What is branding? And why is it so important for your business?
Branding goes way beyond just a logo or graphic element. When you think about your brand, you really want to think about your entire customer experience. Everything from your logo, your website, your social media experiences, the way you answer the phone, to the way your customers experience your staff.
Your brand is the way your customer perceives you. Your brand is not what you say it is, its what ‘they’ say it is.
It is critical to be aware of your brand experience and have a plan to create the brand experience that you want to have. A good brand doesn’t just happen – it is well-thought, strategically planned and executed.
Many small businesses neglect spending the necessary time thinking about their brand in this broad sense and the impact it has on their business. Here are a few reasons why your brand is important:
Branding Strengthens Recognition
People tend to do business with companies they are familiar with. If your branding is consistent and easy to recognize, it can help people feel more at ease purchasing your products or services.
Your Brand Provides Motivation and Direction for Your Staff
A clear brand strategy provides the clarity that your staff needs to be successful. It tells them how to act, how to win, and how to meet the organization’s goals.
A Strong Brand Generates Referrals
People love to tell others about the brands they like. 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. A strong brand is critical for generating referrals or viral traffic.
A Strong Brand Helps Customers Know What To Expect
A brand that is consistent and clear puts the customer at ease, because they know exactly what to expect each and every time they experience the brand.
Your Brand Represents You and Your Promise to Your Customer
It is important to remember that your brand represents you – you are the brand, your staff is 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 (promise) to the customer?
Your Brand Helps You Create Clarity and Stay Focused
It’s very easy to wander around from idea to idea with nothing to guide you – it doesn’t take long to be a long way from your original goals or plans. A clear brand strategy helps you stay focused on your mission and vision as an organization. Your brand can help you be strategic and will guide your marketing efforts saving time and money.
A Strong Brand Declares Your Business Value
A strong brand will provide value to your organization well beyond your physical assets. Think about the brands that you purchase from (Coca-Cola, Wrangler, Apple, Ford, Chick-Fil-A, QuikTrip) – are these companies only worth their equipment, their products, their warehouses, or factories? No, these companies are worth much more than their physical assets, because their brand has created a reputation value that far exceeds their physical value.
The best branding is built on a strong idea, an idea that you and your staff can hold on to, can commit to, and can deliver upon. Your brand needs to permeate your entire organization. When your organization is clear on the brand and can deliver on the promise of the brand, you will see tremendous fruit while building brand loyalty among your customer base.