Your brand is your identity. It’s what makes you stand out. It’s the personality of your business and it’s what people both associate you with and remember you by. It is your story. Thus, regardless of how amazing your product or service is, without a good brand it’s likely you will have much less market saturation and fewer customers.
But just how important is it?
Brand, Branding, Brand Identity
Often, the terms brand, branding and brand identity are used interchangeably. But while related, the three are technically fairly separate concepts.
- Brand is the perception of the company in the eyes of the world.
- Branding involves the marketing practice of actively shaping a distinctive brand.
- Brand identity is the collection of all brand elements that the company creates to portray the right image of itself to the consumer.
Branding, by definition, is a marketing practice in which a company creates a name, symbol, or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company. It helps to identify a product and distinguish it from other products and services.
At the baseline, a brand is a specific combination of logo, words, type font, design, colors, personality, price, service, and more.
Your Brand Is Your Asset
But your brand is more than that. It’s not just a logo. A brand lives and evolves in the minds and hearts of potential clients. It shifts into a fostered set of emotions and ideas that your consumers associate with your company. It’s a way for you to connect emotionally to your consumers.
Often, your brand becomes your most valuable asset. It represents the sum of people’s perception of a company’s customer service, reputation, advertising, and logo. When all of these parts of the business are working well together, the overall brand tends to be healthy.
Your brand (and branding) is essentially your promise. Your customers should know what they’re going to get.
It takes a long time to build your brand into something that is easily recognized and that people relate with a valued set of results or feelings. While you can develop a brand from scratch, building the trusted reputation behind it takes a lot more blood, sweat, and tears.
What do you think of when you see someone buying a Prius? Stable, environmentally conscious, down-to-earth. Buying a certain brand says something about the person buying it. That’s where branding comes into play.
Branding Improves Recognition
Your logo becomes something that people will instantly recognize. Your logo design should be simple enough to be memorable, but powerful enough to give the desired impression of your company. You’re not just looking to artfully show your company name, but to invoke an understanding of what you do from that logo.
Branding Can Create Trust
When everything flows consistently, from the look of your storefront, to the tone and visual appeal of your newsletters and emails, you convey a level of authority and continuity. That, in turn, builds trust. Everything you do across your business should promote this fluidity, from the signage in your storefront to your website, from your customer communication to your employee dress code. Consumers lean towards what they perceive to be consistency.
Branding Supports Your Advertising
Both the media you choose and your targeted demographic help to build a brand. The more your brand is seen, the more it will be recognized, and in turn trusted. If you’re a young business or a smaller business with a smaller advertising budget, you don’t have to break the bank with elaborate radio and TV spots. Reusable shopping bags with your logo can be seen all over town. You, yourself, wearing your logo everywhere you go, are a walking billboard of goodwill. Just remember to always act according to your brand when in public, as well. You don’t want to be seen in your company polo while cursing an elderly woman for cutting you off in the grocery store checkout line.
Branding Builds Financial Value
Companies who publicly trade on the stock exchange are valued at many times the actual hard assets of the company. Much of that value is due to the branding of the company. A strong brand can often guarantee future business.
Take a quick look at Kylie Jenner. At 21, she became the youngest self-made billionaire of all time with her makeup company, Kylie Cosmetics. Her popular makeup products sell out within minutes, and within the first 18 months of the brand’s launch, she raked in a staggering $420 million in retail sales, alone. Her social media posts have far reach as an influencer, too, worth over one million, each. That fast success can largely be attributed to her already popular name behind the brand.
Whether you’re in the position to borrow funds for expansion or rolling out to an IPO, being perceived as more valuable will make the process more advantageous for you. The greater a company’s devotion to building its brand value, the better the financial return from its efforts.
Branding Inspires Your Employees
Most people aren’t just out there for a paycheck. They’re looking for more than just work – they need something to work toward. When employees understand the mission of a business and its reason for being, they are more likely to feel that same pride and work in the same direction to achieve the goals you’ve set. Having a strong brand is akin to turning the company logo into a high-flying flag that the rest of the company can rally around.
If you’re looking to see just how strong your brand is, turn to Clock Tower Insight for assessment of both your brand, and your competitors’. They provide an ongoing understanding of how brand perceptions and engagement connect with dollars and action.