A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or any
other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from
those of other sellers. Brands are used in business, marketing, and
advertising. Name brands are sometimes distinguished from generic or store
brands. Branding is one of the most important aspects of
a successful business. It’s the first impression you give to your audience and
it’s what makes you stand out among your competition. Your brand is a direct
reflection of what your customers should expect from you. It’s your voice, your
mission, your marketing materials, your packaging, your website. It’s the
reason people will choose you over others. Simply put, branding is not just a
logo. For small businesses especially, it’s important to attract and retain
loyal customers and branding will do just that.
- Branding helps you stand out in a
If you’re a small business or creative entrepreneur, you may have realized by now that there are a lot of us! It’s common for people to find a quick solution and buy a logo for $50, but they probably don’t have a set strategy for their brand. There’s no meaning behind their logo and it might not even make sense for their target audience. A good brand has a clear purpose and will help you stand out among other people in your field. Maybe what you offer or your style is similar to your competition, but clients and customers will choose you because of your brand, your whole package and vibe. First impression is everything.
The harder a company works on its branding and identity, in most cases, the more awareness it creates. For example, Coca-Cola is known worldwide for its product. A consumer can see it in a foreign county, with labeling in a foreign language and know it is a Coca-Cola product. The red color and shape of the bottle is an immediate trigger in many minds as to the fact that the drink is a Coca-Cola product. This is branding and identity at its best.
2. Branding gives you credibility.
Having an established and clear brand will make you look like an expert. If you appear to know what you’re talking about and come across as a professional, people will be more likely buy from you.
Advantage: Consistency in the Marketplace
The more often a customer sees your brand in the marketplace, the more often he will consider it for purchase. If the brand and identity are truly kept consistent, the customer is more likely to feel that the quality is consistent and to become a loyal follower of the brand. However, this means that the product must maintain a consistency that reflects the image as well.
3. With a clear brand, you can charge what you’re worth.
It can be hard to get your first clients and customers. In order to start making money, sometimes you just have to take whatever you can get. Many times, you may charge way less than what you deserve just to gain some traction in your business. With a solid brand established, you will come across as a professional and therefore you can charge like one! If you show that you produce high quality work or products, clients will be more likely to value what you offer and pay higher prices for it.
Advantage: Customer Loyalty
Well-executed branding helps create customer loyalty by reinforcing the purchase of merchandise in the consumer’s mind. For sporting products, a campaign focused on physical fitness and not on a particular product helps establish the brand as a leader in the industry for both previous and future customers. When the product is associated with a lifestyle, it keeps consumers pursuing similar goals coming back.
4. Branding leads to customer loyalty.
Good branding elevates a business and builds recognition and loyalty. Customers are attracted to brands that share similar values with them. When you showcase what you value through branding, customers will develop an emotional connection to you. For example, I love the brand Appointed. I could go into any Kroger or Target and pick up a regular notebook, planner or calendar, but instead I buy from Appointed because their brand resonates with me. Brand loyalty can often last a lifetime, which leads me to the next benefit of branding.
5. Branding leads to
returning customers & referrals.
If you deliver what your brand promises, your customers will remember you. Your clients and audience can be the best form of marketing. If they ever need your services or products in the future, they will think of you first and will most likely refer you to their friends.
6. Branding =
With solid branding in place, you can easily keep things consistent and make decisions more quickly when it comes to your customer experience. You won’t have to constantly question yourself on the little things like, “What font should I use? What color should I use? How should this look?” With a brand style guide, all of those things will be set.
7. Branding helps to
attract your ideal clients.
As I said before, people connect with brands that share the same values. If your brand clearly represents your business, you’ll be more likely to attract the right people. For example, if you have a high-end floral business and you want to attract a higher-paying client, your branding needs to be in line. In this case, you may want to use higher quality packaging, or include a beautiful card with each purchase. The small details are important and that’s what your ideal clients will remember.
8. Branding your
business will save you money and time in the long run.
For small businesses, it’s so important to watch where your money is being spent. You have to decide what is most important to you and what makes the most sense for your business. Trust me, I completely get it! It might seem easiest to just go with the cheapest solution at first, but without proper branding in place, you might not be very consistent. You may want to change your strategy, logo, messaging, website and everything else several times before you’re completely happy with it. In the long run, you may end up spending more time and money on changes, rather than setting a good foundation in the first place. Constantly changing things also won’t do anything good for your customer loyalty.
9. Branding will give
you confidence in your business.
Beautiful branding will make you proud to share and market your business. If people see that you’re confident in what you do, they’ll be more likely to trust you and your expertise.
branding will make it easier to introduce new products or services.
If you already have loyal customers and a strong brand, it will be easier to introduce new products or services. Your audience will already be interested in what you do, so they will be more inclined to accept, participate in, or celebrate the new things you are offering.
11. Branding gives
you a clear strategy for moving forward.
Branding sets a wonderful foundation as you move forward with your business. It will set the tone for everything you do. With a strong strategy in place, you can refer back to it and make sure that your products and services are in line with your brand’s mission and goals. For some of my favorite resources that I’ve used for my clients’ branding as well as my own, check out Helpful Resources for Creative Entrepreneurs.
I hope this was helpful if you are considering whether or not to brand your business! Please share your thoughts in the comments