What is Branding?
The difference between Marketing and Branding.
Most people think that a brand is just another company logo. Or perhaps a witty slogan and a combination of colours and pictures on a website that the crowd likes. Actually, it is just that – but also so much more. A brand represents a company’s message and objectives that go beyond selling a product. It represents the overall feelings and impressions that customers have for a brand. It communicates a culture of reliability that customers share with a brand. Most importantly, a brand builds trust with its audience.
Think about Nike as an example. When was the last time you purchased a pair of Nike because you were advertised to through Google Display? Did you buy them through remarketing efforts, Social Media or content marketing? Was it because you received communication through email marketing? The answer to all of these is likely “No”. You probably purchased them through 20 years of branding that’s been executed flawlessly. You recognise Nike as a reputable brand. It resonates with sportspeople on a human level. They surmise your fitness goals, dreams, and ambitions into three words…
The Challenge For Businesses
As more businesses pop-up online, it is becoming increasingly difficult for customers to choose which products and/or services to procure. What’s even more difficult to decide is, from whom – when a lot of the offerings seem similar. Businesses have become more innovative and creative in winning over customers. As a result, it’s become more difficult to retain them without a credible brand.
However, in such crowded marketplaces, we can still see businesses that stand out and have an army of loyal followers. Their customers are so dedicated that they are willing to pay more just to obtain the products or services (e.g. Apple). So what is it that those businesses are doing, that overshadows their competitors? Simply put, they invest in their brand.
When a business transcends into a recognisable brand it becomes more than just a business. It can be perceived to be no longer about selling products and making money, Instead, the focus is more on legacy and culture that people will look up to for years to come. A brand becomes a company’s stamp for the quality of products and services it produces. It provides a guarantee for customer satisfaction with their best interest in mind.
Why is Branding Important?
So why is branding important? The answer to that question varies from business to business. For instance, some businesses want to ensure long lasting customer satisfaction and loyalty. Others want to be remembered even after their founders have long since passed away. Regardless, branding brings a wide variety of benefits that can be crucial to a business’s success. Not only can a brand bring competitive advantage to a business, but it ensures customer loyalty and passion. Furthermore, branding helps a business to create a powerful presence on the market, a strong identity and personality that customers can relate to.
Branding forms a high level of trust and communication with customers. This helps in ensuring marketing campaigns, advertisements, promotions and offers can yield the best results. However, this can also work the other way when it’s a recognisable brand if not executed properly, as can be seen below.
What does a Brand Mean to a Business
For a business, in terms of revenue and profitability, a credible brand is key to success. Credible brands have a lot more sales which in turn generate a lot more revenue. While investing in the consistency of a brand is expensive, the return on investment can be substantial and the advantages can be worth the effort. There are many advantages an established brand can bring to a business. Here are just a few:
- Increased Market Value – A recognisable brand can increase the value of a product or service on the market. At one point in the life cycle, a product becomes unique in quality and/or service. This can allow businesses to charge extra for it, provided customers are willing to pay.
- Enhanced Customer Attraction – Trusted followers can become advocates and help spread a brand’s awareness. This, in turn, helps to promote the business on a more personal level through referrals. Which is more valuable than any advertising or marketing campaign. Referrals increase not only reputation and credibility but also conversions.
- Improved Marketing and Customer Loyalty – A brand’s marketing campaign has a better chance to yield a positive return on investment if they have invested in establishing a relationship with their customers. This lends itself to establishing long-term relationships with customers. Which generally outputs loyalty, customer retention and advocacy.
How to Brand a Business
The process of creating a brand is long, difficult, and expensive. However, that doesn’t mean that businesses should give up on branding just because it is hard. On the contrary, businesses should strive to accomplish this goal sooner or later.
Outside of your online presence, which we give advice on, here:
You should look to
- Define your brand and what it stands for.
- Give it a personality.
- Establish the brand’s values and beliefs.
- Always look to build long-term relationships with your customers.
- Decide on your brand’s tone of voice in line with its personality.
- Stand out from your competition.
- Always take your brand into consideration when communicating with customers.
- Design a crisis management strategy for when things go wrong, so you can resolve them promptly.
Furthermore, a strategy should be established detailing an approach on how to gain customers trust and establish their loyalty.
Creating A Brand
Branding is a way for a business to elevate itself and truly stand out among the competition in a crowded market. A brand ensures competitive advantage as well as vast benefits and increased profits.
However, the success of a brand and the speed of which it will rise depends on some key factors. While a good strategy and determination help to endure the rocky road to success, we also recommend:
- Being daring.
- Winning the hearts and minds of their audience.
The outcome can be unpredictable. But one thing is for certain – it’s well worth the risk.