What does Branding Do For Your Business: It’s not Just about Looks
You’ve heard of branding, but why is it important? Is it really worth the money? What does brand mean for your business? Here are answers to these questions and more.
1. What is branding?
The definition of brand is, “a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer.” How you design your brand is important because it’s how people will recognise and identify you and your business. One of the smartest things you can do for your brand is to deliberately create it. Do it on purpose. This allows you to think like a creative.
If you’re starting off in branding then you haven’t done it correctly. It’s not about guessing and being guessing. It’s about making a decision and narrowing down the alternatives. A brand is about a clear identity. Make it clear what you’re about and how you operate. Establish some principle and foundation for your brand. What is your vision, what are you doing about it, and how do you benefit the world? Your brand is your unique identity. Whatever you do, you work towards forming that identity. We may be creating our own identities by fleshing out these ideas.
2. Why brand means so much to your business
“A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or company,” according to branding expert and author Al Ries. The power of a brand is that it becomes your customer’s shorthand for quality and value. If someone has a positive gut feeling about your brand, they’re likely to recommend it to their friends and family.
A brand is not just about consumers’ reactions to a brand but the way consumers perceive the brand. For example, if consumers feel the brand is honest and trustworthy, it will follow them throughout their life. Consumers will also buy your products and services based on the brand’s reputation. However, if they feel the brand is not treating employees or the environment in a quality manner, they’re unlikely to want to associate themselves with it.
Think about a company’s decision making process when it comes to decisions. Does the company own its brand or does it rely on its brand to make decisions? Is it based on gut feelings or facts? One technology, for example, gives decision makers the ability to make quick decisions not based on gut feelings, but based on data. Gut feelings can also influence what decisions a corporate brand makes. “Gut feelings can be very powerful in terms of companies deciding to go in a particular direction, or to put a particular line of product in a marketplace,” according to brand expert Anne van Agtmael. The value of a brand depends on the decisions a company makes with it. Some companies get by without a brand while others gain a prominent place thanks to a strong brand. Brand value is what consumers value a company for its brand, image, and reputation. Brand value rarely comes naturally and it places some greater importance than intrinsic value. Brand value is a complex topic that deserves its own article.
Here are some examples of brands with strong brands regardless of their positioning.
Fun fact: Subaru uses branding to make its brand feel softer.
3. How do you start building your brand?
The first thing you need to do is define and understand your brand. A brand is simply a promise to your customer about what you’re going to deliver to them. The more you define this promise, understand it, and work hard to live up to it, the more loyal and passionate your customers will be. Before you can define your brand, you need to first clarify your mission. What is your reason for being? What do you want to achieve through your business? It’s crucial that you aren’t selling eternal happiness for eternal dollars. Customers might get mad at you if they find out your mission isn’t pure. To avoid that, you need to figure out how you can give your customers a lifelong benefit.
Your brand needs to resonate with your customers on a personal level. What are the products or services that best align with your customers’ values? How can your customers benefit from using or purchasing the products or services you provide? For example, if you know that your appeal is good family gatherings, then why do you want to sell 4-star restaurants? Well, you know your business is popular with good people — why would you target those customers specifically? Your purpose isn’t simply to sell “fun, leisure, and pleasure” dinners; it’s to deliver quality, service, and excellent food to your customers.
When customers first find out about you, they will compare you to all the other small business owners and wonder, “How do you even do all that?”. Your brand needs to be exceptional, unique, and differentiated — otherwise, your customers won’t want to pay high prices. Unique worth means something unique about your brand — it’s what makes your customers. By strategically choosing what features, benefits, and technologies are unique to your business, you stand out from the competition but also serve your hidden purpose.
Check out our Creative and Branding page for more information about branding for your business!
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