an intricate process mainly because its outcome is determined by your customers’ perception of your product and business in general. Consistent branding can help you increase your company’s value, reinforce your position in the marketplace, and achieve your marketing goals. No matter how big or small your company is right now, a well-thought-out branding strategy will pave the way to a more profitable, lucrative business.