A beloved and recognizable brand is one of a company’s most valuable assets. This isn’t just speculation on our part; the numbers back it up. A Nielsen survey found that 59% of customers prefer to buy new products from a familiar brand.
The importance of branding is even more apparent for small businesses. They compete with big brands that already have armies of devoted customers and virtually endless marketing budgets. This is why you need a way to stand out with a well-thought-out brand-building strategy.
Every entrepreneur, small business owner and marketer should focus on building a brand, not just a business or marketing plan. This is what gets you brand ambassadors, and they get you growth.
But how do you build a brand? It is much more than slapping a cool logo onto a well-placed ad and calling it a day. You’ll need to do more. We talked to our friends from a leading brand identity agency to explain how high-quality branding can help you acquire new customers.
But first, let’s briefly discuss what a brand is and what it means to build one.
Brands and Brand Building – Introduction
In the simplest of terms, a brand is defined by the customers’ overall perception of a product or business. It is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room, according to Jeff Bezos. In short, it is your reputation.
For a brand to be successful today, it needs to remain consistent in its messaging and the experience it provides across many channels. These include:
- Office or storefront
- Packaging, signage, and other printed material
- Online advertising through social media and the website
- Blog and long-form content
- Customer service and the sales experience
- Internal communication
Despite being a simple concept when broken down like this, branding doesn’t just happen on its own. It is a painstaking process that requires strategy and ongoing effort. This is the only way to establish a long-term connection with your audience, leading to a steady increase in sales and referrals.
Brand building is about generating awareness about your product or organization through campaigns and strategies, with the aim of building a lasting, unique marketplace image. If you can stand out from the crowd for positive reasons, you’ll have brand success.
With a brand strategy, you will map out the exact ways in which you are more likable, memorable and trustworthy than your competition. It will convey your promises, messages, a strong WIIFM (what’s in it for me) to your clients and overall purpose. This is the first and most important step to building a brand from the ground up. Think of it as the blueprint of how you want your business to be perceived.
Why Investing in Professional Branding Is a Good Idea
Branding has always been crucial to the success of a business, but it might be more important today than ever before. We are introduced to new brands every day through social media and the internet at large. For us as consumers, this is excellent; we have more options, and with the right research, we can almost always find the best one. However, this poses an additional challenge for businesses.
The sheer amount of competition businesses face nowadays means they have to go the extra mile to stand out from the pack. Let’s take a look at the most relevant ways professional branding helps you gain new customers. Stay tuned!
Your Business Becomes More Recognizable
One of the most apparent reasons you need professional branding is that it will help you make your business more recognizable. Strong branding will make people take note of your organization, and a company that doesn’t have cohesive branding is unlikely to stay in its audience’s mind for long.
A business showcasing powerful visual elements such as an attractive color scheme and a cool logo will likely be much more memorable. If your branding sticks out in a positive way, it might be enough for someone to see it for just a moment, even if they’re not ready to buy your products at that time. They’ll come back when the time comes if the branding has stuck with them.
With a strong brand identity, you can share your message with the public through visuals and experiences.
Branding Helps Build Trust with Your Audience
Trust is one of the most difficult things to gain from your audience, yet it is one of the most important things to have. Needless to say, if your business is missing key branding elements, you’ll have a much harder time getting people to trust it.
We all expect to see professional branding from companies with which we choose to do business, so failing to present a unified and powerful brand could be a red flag. It won’t be easy to show off what your company stands for without a good brand.
Imagine you were asked to choose between two Magento companies — they offer roughly the same quality, for about the same cost. However, one hasn’t made an effort to create a professional brand, and the other is an established, influential industry leader. Which one would you go for?
Branding helps you telegraph to your audience that you’re credible, and you can use it to tell people what they can expect from you very early on in your relationship. It is an investment into your future, as more and more potential customers realize that you’re willing to put in the work and resources to develop and grow.
It Becomes Easier to Advertise (and Advertise Well)
No business can get very far nowadays without advertising, and this discipline goes hand in hand with branding. If you want your business to have a robust marketing campaign, you’ll need to work on your brand first.
You want to represent your business’s values and identity as cohesively and assertively as possible with your ads. If you haven’t first taken the time to build your brand, this can be particularly challenging. You could miss out on many opportunities to develop a robust campaign without solid branding. When all is said and done, branding is a crucial cog in your advertising machine, tying everything up in a neat bow.
Organizations and businesses bring awareness to their services and products through brand marketing. Strategic communication allows companies to share their values and let their voices be heard by the right audience.
Your Employees Will See Value from It
Branding can make things better inside your company as well. Obviously, you want your employees to enjoy working for the company and have intrinsic motivation to improve it. Great branding helps businesses establish a connection with their employees, making them feel like they’re part of something bigger than just a paycheck.
So, aside from creating a brand that resonates with your customers, you’ll want to build one that speaks to your employees. Small things like merchandise, branded apparel, and coffee mugs are great first steps, but eventually, you want to graduate to a themed office and top-notch team-building events.
If you can create a sense of unity within the organization through your brand and motivate your employees, you’re bound to see tangible results when it comes to their performance.
It Inspires Loyalty in Your Customers
Regardless of your industry, chances are you want customers to keep coming back. Giving your brand a more human side through clever branding can be a huge step forward on that quest. Your customers will find it easier to relate to a well-branded, personable company than one that focuses strictly on business.
Professional branding allows you to get a direct line to people’s emotions, making them feel more connected to your organization. This enables you to build long-term relationships and turn your prospects into loyal returning customers. Creating a brand that people care about will put you head and shoulders above the competitors who fail to make this step.
To stick out from your competitors and encourage loyalty, it’s a good idea to offer exclusive experiences that only members get. For instance, if you’re a SaaS company and want to be considered a thought leader in your industry, you may use a webinar platform to host exclusive informational content that isn’t available anywhere else. In this scenario, people may continue to be a customer not just because of the software, but because they see you as a thought leader and are loyal to the person behind the brand, not just the brand itself.
Hiring a professional branding agency is one of the best things you can do for your business, regardless of its size and scope. High-quality brand building can transform your company from small fry into an industry shark.
As you build your brand, your customers will become increasingly trusting and willing to purchase your products and services. This is why you must develop a unique visual identity and consistent messaging to reinforce your position further.
Make sure to integrate your brand into every stage of the customer experience — from the social media pages and website through the storefront to personal customer service and sales interactions.
Mathew Reeves – Experienced in Online Marketing, Mathew writes for business and for pleasure, mostly focused on digital trends and web design. A huge people person, passionate about travel and books. Allergic to poor internet connection.