Branding: Is It Really Everything?

Brand is often believed to be everything when it comes to your businesses image, but a recent survey aims to turn that belief on its head. Following an analysis of British brands which had been purchased in 2014, only 14% attributed the buyout to brand value. Compared to 24% who claimed customer relations as one of the main purchasing factors.

But, when your branding is so intrinsically linked to customer relations, retention and loyalty; your brand truly is everything to your business. In fact, it’s one of the most important factors in winning over customers.

It’s leadership

Branding is more than what simply meets the eye. It doesn’t stop at creating a great logo and coming up with a catchy name; it’s the process of strengthening your brand that defines who you are, what you stand for and what you can offer to your audience. It is about how customers view you as a business.

When creating a brand, you need to form an identity that resonates with the end consumer and develop a presence that will reinforce the emotional relationship that is at the heart of every successful brand. Almost every brand has a promise, and you simply can’t just communicate this via a logo. You need a defining purpose to your business, this is what separates one brand from another, and most importantly what creates the brand experience we receive.

It builds trust

Trust is one of the most critical components in building and maintaining a strong and enduring brand. When people trust a brand, they develop a relationship with the company which often results in brand loyalty.

To build trust among the target audience you need to deliver on your brand promises. Everything you say about your brand is a promise. By delivering on your brand promise both online and offline, the experience before and after the interaction delivers on customer expectations.

Trust can also be communicated through the value your brand brings to the platforms it uses. Social media offers companies the perfect platform to interact with their customers and to communicate their expertise. Engaging with customers through social media also adds value and help customers if they have an enquiry or any issues that need resolving.

It adds consistency

Consistency is key to a successful brand; it’s the ultimate brand asset.

Whether you are designing a business card, an email signature or stationary, by reinforcing the same visuals, you are increasing the likelihood that your existing and potential customers will remember your business. When they see that your message is consistent, they will know and identify with you and your purpose. All this creates trust, meaning they will be more likely to purchase from you.

Branding has become more complex as marketing campaigns have evolved and third-party generated content has increased in popularity. The role of brand curation is no longer solely in the hands of those that created it, so a strong and consistent brand from the outset can help to lead marketers and consumers into the same brand curation mindset.

It adds a competitive edge

In a world where several homogeneous corporations exist, one of the most commonly overlooked sources of competitive advantage is the brand. Whether you are operating in a small niche market, every small business hopes to grow big one day, which is why branding cannot be overlooked.  Businesses should place importance on their brand image since this is a critical long-term investment for firms of all sizes, branding can create a competitive edge for your local marketing efforts. Your brand identity is what makes you stand out from the crowd, in addition to increasing the value of your company.

A strong brand provides a competitive edge because of their value. Brands are valuable simply because they cause customers to be inclined to purchase your product rather than someone else’s. In a way, a brand is shorthand for the things the customer can expect from your product.

It reinforces the message to employees

With a strong brand, employees feel supported and that they should represent the brand both within and outside the business. This causes them to care about the customer experience and the image the company is projecting.

Employees who represent your brands key attributes are far more likely to be a success with existing and potential customers. Brand aligned employee behaviour influences every aspect of your business; your employees are the ones liaising with clients, closing sales and promoting your business, so it makes sense that those who emulate the brand are going to be more successful.

A brand isn’t just an image you put to your business, it aids and influences in everything you do.

source