Why is branding so important for your business? Before we get into this, lets us define what branding is. Branding can be defined in a lot of ways. Simply put, your brand is the way your customer identifies, distinguishes and experiences your business.
Basically, your brand should reflect what your business stands for and what makes it unique. It reflects the personality of your business. Strong branding goes way beyond just a logo or infographic for your business; it is echoed in everything from as simple as your business cards and customer service to be a basis for your entire marketing and advertising ideas.
It is imperative that you be aware of what you want your business to represent. You need to have a branding plan that is in sync with your business—one that is well-thought-out and strategic. A good brand doesn’t just happen overnight, it requires critical thinking and careful planning.
Many small businesses and startup organizations neglect to spend time and money for their branding and end up being out of sync with their own branding experience. This could possibly create a potential impact on sales and the way their company branding is perceived in the market. Brand identity is something that is important and should never be ignored in ay stage of the business cycle.
So, what are the signs that your new brand and business are out of sync?
Your Brand Doesn’t Generate New Customers
Weak branding means missed opportunities. A majority of customers make judgments about a company’s credibility based on their business branding and brand identity. For example, if your online branding is weak, like having an outdated website, chances are that potential customers will ignore you as they will be left with a bad first impression—even if you have a compelling product. On the other hand, a professional appearance builds credibility and trust.
Your goal should be to leave an indelible impression in the minds of your customers so that they talk about your business branding and their buying experience. Since time immemorial, the most profitable advertising source remains word of mouth referrals, and this is only possible in a situation where your company has delivered a (positively) memorable shopping experience.
The most profitable businesses—both large and small—have one thing in common. They have established themselves as a leader in their trade by creating a strong company brand.
Your Company is not Recognized
Good business branding improves recognition. Your company branding should be simple yet powerful enough to be memorable and give the desired impression of your company.
Think of McDonald’s for instance, what is the first image that comes to your mind? Their logo. Their logo can be recognized by anyone who is literate. McDonald’s have built their unshakable brand through experimenting and segmentation, that inspires credibility and trust.
People are more likely to purchase from you if you appear legitimate. Customer buying experience can be very emotional, as emotional reactions are hardwired by their brains. Those reactions can be very influential. So, make sure your brand is something that your customers can relate to, and in sync with your business.
Your Brand Doesn’t Create Value—Financial or Otherwise
A strong brand will provide value to your organization. Generally, a strong brand guarantees future business. This increases the valuation of the company. If at some time in the future, you are poised to borrow funds for expansion, being perceived as valuable will make the process smoother, if not easier. The greater a company’s dedication to build its brand value and business branding, the better the financial return will be. Devote yourself to creating a great brand, and you will have created a value that far exceeds the physical value of your company.
What Does Creating a Strong Brand Entail?
The key to creating a strong brand lies in-depth market research. This should be done to work out why customers should buy from you and come to your business in the first place. Company branding process and company branding activities should be accordingly planned and executed.
When Should I Think About Branding?
Brand identity should be considered in the early stages of starting your business—ideally before launching. Investing in a business plan consultant or a market research company is a good idea because if you build your business with a strong brand, it will give you a greater chance of success and an edge over your competitors.
A strong brand presence will help customers remember their shopping experience, and hence build trust and credibility. A business with a strong brand is perceived as trustworthy and your customers will feel greater confidence in your products or services. Remember, customers tend to be loyal to a brand they trust, which is why investing in your brand identity should be your top priority.