Branding. Branding. Branding. As you scour through all the business blogs, they’re all screaming it from the hilltops. This begs the question, is branding as much of a big deal as everyone’s making out?
Put simply, yes.
Did you know 72% of marketers claim branded content is incredibly compelling — especially, in comparison to posting generic ads in magazines?
In light of this, we’ve put together this handy blog post explaining why branding is important and what you can do to up your game. Let’s dive in!
Your brand embodies the values, stories, lifestyle, and persona of your company. It sets your customers expectations and is the key to standing out from your competitors.
You can’t please everyone. Instead, you need to drill down and focus on the section of the market you want to cover.
For example, are you the new kids on the block offering a dynamic new service? Or are your established as a cornerstone of your industry and pride yourself on the valuable service you’ve given over the years?
Obviously, these aren’t the only two categories you can fall into. The point we’re making is you need to pick a slant and stick to it. Otherwise, you’re just another business owner screaming into the void.
What’s a Brand Plan?
A half-decent brand plan will cover all the following aspects:
- The resources
- The strategies
- The direction
These are the three things a company needs to consider when working out how they’ll communicate what their brand stands for.
Take some time and consider what your ‘brand goals’ are, and how you’ll achieve them. What steps will you need to take to get your brand where it needs to be?
Your brand plan should be a general reference for everything your business does — from customer service to launching a marketing campaign, you and your employees should always consider this document before setting the wheels in motion.
In addition to the above, a brand plan should also highlight:
- Your consumer targets
- Your customer avatar
- The message and story behind your brand
The latter is arguably the most important because, without a brand message or story, it’s difficult to empathize with potential customers.
Your story should help answer the following question: what can you do for consumers your competitors can’t?
Unsurprisingly, relating to prospects is essential for building a relationship with them, which hopefully one day will translate into a loyal brand following.
When crafting your ‘brand plan’, you need to remember a successful brand prioritizes the emotions of your customers. What are they struggling with? What do they aspire to be? What do they want from life?
These are all emotive concepts.
Your branding should highlight the answers to these questions and solve the problems your customer has. When people are able to envision themselves using your products and services — and see themselves happier as a result — you’re far more likely to make sales.
Top Tip: Testimonials are an amazing tool for evoking feelings in your customers. They help them resonate with your brand plus, you hardly have to do any work — win-win!
How Does Branding Benefit My Business?
We’ve hinted at the benefits throughout this article. But, there are a few specific advantages of having a strong branding strategy.
1. Increased Recognition
This is where your logo comes into play. You logo provides something people can visually associate with your business. Think of McDonald’s and their golden arches!
Use this as a case study; you want a professional looking logo, something that’s simple and memorable.
During the initial design phase, think about the impression you want to leave on your prospects. Use the answer to this question to fuel the aesthetic of your logo.
You also need to think through the following visuals, so every aspect complements one another:
- Your brand name
- Color palette — did you know having a signature brand color can boost brand recognition by as much as 80%?
You need to give all the above some serious thought. Then, once you’ve finalized the designs, ensure your visuals remain consistent across all your marketing materials.
Otherwise, you’ll confuse your prospects, making it less likely they’ll recognize you which diminishes the whole point of having a branding strategy!
When people recognize your brand, people feel more at ease buying your products and services. Familiarity gives people a sense of security which is necessary for building trust with your target market.
Tips for Keeping Branding Consistent
Try creating a shared folder and saving it on a cloud where all your employees can access it. Keep all the visuals saved here as well as clear instructions on how to use them.
Top Tip: Take this one step further and create templates for your team to use. This drastically increases the likelihood of keeping your branding consistent. Plus, it makes your employees lives easier (which they’ll undoubtedly be thankful for).
2. Further Your Marketing Efforts
Promoting your business is essential for driving sales. But, your brand should guide how you’ll advertise your business and who your target market is.
Once you’ve figured out your brand, you’re halfway to launching a marketing campaign which will generate the results you’re looking for.
Top Tip: as we’ve already said, the best ads communicate your brand’s message via the art of storytelling. Be unique, creative, and convey the crux of your message.
Don’t overcomplicate things — everything should be clear and concise so people can digest and remember what you have to say. Be sure to also insert a clear call to action, so your audience knows how to respond to your advertisement.
3. You’ll Gain Fresh Customers
Branding is terrific for getting word-of-mouth referrals. People always talk about the businesses they love. Think about — Netflix we’re non-stop chatting with our friends about our latest guilty binge-watch.
Or, whenever we head out to dinner and enjoy a meal, we’re always quick to talk to our friends and family about it. The reason successful businesses continue to find new customers is because they’re leaders in their niche. Put simply, you can only be considered an authority once you’ve built a strong brand.
4. Branding Inspires Employees
Take time to educate your staff and explain why this business exists, what you stand for, and what your mission is. Give them a purpose they can be proud to work towards. Not only does this inspire a strong work ethic, but it’ll go a long way in strengthening how the public perceives you.
Like we’ve already said, your brand should influence everything relating to your business, so when your employees are aware of the main principles, you stand half a chance.
5. Boost Perceived Value
Strong branding works wonders for increasing your businesses perceived value. When done correctly, the value of your business will skyrocket well beyond both your digital and physical assets.
Take Coca-Cola, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Gucci, etc. as an example. These businesses are worth so much more than all the stuff they own because of the persona they’ve managed to generate around themselves.
6. Create Trust with Customers
A professional brand is essential for building both credibility and trust with your audience. Consumers are way more likely to buy from a company who looks legitimate.
Over time, you’ll be able to develop a relationship with your customers, which will eventually translate into loyalty. If you want a successful business, loyal customers are the lifeblood of repeat customers, a good reputation, and continual referrals.
Fun Fact: as many as 94% of consumers claim they’re more likely to feel loyalty towards brands who commit to transparency.
We live in an age of scandal, so people are more skeptical than ever. Honesty is always the best policy, so be sure to try and weave this into your brand values.
Do You Now Understand Why Branding is Important?
If you found this explanation of why branding is important useful, then we’re confident you’ll love the other features on our blog. Over there, we talk about everything from how to grow your business online to how to get new clients.
Or, if you have any questions about branding in general or our services, please feel free to reach out and contact us, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. Speak soon!
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