The word branding has many meanings. Branding refers to a business's name and image, their logo, level of service, design aesthetic, and the list goes on!
Branding is what establishes a company's presence in a consumer's mind, it is what differentiates competing businesses. Therefore a well-branded business is essential in today's market.
Below I have outlined 5 reasons why you need to brand your business.
1. Branding is synonymous with your reputation.
Every business has a reputation whether they have been around for 20 years or just recently established. When I think about what a company's reputation means to me I recall on my previous experiences.
Did they cater to my needs?
Did they have my best interest at heart?
Were they only focused on making a profit?
Do they consistently produce the results they promise?
As a business you need to ensure your clients have positive answers to these questions. Also realize branding goes much deeper than your visual identity or style guide.
Your values become your mission statement, and your personality becomes your brand tone. Every customer interaction will affect your company's reputation.
If you think of branding as being synonymous with your reputation you will regard it as much more important. Therefore you have a brand if you have a business, what you do with it is up to you.
2. Branding makes the first impression.
Does your audience understand what you do?
Is your mission and message clear?
Your message needs to be easily understood by your audience, and you need to specify what you do as a business so a client's first encounter is memorable.
You don't get the opportunity to talk with every potential client in person. Clients will make quick judgements, and whatever their first impression is what they will tell their circle of friends.
A cohesive well-presented brand will make you look more professional even if you are a new business, and will leave a lasting impression.
3. Branding keeps customers loyal.
Marketing brings customers in, branding is what keeps them loyal. Branding keeps customers loyal because they are familiar with your product or service and can expect consistent results.
Therefore your brand needs to be in place before you market so your efforts to attract and retain customers are effective.
There is the general rule that 80% of business comes from 20% of your clients. This means the majority of your business comes from repeat customers, customers who love your brand and are loyal.
Having customers repeatedly purchase from you is also great because client retention is cheaper than client acquisition, which leads to the next point...
4. Branding makes marketing easier and cheaper.
A potential client needs to be exposed to your brand multiple times before they purchase from you. They need to be familiar with your brand and build a level of trust.
Therefore by branding your company to target a niche clientele you can focus your marketing efforts and get in front of your desired audience.
Let's take the photography business for example. Instead of advertising that you photograph everything under the sun, focus on one area such as wedding photography. Now brand your whole business around weddings, and only market to couples getting married. It is much easier to determine where newly engaged men and women spend their time, which means you know where to advertise.
A smaller group to market to means you can concentrate your efforts. You know which avenues to invest money into and which ones don't give you a satisfactory ROI. Marketing just became easier, and a whole lot cheaper.
5. Branding allows you to charge more.
Consistent, strategic branding leads to strong brand equity. Brand equity is a phrase that describes the value of a well-known brand name.
A great example is Apple. Apple computers can be priced higher than any other competitor due to the associations built around their brand.
"Brand equity is the added value brought to your company's products or services that allows you to charge more for your brand than what identical, unbranded products command."-Entrepreneur.com
After the initial investment of time and money to brand your company, your products and services can be priced higher. In the long term you have the potential to make a larger profit.
Any thoughts or insights on why you need to brand your business? Tell me in the comments!
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