All you need is branding
March 20, 2020
I promise. A good brand will diverge a business between highly successful and moderately to below-average success. No, you don't have to rely on my expert opinion, there are plenty of statistics to back it up. Studies have shown that companies with good brands outperform those with inferior brands.
You might be thinking, isn't a brand just an icon and a pretty font? Wrong. Super wrong. A brand is everything - a memorable logo, the value of your company, guidelines, motivation for employees, and the key to acquiring and retaining new customers.
While the logo is a small part of the overall brand, there is a much larger picture. A brand represents the perception of a company's customer service, reputation, advertising, quality, messaging, purpose, position, vision, and so much more.
Who are you?
A brand helps prospective and current clients recognize your company. If your logo is not memorable or instantly recognizable, then you've lost business. If everyone used the same clipart logo and had the same brand elements and colors, how would you tell the company apart? Imagine going to your local drug store to purchase toothpaste and finding they all look the same. If you've ever gone to a foreign country, the first thing you do is look for a brand you recognize; it's the way we make our decisions. So if every brand was the same, it would mean every product was the same.
A brand is responsible for many things; one of them is visually conveying everything that a company stands for. For example, an attorney's brand must convey law, trust, knowledge, and expertise. A brand is responsible for visually articulating everything that makes your company unique and what separates it from the others.
Only a professionally designed brand is simple enough to both be memorable, but strong enough to give the right impression of your company.
Fact. People are more likely to purchase from a company that looks legitimate, polished, and professional. A sound brand inspires confidence and makes people much more confident in their purchase decision.
Messaging, customer service, quality, and collateral all work to support and reinforce the brand. For example, Southwest Airlines’ brand is consistent from the moment your purchase airline tickets to the napkin they give you in flight. From their website and social media down to their customer service, the tone and voice used in their messaging are always consistent. A brand is more than a logo or the colors of the uniform; it is the way they represent the brand through their actions. Every part of the experience fits within the brand, much like Jet Blue. Therefore, when you are buying airline tickets, you use the brand experience and the brand strategy of each to make your flight decision ultimately. You know what to expect from each airline, and all you have to do is understand their brand.
A good brand tells customers precisely what kind of company you are.
Time to advertise
If you build it, they will not come. Particularly in today's world in which information is so readily available, people aren't exploring areas just because they have a mission, and they stick to it. When a new store opens up in the local strip mall, chances are you won't walk in until you've done your online research, figured out what they sell, and asked your local friend groups if they know anything about it. That is, of course, unless it is a chain store whose brand you already recognize.
As we say at Keenability, we amplify your story. We also help you tell your narrative, which is the brand. The next thing you have to do is get your story in front of the correct audience. A branded website, collateral, and other marketing materials will help spread the word. Every impression counts. The more people that see your brand, the more familiar they become, and therefore, the more comfortable that they feel with it.
Brands can become so iconic that we pay to wear them! That's why we always say a brand is something that you should be proud to represent, not forced to represent. If your employees are embarrassed to hand out their business cards or marketing materials, they won't.
Are you worth your weight?
If you just started your business, you might not be thinking about the valuation of your brand on the stock exchange, but it is your company's single most precious asset, more so than hard assets. Now, even if you don't have dreams of becoming a publicly-traded company, it is still probable that you will one day wish to sell your company. If you have aspirations of selling your business one day, a good brand is going to drive the value significantly up, while a generic brand won't mean anything to an investor.
A wise investor knows that a strong brand equates to future business. The better the brand, the better the return. A unified brand also sets the foundation for future expansion and growth. Much like a good foundation, a good brand can last a lifetime.
It's in our DNA
Employees say a lot about your company. First and foremost, a good brand attracts better employee candidates. A good brand then inspires them. Working for a company that lacks a mission, position, purpose, or vision is like being on a treadmill, you are walking, but going nowhere. Employees have to feel that they have a sense of purpose and that they are working toward something.
A strong brand strategy allows employees to take pride in working toward the same goals that the business owner has envisioned. If you want your employees to rally behind your business, you have to provide them with something worth striving for, or they won't align with you. A paycheck can only yield so much motivation - don't fall victim to the idea that employees are only there for the money. After all, we all need to feel inspired.
Passionate employees help your company to reach higher altitudes of success. A good brand and brand strategy will help to drive and reinforce this passion.
People love to tell others about the brands they like, but if consumers can't remember the brand, they can't talk about it. If you don't have a memorable brand, you can forget about referrals.
Marketing works best when a good brand supports it. A good brand helps a company connect with potential customers on an emotional level. A strong brand makes people feel good when they buy or interact with the brand.
Advertising is also a lot more effective if there is a strong brand to back it.
The best branding is built on a strong story. A story that you and your employees can hold on to, can commit to, and can deliver. A brand that permeates your entire company allows it to deliver on its promise. Remember, a good brand will also allow you to bring customer loyalty and attract new customers.