Why is branding important?

Why is branding important?

We’ve been diving into topics like “what is a brand?” and learning how to use a brand to communicate strategically, but none of that matters unless we understand the importance of a good brand strategy. Because crafting a beautifully on-mission brand takes time, money, effort, and sometimes a total re-haul of what you currently use, it would be easy to throw your hands up and wonder “what’s the point? Why is this important?” But I want to answer that by saying your company’s branding is actually one of its most valuable assets and should be treated as such!

If, as we’ve discussed, your brand is the strategic representation of who you are, aimed at potential and current customers to gain loyalty and build connections, then it should not be taken lightly.

ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTION

The question you might be asking is “should I have a brand or not?”, but this is in fact the wrong question. The reality is that every company has a brand. The right question to ask is “am I crafting my brand to be strategic?”

Don’t believe me that every company has a brand? Read on.

If branding is your company’s strategy for communicating with your customers, then it is measured by customer perception. This means that every time you have communicated something to your customers – every email, phone call, advertisement, meeting, or flyer that they’ve ever seen from you – you are further shaping your brand by shaping their perception.

CREATING EXPECTATIONS

When your company communicates with your customers (current or potential), every interaction you make either creates or further shapes an existing expectation they have about you. The more they hear the same consistent message from you, the more they learn to trust you. This is why consistent, strategic branding is so important!

Here’s an example. Suppose you have just opened a new café in town and initially you tell people that you created it to be a nutritious go-to stop for health-conscious people with busy schedules. Some of your initial advertisements are focused on helping your customers feel better and your logo boasts some healthy-looking greens with an energetic font. So, your potential customers’ initial reaction will be that they will come to your café if they want to add a new place to their healthy regimen. This initial marketing effort will inherently attract a certain demographic of active, food-conscious people.

Now suppose that, a couple weeks later, your advertisements begin to focus solely on some of the more comfort-food items that you offer. Suppose these new advertisements don’t mention anything about it being yummy and healthy, only that it’s yummy and comforting. Not only that, but you have decided to use different fonts, a different color scheme, and different photo styles. Wouldn’t this be incredibly confusing to your audience? They’d wonder if they were even reading about the same company as before.

As we’ve discussed, each element must be used strategically and cohesively to constantly be telling the same story. You must set out to decide the expectation you wish you instill in your audience, and everything you do after that must further influence your chosen message.

TELLING YOUR STORY

Having a strategic brand really is one of your company’s most valuable assets, but unfortunately it is also often one of its most ignored. But there is always time to change that! You can choose to begin to tell the right story to your customers – the one that is a true representation of your company and that will create the right expectations for your audience.

Feel inspired to take a fresh look at your brand? Reach out to us, we’d love to help!

What does your brand say about you?

We’ve already answered the question “what is a brand?”, so now it’s time to look a little deeper into the details – like what does your brand say about your company?

If your brand is saying something about your company – and believe me, it is, whether you think so or not – then shouldn’t it be on-mission, clear, and cohesive? We think so. Otherwise, what’s the point?

We already mentioned that an inconsistent and unclear brand leads to customer confusion, disloyalty, and wariness. Are these things you’d want your customers to perceive about you? Probably not.

USING YOUR BRAND STRATEGICALLY

When used strategically, your company’s brand can communicate a wide range of things about your company’s personality and mission. But this first requires you to understand and define those things.

When we begin a branding project, whether it’s a new brand or a re-brand, we start with understanding the basics: who is your target market? What pain points do you solve for your customers? How are you different from your competition? What is your company’s personality profile?

Answering these questions is key to developing an effective brand strategy. You must first understand where you are to define where you’re going.

From here, we use visual and written language to communicate these aspects of your company through on-mission branding.

DISCOVERING YOUR BRAND’S PERSONALITY

People do business with people. We hear that everywhere, and it’s true. Your target market is much more willing to pursue you if you “feel” familiar to them. Seek to create a personal connection. Talk to them in their language, using images and ideas that they understand and trust. You must become the thing your target market is seeking for them to allow you to solve their problems.

Creating a community like this using a strong brand personality might feel like too big of a jump. After all, if you chase a niche target market, you will no longer be relevant to “everybody”. But let us encourage you that that’s okay. That’s actually good. Planning your brand strategy in this way will actually create more loyalty among the people who do choose to follow you. They will tell others who are “like them” about you. You will be more honest about who you are, and ultimately more successful because you aren’t distracted with trying to please everybody.

So, boldly pursue “your people”. Connect with them. Let your brand do the talking.

Curious to find out what your brand communicates about your company? We offer free brand analysis – click here!