We untangle the term “branding” for you, and share seven reasons why building your brand is key to building a great business.
For a small business owner to succeed in today’s competitive jungle, you need to learn to juggle multiple tasks at once. Unfortunately…
The power of branding is usually one of the most misunderstood parts of a business, or worse, forgotten entirely.
But don’t sweat it. That’s what we’re here for.
Table of contents
7 reasons why branding is important
What is branding?
We have two definitions for you.
1. Branding is the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.
2. The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.
For those visual learners out there. Here’s a quick graphic to help you wrap your brain around the branding and the key components.
What are the four pillars of branding?
And when you put it all together?
OK, maybe one last definition from no other than, Mr. Jeff Bezos himself, CEO & Founder of Amazon.com.
Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.
Now that we have covered the basics, let’s dig a little deeper and take a look at the seven reasons why branding is a gamechanger for your business.
1. Make The Right First Impression
One of the most important things to consider about branding is that it’s usually the first thing people see when they come across your business.
Very much like when you first meet a person. The first impression is what often shapes their identity. Even subtle details on a subconscious level can make the difference in whether you feel a connection to that brand or person, or not.
Hence, every touchpoint that connects you with potential clients should voice your brand.
The more they know and experience about who you are, the more trust and connection they’ll feel for what you offer.
No matter if you offer a product or a service.
Professional branding positions your business in the best possible way, helping you make a lasting impression and connection with your audience,
Which leads to new and loyal customers and increased profit margins.
Depending on your industry, there are many ways to make a positive first impression through branding.
Imagine you’re a restaurant owner and you want to increase awareness for your business by promoting in the local area. Like most restaurants owners, you decide to display your logo on your restaurant’s walls and windows.
And why stop there?
Take it a step further by putting your logo on the bags or boxes used when people are ordering take-out.
Branding is all about giving your logo legs so more people see it.
All of this and more helps to create a professional presence to make your restaurant more recognizable. Imagery can cultivate strong brand awareness and increase revenue.
But what if your logo is mediocre and gets ignored, or worse, causes you to lose credibility?
Keep reading, we know your struggle very well!
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2. Represent What You Are All About
Recognition aside, branding is also a great way to tell people who you are and what you stand for.
Let us explain.
Your brand is an extension of you and your business. With that being said, messaging and visual identity play an essential role in how people perceive you. When people come across your business, it should be clear why they should do business with you…
And not your competition.
Professional branding helps communicate your mission, vision and identity!
Amazon is a super powerful brand. Not only does the arrow in their logo point from A to Z, (representing the fact that you can find just about anything at their store) it also forms a smile as their ultimate goal is to have happy customers.
The commercial below shows Amazon telling their story in a compelling way so that people can see what they stand for.
More on how branding and advertising go hand in hand later in the E-book.
3. Creates Trust
Without a doubt…
People first need to know, trust, and connect with your business before they choose to buy from you or a competitor. A professional and credible brand and online presence immediately signals trustworthiness to people unfamiliar with your company.
Professional branding is essential to ensure that your business is portrayed in a polished way, highlighting the parts that best communicate your strengths to your target audience.
If your branding is super slick, there’s a good chance people will assume your products or services are also of high quality and dependability.
Give your customers a sense of pride for purchasing your products and associating with your brand, and they will become your greatest ambassadors. Customer’s proudly representing a company’s goods or services is a huge reason why aspirational brands like Apple and Nike are insanely successful.
So. What’s stopping you from becoming a global brand?
Yes, building a reputation takes time, but everyone needs to start somewhere, and branding is a marathon not a sprint. According to Action Card, people need to see your brand 5-7 times before they remember you.
INSERT GENERIC IMAGE ABOUT BRAND CONSISTENCY
Staying consistent with your look and messaging is key to making a lasting impression, and thus confirming that choosing your brand was the right decision.
Knowing your target audience goes a long way in creating trust with potential customers. The ideal brand strategy and messaging needs to be firmly rooted in who your ideal clients are.
The way you shape your brand personas (fictional characters that embody the traits your customers have) informs how you will communicate your brand identity.
And the other way round.
Know your customer to know your brand!
When you understand your brand and the audience you are targeting, you can fine-tune messaging and visuals in the best way possible. But we’ll get into all that later.
Branding is a dialogue, not a monologue!
A perfect example of this is the company Chubbies whose shorts started popping up on college campuses all over the US a few years ago.
Their social media platforms depict images of young men having a good time, college humor, and even memes!
While this isn’t typical for an apparel company, their strategy has worked well as they’ve built a brand that is very attractive to their ideal customer – young male college students.
4. Creates Loyal Customers
Building trust is key to a great brand and plays a huge role in creating an overall positive experience for your clients. It helps people connect on an emotional level, and associate your brand with their experience.
“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou – American writer and activist
Generating feelings of positivity and good vibes can go a long way in creating lasting relationships with customers.
When clients come to know what to expect from your business, they tend to come back again and again.
Keeping your messaging and visual assets consistent is key to building loyal followings and elevating your business above your competition.
People also like to share positive experiences with those they know, which can generate new business through word of mouth referrals, social media shares and branding.
Think about this for a moment.
People are four times more likely to buy something when referred by friends.
So, ask yourself.
Is my brand providing experiences and messaging worth talking about?
5. Increases Employee Pride and Satisfaction
In much the same way as a professional sports team brings its players together under a common flag and jersey to achieve their goals, a strong logo and brand can unite a whole company to support a single purpose.
Ever heard of the saying wearing your heart on your sleeve? If you haven’t, it means that you openly show your feelings or emotions rather than keeping them hidden.
So why not wear your brand on your sleeve, too? Proudly show people where you work and what you stand for through branded products like t shirts, which often is a cool welcome gift for your employees.
Because you don’t have to be working for Nike to proudly represent your logo, and the recent rise of company swag and online print houses proves our point brilliantly.
Always remember that…
Professional branding can make your employees feel as though they are a part of something bigger.
When your brand clearly communicates your vision and beliefs, your employees will be more likely to feel a sense of pride and belonging. Company uniforms are certainly taking it to the next level and we wouldn’t blindly recommend this for everyone.
But depending on the type of industry, employees that have uniforms in their workplace can experience an increased sense of job satisfaction. Satisfied employees generate more quality work, and working the best they can, translates into higher customer satisfaction.
Be it from direct sales, consulting or other…
Branding increases the experience your customer has with your brand via your employees.
6. Turbocharges Your Advertising
As we mentioned earlier, branding and advertising really go hand in hand. Advertising is a great avenue for promoting your business, and strong can do a lot of heavy lifting for you here.
Clear communication of your values and beliefs through professional branding makes it much easier for your message to be trusted and spread to grow your business.
This helps create effective advertising campaigns and ensures that people understand what you stand for, and actually believe your claims.
When it comes to advertising, there are a lot of different approaches a business can take.
However, it’s important to keep things consistent with the overall brand.
If one day Spotify just completely changed their visual language (see their brand guidelines here) from their famous green and change their tone of voice to something formal and out of touch with their customers, people would have difficulty recognizing their brand.
Remember, branding is a marathon, not a sprint.
You build credibility and a name for your company by staying consistent to your messaging and design. For a LOOONG time!
7. Increases Revenue
Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of the most successful brands in the world, Apple, Nike, Coca Cola are all valued far more than the worth of their physical assets.
This is because..
they’ve built brands that are easily recognizable, trustworthy
..and people will keep coming back to the stories they now identify with.
This is called having brand equity.
They’ve built brands that are easily recognizable, trustworthy
..and people will keep coming back to the stories they now identify with.
This is called having brand equity.
What is brand equity?
According to Adam Hayes from Investopedia:
“Brand equity refers to a value premium that a company generates from a product with a recognizable name when compared to a generic equivalent. Companies can create brand equity for their products by making them memorable, easily recognizable, and superior in quality and reliability. Mass marketing campaigns also help to create brand equity.
When a company has positive brand equity, customers willingly pay a high price for its products, even though they could get the same thing from a competitor for less. Customers, in effect, pay a price premium to do business with a firm they know and admire. Because the company with brand equity does not incur a higher expense than its competitors to produce the product and bring it to market, the difference in price goes to margin. The firm’s brand equity enables it to make a bigger profit on each sale.”
In short: having a professional brand helps to establish you as a force in the market, increases future business, and in turn increases your overall value.
Take streetwear clothing company, Supreme, as an example of added value through branding. Supreme has created a high demand for their products through smart branding.
They are able to sell simple t-shirts and other articles of clothing for hundreds if not thousands of dollars. They’ve created a cult following among people who like street fashion and identify with the image the brand expresses for them.
If not for their brand identity and equity, They wouldn’t bank this much serious cash.
We hope you now know what branding is and why you should not treat it lightly. Here’s a quick recap of the seven ways branding improves your business:
- Make the right first impression
- Represent what you’re about
- Create trust between you and your customers
- Generate loyal clients
- Increase employee pride and satisfaction
- Support advertising efforts
- Bring financial value to your company
So don’t you forget that branding – if done correctly and consistently – will have a huge impact on your business!
HIGH-QUALITY DESIGNER ICONS!