Branding is much more than a logo or a single graphic element associated with your organization.
When you think about your brand you need to think about your logo, website and social media. Also the way you email, the way you take photos, the way you present yourself in meetings and how your staff interacts with customers. Your brand is the heart and soul of your business and what it stands for, it’s your complete offering.
Concisely put it how your customers perceive you.
It’s important that you be aware of your branding and how you’re perceived as you want to be interacting with the right clients and interacting with how that demographic intends to be interacted with. A good brand doesn’t just happen, it’s careful planning and when you look at a brand like Nike you feel the way they want you to feel.
Branding in small businesses is often overlooked and the time is never taken to assess how you are perceived by your customers and what impact this is having on your business. If your aesthetic doesn’t appeal to your target demographic you DON’T have an effective brand.
Let’s take a look at 10 reasons why you need to seriously consider your branding
1. Branding promotes recognition:-
Customers tend to go with what they know and use reliable companies they recognize.
If your branding is consistent across all mediums it makes you easy to identify and generates trust, helping customers to purchase your products or service.
People tend to do business with companies they are familiar with, whether physically or online.
2. Your brand helps set you apart from the competition:- If you look like everyone else what makes you stand out?
Locally you might be okay but looking at a larger scale what makes you stand out from the hundreds/ thousands of others doing the same thing you are? You are not always competing locally with today’s ever growing technological world; you are competing with global organizations.
In today’s global market, it is critical to stand apart from the crowd. You are no longer competing on a local stage; your organization now competes in the global economy, where choices and alternatives are readily available to your customers. How do you stand out from the thousands or millions of similar organizations around the world? The same applies within a local market too.
3. Your brand tells people about your business DNA:- Having a brand that reflects you can go a long way in a customer’s first impressions. Your full brand experience; from the visual elements like your logo or website to the way that your phones are answered, tell your customer about the kind of company that you are. Are all of these touching points telling the right story about your organization?
4. Your brand provides motivation and direction for your staff:-
Having a strong direction for you and your staff to follow is a key in order to be successful. Giving them direction on how to act and how to ultimately portray the company’s a goal, gives people something to buy into and when they interact with you they know it’s you they are interacting with and also gives you a place to aim for with your goals. A clear brand strategy provides the clarity that your staff needs to be successful. It tells them how to act, how to succeed, and how to strive to meet the goals of your organization.
5. A strong brand generates referrals:-
People love to tell others about the brands they like. Brand names are everywhere we look and people buy into the brand not the product itself. People wear brands, eat brands, listen to brands, and they’re constantly telling others about the brands they love. On the flip side, you can’t tell someone about a brand you can’t remember. Additionally, a strong brand website strategy, like back links, is critical to generating referrals or viral traffic. This is more technical and don’t worry we can look after this for our clients!
6. A strong brand helps customers know what to expect:- A brand that has a clear vision of which they are puts a customer at ease as they know exactly what to expect each and every time they experience your brand. A brand that is consistent and clear puts the customer at ease. They know exactly what to expect each and every time they experience the brand. Think of successful global brands such as Coco-Cola, Disney, Apple but equally so, SMEs and start-ups need a strong brand. A great example of this is Dorking Brewery who we worked with on a brand refresh image when they are relaunched after a change of ownership.
7. Your brand represents you and your promise to your customers:-
This is often over looked but branding actually flows into the people as well as the physical materials often associated with branding. It is important to remember that your brand represents you, you are the brand, your staff are the brand, your marketing materials are the brand. What do they say about you, and what do they say about what you’re going to deliver (and promise) to your customers?
8. Your brand helps you create clarity and stay focused:- It’s easy to stray off down the garden path with idea to idea when you don’t know where you’re going. Often when you head down this path you get lost and confused and end up a long way from where you set out and in the wrong direction. A clear strategy helps guide you and your staff to stay focused on the mission of your brand. A good brand can help save time and money by guiding your marketing efforts more effectively.
9. Your brand helps you to emotionally connect with customers:-
A good brand connects with their ideal niche on an emotional level helping them feel good when they interact with the brand. Purchasing is an emotional experience (there are many studies into this which can be found online) and having a strong brand helps people feel good at an emotional level when they engage with the company. On your journey to work look out for how many brands you recognize which just prove the point it is not just large global brands (with equally large budgets!) that invest and nurture their brand image.
10. A strong brand provides your business value:- A strong brand will provide value to your organization well beyond your physical assets. Think of some the brands you interact with daily. Are they really worth their assets?
No, these brands are worth a lot more than their physical assets, their brands have created a value that far exceeds the physical value.
The best brands are built on a strong foundation, a foundation that you can implement across all aspects of your business that you and your staff can deliver on.
When your business has a clear direction of who they are and who they want to communicate with, you will wreak the fruits of your labor, building brand loyalty in your customer base.