The importance of branding in business is undeniable. No matter what industry you are in, there will always be someone who offers the same product or service that you do. The importance of branding in business is undeniable.
No matter what industry you are in, there will always be someone who offers the same product or service that you do. What sets your offering apart is the brand attached to it. Building a brand takes time and a lot of effort, but any business or entrepreneur who takes the brand-building process to heart will experience more success. But we need to realize that branding is more than just a logo. It’s about the experience as a whole. That includes the visual and tangible, and even the intangible aspects of your business experience. Unfortunately, many business owners today neglect some of the most non-negotiable aspects of brand-building. When we know what these factors are and address them well, they can bring a lot of value to our business — recognition, influence and even profit.
Related: Why Branding Is Even More Relevant to Businesses Today?
Here are five branding factors that many businesses ignore and how we can start paying more attention to
1. Your value proposition
What does your business sell? The chances are that if you’re a coffee shop, you might answer coffee. If you’re an author, you might say books. But people don’t simply buy the products you sell. They buy the value they get out of it. Anyone can drink coffee in any coffee shop, but only Starbucks customers get a sense of community and comfort. Any author can sell a book, but only Tony Robbins can sell life transformation in the way he does. Discover what value and benefits your product gives people and communicate that.
2. Customer service
Studies indicate that 73% of consumers love a brand because of helpful customer service. That means that a company with good customer service does a lot to uplift its brand. People love to talk about their experiences with a brand. The
only question we need to answer is when people talk about our level of customer service, will it build or destroy our reputation?
Lastly, a brand needs to have a personality, and it has to be authentic: 8% of consumers say that authenticity is important when deciding what brand they’ll use. Create a personal brand that embodies the entrepreneur or the
company culture, and communicate that.
Another successful way to build a brand is to share impact stories. In line with the previous point, people love speaking about experiences. And when people have good experiences and share them, that can provide your company with vital social proofing. Ask happy clients to leave reviews on sites like Google Reviews, LinkedIn or TrustPilot, and post those testimonials on your website and social-media accounts.
5. Your audience’s story
A fundamental understanding of branding will tell you that a brand is a bridge between an offer and an audience. People will gravitate toward brands that they can relate to, and one effective way to make that happen is to tell
your audience’s story. Let them know that you understand their struggles, dreams and desires. Think about how Nike uses ads that connect with people’s limitations, such as disability, and turn them into an inspirational message.
Those stories connect and deliver so much value to an audience, building the brand experience immensely.
Source: The Entrepreneure
Six Reasons Branding Is More Important Than Ever Before
There is widespread ambivalence about the relevance of branding, especially among startups and small businesses looking to find their feet in an innately hostile environment.
For the most part, small businesses remain blinded by the erroneous assumption that brands exclusively signify the ‘bigger’ fish in the bond who have unrestrained access to massive budgets and nationwide recognition.
As a result, they acquiesce to their fate and do precious little other than coming up with fancy looking business cards or a catchy logo. This is ironical, considering that it is small businesses that need to leverage branding more than their well-established counterparts.
To reinforce this point, research suggests that almost 50% of consumers suggest that they consider becoming more loyal to a brand during their very first purchase.
After all, branding gives your audience a clear sense of purpose and well-defined roadmap – a credible voice that people want to listen to. But do they really need to, or is there more than meets the eye?
Brand Defines the ‘You’ in Your Business
For starters, branding is way more than just an iridescent dash of colors (aka logo). It includes everything you do, or claim to do as a business – even if your organization is only about you.
Your brand is the sum total of your customers’ perceptions, notions and experience. It is the face, personality and the values espoused by your business – and everything in between.
More importantly, every single facet of your business – be it your social media profile, the tone of your voicemails or the way you present, market and deliver a service – captures the essence of your branding and sends an implicit message about how much you respect your own business.
Beyond that, your brand represents who you are, what you believe in and how you want to be perceived by your audience. That is why branding is so important to an organization.
What Should Your Brand Accomplish?
Today, game changers have realized that branding can no longer be viewed as a means to lure your prospects to prefer you over competition.
Your mission is to get them to see you as a dependable thought leader/influencer who addresses their needs or problems with panache, candour and hopefully, better than anybody else. Against this overarching theme, your brand must accomplish the following objectives:
• Deliver a message clearly and succinctly
• Reaffirm your credibility
• Build an emotional connect with your audience
• Generate goodwill and loyalty
• Motivate your potential audience to buy or take the next step
Brands Signify Your Intent
Branding reflects a bold proclamation that your business makes. It tells your audience that you mean business (literally!) and are here to keep all the promises made by your company.
Everything that your organization exemplifies should be easily recognizable throughout the brand. Else, your customers will be quick to notice the gap between what was promised and what was actually delivered on the ground. Needless to say, this gap can be catastrophic not just for your brand awareness, but also for your overall well-ebbing of your business. What this also means is that if you’re unwilling to back your intent with appropriate action, you might as well not intersperse it in your brand.
Branding Goes Past Mundane Transactions
The beauty about brand is that it’s not restricted to what transpires before a purchase is made. In fact, it’s got more to do with the kind of experience it delivers to your audience at various touch points in their journey, especially after a business transaction.
• Was the quality of the product as good as you had promised?
• Did it serve the purpose it was supposed to?
• How was the overall customer service experience?
By answering these questions honestly, you give yourself a great chance of creating a loyal customer base that looks forward to trusting you.
Moreover, it also lets you align your marketing strategies with your broader business objectives seamlessly. In fact, an increasing number of businesses are realizing the importance of branding in marketing.
Branding Helps You Outdo Competition
In a market that is now stiflingly competitive, how do you stand out from thousands of similar companies that claim to be as good as you, if not better? The need of the hour is to realize that you’re no longer competing at a local level. With the advancements in online and offline technologies, the entire world is your marketplace, literally.