We are inundated with brands on a daily basis. So much so we may not even realize it half the time. If the folks on Google are correct, we see anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements per day. I was shocked when I learned this, and I almost didn't believe it, but then I really started to pay attention. That is when I lost count.
Let's start to dig in to why branding is so important. Not only do you want your customers to recognize you instantly, you want them to have an emotional response. Preferably a good one. So, here we go. 7 reasons why branding matters...
Defining your brand. This takes insight and the skill to tell a story. You can't just create a logo and call it a day. You need to carefully consider all the facets of your business. From your products or services, to your employees, to understanding your vision. Where would you like to be in 5, 10, 20 years from now. Just like in life, business has no end destination. We should be forever growing and adapting. I encourage you and your team to always think of yourselves as movers and shakers. Don't get complacent in what your brand really means. Go deeper and prove to your clientele that what your brand has to offer comes from the heart.
Promises. You've heard the saying "your word is your bond" and that is what you want your customers to know is true about you and your company. Now, a promise is only good as long as it is kept, so make sure when you are putting together your brand that you only commit to what you know you can deliver on a daily basis and to every client. In other words, know your limits and be honest with yourself. If you try to pull one over on people they will end up seeing through it, leaving damaging reviews, negative word of mouth and heaven forbid a lawsuit. I don't mean not pushing the limits a bit, as taking risks can help us grow, but always letting your customer know what they can expect. Be innovative, but true. When you gain your clients trust you will reap the rewards.
Talking to your customers. Have a dialog with your customers on a regular basis, asking them what you are doing well and what they think could use improvement. This is market research and it is an important part of business. When you open the lines of communication you are letting people know that you care what they think and that you strive to deliver five start service. But, trust your gut as well. If a customer is dissatisfied, try to get to the bottom of the why. You don't want to consider making a change over a bad review because of something that either could have been prevented or something you had no control over. Getting input from your clients should help you improve your product or service, if you pay attention to them.
Position your company to be triumphant. Brand identity becomes your purpose. Your guiding light. If more opportunities come your way, you have your brand identity to fall back on. If it doesn't align with your vision and motivation, you will know to take a pass. It does you no good to invest your time or your money if it throws you off your target.
Emotion. It doesn't matter what you are trying to provide or sell, if you don't have an emotional connection with your customers you are selling yourself short. I mentioned earlier that having the skill to tell a story is important, well this is where that comes into play. We are rational creatures at heart so give your customers something to get past the pros and cons lists and take the leap into your company. Separate yourselves from the rest with a strong story that most people can relate to. Give them that extra push.
Advertising and marketing. Once you know what your business is, and what it is not, once you have that story in place and know how you want to emotionally connect to your customer, the next natural step is advertising and marketing. Because you've done the work and created a strong brand, your advertising and marketing will will fall into place much easier. Without a great brand definition, it is impossible to know how to connect with people with what you say. The downside to marketing? It costs money. Sometimes a lot of money. But because you have done the work and know your customers emotional response, your return on investment will be much more likely to increase.
Logo recognition. Let's say April wants a new phone. And not just any phone. One that will allow her to take amazing photos, stay organized and stay connected. There are an overwhelming number of choices out there and a lot of them very good. But April has spent the last 20 years emotionally connected to a certain brand. And their logo becomes a source of pride so to speak. So much so that she puts stickers of that logo on her personal property. And when she goes about her day and sees another person with the same logo, she immediately has a connection and sense of comradery. She has become loyal to that brand and uses the logo as bragging rights. Hence, logo recognition can even mean more sales.
I could go on for days and into much deeper depth with this subject, but hopefully touching on these items will encourage you to research even further. Thank you for your time. Now go forth and rock your brand! You have what it takes!