Branding: the promise to your customer. What they can expect from you, and what makes you unique, compared to your competitors.
More and more frequently we here about this “branding” thing – messaging, image, impression, importance – at least within the business and marketing worlds. Without a good brand message, or with a negative one for that matter, why would a customer come to you with their hard earned money? What reason are you giving them, when they can go next door and find the same carton of milk, except that company donates 15% to the Hunger Task Force, has been volunteering at town festivals for 50 years, AND the old man started the company with nothing but the shirt on his back, with the willingness to walk 15 miles to the farm, in the snow, uphill both ways, just to supply his customers with the freshest milk in town.
My money is going over there. What is your company about? If you don’t already have your image blossoming, now is time to do it. People want a genuine, quality, passionate story. People want to see someone succeed, especially if they started out struggling. Don’t be afraid to show your scars.
What is your company’s mission? What uniqueness do you offer? What do customers honestly think about your company, and what do you honestly think about your customers? What do you want them to think, and how are you bringing real value to the table? These answers will help form your brand. Write down your core messaging so every person that works for you knows it by heart, and shows it through what they do in the name of the business.
Maintain consistency with everything, from the voice of your messaging, to the logo, colors, style, and tagline which encompasses the brand’s essence. Most importantly, what you say must stay true to who you are. People wanted genuine right? They will know when you’re not!
“So after all the work I put in, building this magnificent story and brand, how does it actually help my bottom line?”
If you want to ensure the longevity of your company, this is the best possible way to do it. A great looking brand can create credibility – showing willingness to stand behind your products or services, especially if something goes wrong.
A brand can be motivating for your employees. Set out to build something good, and when they see they can contribute to something bigger than themselves, they will feel responsible for it, and a sense of pride when they accomplish a project. It will also help improve internal communication and team building, working together more effectively towards the same goal.
The majority of buying decisions are influenced by emotion. Brand appearance and color can have an impact on this – one study found that managers could use colors to increase and decrease appetite, enhance mood, calm customers down, and reduce the perception of waiting time. Do your research and take advantage!
People often have a brand in mind when they go shopping, and when a friend is looking for a product, brand names are the easiest and most memorable to recommend (and recommend against!). How do you get your brand in front of all those bigger well known names then? Great branding.
Here is a nice concise infographic that can quickly remind you of all these reasons that the time and effort spent building your brand is worthwhile, and will be for a long, long time.