What The Heck Is Branding And Why Is It So Important?
Beyond just a memorable logo, good branding increases the value of a company, provides employees with direction and motivation, and makes acquiring new customers easier. So what exactly is a brand? The short answer is: everything.
Branding, by definition, is a marketing practice in which a company creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company. This helps to identify a product and distinguish it from other products and services. Branding is the nuanced art of actively shaping your brand. With creativity, skill and strategy, a brand can establish an identity that sets itself apart from the competition and sparks a connection with its audience.
5 Reasons Why A Good Brand Is a Must-Have for Any Business
Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers but it allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from the competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice. Your brand is built to be a true representation of who you are as a business, and how you wish to be perceived.
- Creates recognition among your target market
- Inspires a sense of trust
- Your company will be memorable
- Increases revenue
- Branding isn’t only external, internal branding is just as important
1. Builds Brand Awareness with Your Consumers
An important reason to create consistent branding and marketing is building awareness. Customers are significantly more likely to purchase from a brand they recognize for their consistent image and content schedule, so make sure to maintain both with some regularity. Your digital and visual content should be uniform so that your audience knows what to look for, and should be posted at similar times so they know when to look. Your visual content should stick to the same color theme, photo quality, and logo placement, and your digital materials should be consistent with that. Brand and marketing consistency helps to build awareness that allows the customer to easily and immediately recognize your brand.
2. Inspires a Sense of Trust
If you had a friend that regularly broke plans, missed your phone calls, and didn’t return important texts, you probably wouldn’t have a lot of faith in that person, right?
Customers are 71% more likely to purchase from a brand or company that they trust (Source: Global Banking and Finance), so much like a friendship, building a reputable image is extremely important to your business. Being trustworthy is a major element of a successful brand, and establishing that will help to build brand and marketing consistency. Posting your content on a regular basis at similar times, utilizing the same platforms for specific purposes, and keeping messaging consistent will help to build trust.
3. It Makes You Memorable
The power of repetition is seen everywhere, from the movies to the classroom. It’s the reason why flashcards, lists, and mnemonic devices are so effective—the more often people see, hear, or experience something, the more likely they are to remember it. We can all recall jingles we’ve seen on TV a thousand times and printed logos that appear in digital and print media simply because of the sheer number of times we’ve been exposed to it.
If you want your brand to be memorable, make your messaging consistent and frequent. The more often your customers and potential customers see your advertisements and branding, the consistent and memorable your brand will appear.
4. Increases Revenue
Did you know that the average revenue increase attributed to brand consistency is 23%?
When customers buy your product or service, the experience they receive is what persuades them to buy from you again. By preferring to buy what your company offers, they are increasing the value of your brand. Customer loyalty to your brand helps you penetrate your market more effectively and maintain or increase market share.
A number of companies have successfully created a brand that stands out in customer’s minds. Their brands have a positive association, a recognized name, and a higher perceived value than their competitors. Customers are willing to spend more money on brands that they know & love and are loyal to than brands that may have the same quality items, but are lesser known.
Some brands have achieved great success from great branding. Brand-giants such as Coca Cola have profited not only from their soft drinks, but from a host of other merchandise such as fridges, clothing items and much more.
Source: Coke Store
Other companies that have created successful brand awareness:
5. Employer Branding
Your company also has a second brand related to its primary brand about how you’re viewed as an employer. This is your employer brand, and it lives and breathes in the minds and hearts of your former, current, and future employees.
Building a reputable brand will help you retain long term staff and recruit future employees. Your employer brand should inspire your employees and instill loyalty within them towards your company. It should also inspire people who aren’t (yet) employed at your company, to want to work there, imagine aspiring tech gurus dreaming about working at Google or Facebook when they grow up.
In today’s increasingly competitive job market, a positive employer brand is critical. Without one, hiring and retaining the best employees becomes challenging.
You can learn more about the in’s and out’s of Employer Branding.
How to develop a strong brand identity:
There are many aspects that are used to develop a brand, including:
- Logo & Corporate Identity;
- Customer Service;
- Promotional Merchandise;
- And Reputation.
All of these elements work together to create one unique and (hopefully) attention-grabbing professional profile.
How to develop a strong brand identity:
Have you ever walked past a billboard, heard an advertisement on TV, or seen an ad on social media and automatically knew what company it was for? Yes? This is what makes brand consistency one of the most crucial parts of building a successful business.
As a company, this is what you should always strive for, to be immediately recognizable by your target audience. You could say brand consistency is marketing at a higher level.
And choosing consistent brand colors can increase recognition by up to 80%! Those statistics can make a huge difference within your business.
We know that consumers prefer brands that remain consistent in their messaging, logos, and marketing efforts, so make sure you aren’t missing the mark. A great way to guarantee that is by developing a set of brand guidelines, which can include everything from a description of tone and voice, to social media examples, to the hex codes of your logo. The more specific your brand guidelines, the more accurate consistent your brand assets can be, which will help generate more revenue for your business.
If You Can Recognise It At A Glance - You’re Doing It Right
If you catch yourself looking at the same visual elements, the same layouts, and the same color schemes for your marketing collateral, you’re on the right track. For those exposed to these brand elements day after day, it tends to get a bit boring for marketers – but that means it’s all the more likely to establish brand recognition in the minds of your target customers.
Giving your customers a reliable experience, in addition to making sure your voice and tone are consistent will help to bring new and returning customers to your business. Consumers prefer a dependable brand and marketing strategy that incorporates all aspects of your business, from your social platforms, to your logo, to your print media. The key to a successful marketing strategy is making sure your messaging is consistent and memorable.
What’s the latest? The Value of Company Values!
Never underestimate the impact that a little Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can have for your company. Being a socially responsible company can bolster a company’s image and build its brand. Companies are being judged more harshly now than ever by their impact on the world around them. As consumers are becoming more conscious of their environmental and social impact, companies have to as well.
Companies like IKEA have gained additional support from consumers for being one of the most eco-friendly large companies in the world. You can have a look at the most eco-friendly companies and most philanthropic companies in the world below:
Most Philanthropic Companies:
- Bank of America
- JPMorgan Chase
- Goldman Sachs
- Wells Fargo
- Gilead Sciences
Most Eco-Friendly Companies:
- Seventh Generation
- New Belguim Brewing
Some clear benefits of corporate social responsibility are:
- Improved public image.
- Increased brand awareness and recognition.
- Cost savings. (For example using less packaging will reduce costs)
- An advantage over competitors.
- Increased customer engagement.
- Greater employee engagement.
PS. Don’t forget to create a Brand/Style Guideline!
Like most brands you have a variety of professionals hailing from different functions who are creating brand materials in some way or another, this may even include brand ambassadors. Make sure to provide easy access to the most up-to-date, approved brand materials – such as logos, templates, images, and sometimes even copy. This is vital to ensuring brand consistency.
Have a look at some examples of brand style guides below:
Never underestimate the importance of branding!
At the end of the day, branding is what will define your company to your audience. It is what your customers recognise, what they connect with and good branding can set you light years ahead of your competitors.
Building a relevant brand is an iterative, long-term process that responds to trends and shifting circumstances. Staying in touch with how your customers feel and how their needs may be changing — as well as what competitors are doing — will ensure your brand stays relevant long into the future.