Branding : The 101 for BusinessesTakor David
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, be it a large or small, B2C or B2B.
To make this simple, your branding towards a costumer is actually making a promise to that costumer. This promise is what they can expect from your product and/or services.
More-so, it actually differentiates you from other competitors. Your brand is who you are and how you can be recognized.
An example is the Macdonald Brand , wherever we see the iconic M, we easily identify it. Be advised Branding is not just about recognizing a company by its logo, but there are many other tells which we would get to discuss in this article.
Now that we have covered what branding is, we need to understand why it is important.
The Importance of Branding
The need for branding varies with the size of a business. Are you a start up , small business, or an already established brand in need of re-branding or just looking to solidify?
When we’ve recognized what we need, this would make it easier for you to skip to the sub-topic which reflects you and get to know some key branding strategies.
Brand Defines who you are
Like earlier said, branding is much more than just a logo. It is about everything you do and/or offer.
Whats makes people see your product from a distance and instantly identify it with you. Your brand helps you establish how you want your audience to see you.
Recognition could be your social media profile, the colors on your website, the tone of your voicemails or the way you present, and a lot more. This sends a strong message about how much you respect your own business.
Branding Impacts on Business Value
Simply put the more reputable the brand, the more value. And by “value”, Yes I also mean commodity or service price.
No need for long research to notice some variations in product prices per brand. The same product sold by brand “B” who is a startup at 1000$ could be sold by brand “A” existing for over 15 years at 3000$.
Expensive right? Well that’s relative. The main points in this case are longevity and reliability. Time of practice would always if not often interpret to trustworthiness.
Don’t get this wrong, longevity is not grounds for cross inflated prices. The extra paid here could most often be due to the company’s brand strength communicating their length in service and perhaps in the case of company “A”, with great quality control.
To summarize, branding your strength well would make your business a more appealing investment opportunity because of its firmly established place in the marketplace.
Branding helps you gain new Costumers
Branding well done will no problem trickling in costumers. Great branding builds that trust and positive impression , which is the basis behing costumer loyalty.
With just one costumer loyal to your brand, it creates an auto advertising mechanism which is a powerful tool. Truly, if a lady wears good clothing and your brand can easily be recognized from what she wears, the next thing is you would have others wanting to look as good as she does.
Familiarity and assumed dependability of using a name they can trust. This is what you gain from great branding. Once a brand has been well-established, word of mouth will be the company’s best and most effective advertising technique.
Gain in Employee Pride And Satisfaction
Well let’s talk about your employees. These are your best assets, if you have all the dedication needed fro your workers, this ripples down to optimum performance.
The pride of working for a reputable company has that inner, automatic, encouragement, boosting pill. “Please don’t mind the description”. To make it simple there is an extra drive in your workers when they are proud of where they work, and this improves productivity.
There are some who will purposely work for the highest scores at school just to be eligible to work for you. Therefore the best employees equals best company.
Trust is what you get
Trust is the base to every relationship. In every business you need trust in yours to be established.
It is not easy to do business with someone or a company you don’t know. Branding helps develop that trust within the market place. This includes clients, both potential and existing
Branding brings that feeling of being industry experts and makes the public feel as though they can trust your company.
This doesn’t happen overnight and requires consistent effort, but the end result will be well worth the time.
Branding Strategies for Businesses
The Startup Challenge
Being a startup is usually very exciting. You have all the best dreams of what you could possibly become.
Well that’s for the beginning. When the truth sets in we then understand how tough it is to give birth and nurture.
It’s obvious you may have the most innovative, groundbreaking product ever conceived, but if strong foundations for communicating value to a marketplace isn’t established, then the business won’t go far.
This is not Marketing
There is that fine line between brand strategy and marketing which tends to create misconceptions.
You should know, these are two separate (yet related) activities.
Brand strategy is about knowing the value you offer to the marketplace. Marketing is the process of communicating that value through various channels.
There is no need creating elaborate marketing schemes without ensuring a higher guiding strategy on how the brand has to be seen.
Marketing is not cheap, so it’s advisable to make the brand communicate well first. This is because in the situation where there are limited resources for marketing, you’ll be faced with a new obstacle – people with the wrong impression of your offering and its value to them.
Let’s get down to business dear startup, here are a few guide questions you should answer to know where you stand in your strategy;
- What’s your purpose?
- What do you stand for?
- Who are you targeting?
- What makes you different?
- What is your offering?
- Where should you concentrate your strengths?
If you need extra guidance or help to answer these questions you can contact any of our agents by clicking HERE .
Or Leave a comment Below
Brand Strategy For Small Businesses
Small Businesses and startups could arguably be put in the same category. The little difference could be in the reputation level, longevity and/or finance.
Brand strategies for small businesses being so much similar to startups, we are just going to look at some added tips that would compliment that edge.
Become More Visual with your Brand
Assuming you have a specific brand style at this level (brand color palette, fonts, etc.), logo , business cards and a website.
Depending on your business, you might need additional branding assets (like product packaging or corporate letterhead), but the most important thing is consistency.
No matter where a client encounters your brand, he/she should always see the same colors, logos, you get what I mean.
If not so, there is a very high risk of confusion which is very detrimental for your brand (especially at this early stage).
2. Content marketing is needed
You need to establish yourself as an expert resource. This can be done through the production of content which showcases your strengths. It should not just end in the content production. But it is imperative people see. There is a business saying, “if nobody sees it, you haven’t done it”.
So always make sure to push your created content out there for others to see what you can do.
3. Think about partnership
You are a small business, so you might not have accumulated enough trust for people to do business with you. There are other businesses in your field out there which have this already – so how can you leverage this?
Partnership. True this may be seen as allying with the “enemy” to say the least, but that’s not quite. Think of it as trust building by proxy.
If your customers are introduced to your brand by a brand they already know and trust, they’re much more likely to extend that trust to you.
Brand Strategies for Big Businesses
Establish your Brand Standards
What does your brand consider as “Standard”. When we look at some other already established brands, one of the things we notice is the all-encompassing brand standards they set.
Everything from the company’s packaging, its social-media profiles to its television commercials is consistent on the same colors, fonts, motifs and experiences. The ability to transmit feelings and expectations through branding elements is what would develop into brand success.
2. The Power of Storytelling
Need a good example of story telling? check out the Nike’s “Nothing Beats a Londoner” Campaign.
This campaign features 258 athletes and performers at various levels, including professional athletes, schoolboys, and musicians.
Each member of the cast takes a turn boasting about how tough their training is. Telling their unique story and describing how they are more hardcore than the next.
With Storytelling like this , I think you get the picture.
3. Take advantage of big data
Big Data, this is, very commonly used now in the marketing industry, but are you making the most of it?
Chances are you already have a number of programs producing data for you, from Google Analytics to your customer-relationship management system and more.
All these programs produce metrics which when well utilized would be of great advantage to your brand.
Start by figuring out what metrics will be most useful to your company’s success. Then, figure out how to extract reports from your data sources that will measure your progress towards these KPIs.
Determine periodically (could be a monthly or more or less), when you will run your reports, read through them and make at least three changes based on what you find.
The Branding process is never easy, but with hard work and dedication with consistency, you can achieve success. This write-up is based on my view on branding, you may have another way around or contrary view.
Please feel free to drop a comment below and we’ll discuss about it.
For Help on Developing your brand please contact Jongo Studios.