Want to know what is the importance of branding for businesses? The snippet below will show you the importance of branding at its best!
Australia is a relatively large country, it’s almost as big in size as the USA. However, our population is tiny with only 25 million people. With only 6 states, and 2 territories, the distances are great when travelling from one state to another. So, as a family, whenever we go on a road trip, we are always on the lookout for those golden arches for a food stop.
Without me naming the business that my family searches for when on a road trip, I’m sure that you instantly know which business I’m referring to! What’s more, many three-year-old toddlers can also recognize McDonald’s by its famous golden arches. Now that’s branding at its very best!!!
Why Branding Is Important For Business!
When you think of any product range, which products immediately jump to mind? I bet it’s the big brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Virgin, Apple, Google, and Facebook.
These products didn’t necessarily start off as being the most popular. Instead their companies grew their product awareness through branding. This is why branding is important for business, and branding is important for your business too!
A brand identifies a business! It focuses on a business’ uniqueness and distinguishes a business from its competition. A strong, trusted brand will help your business to grow exponentially.
But branding isn’t just a logo, it’s much more than that! Branding reflects your business’ values and the way you want your customers and others to perceive your company or business.
What Is Branding In Business?
Business branding is the whole package! It’s what you do in your business and how you do it. It’s what your customers experience when they deal with, or come into contact with anything that relates to your business. These touch points include any sensory or emotional interaction your customers experience.
Customer perceptions of your business will be formed from the sights, sounds, texture, smells, tastes, emotions, and experiences, that they encounter with your business, products, and/or service.
These reactions can be in regards to your products/service, pricing, advertising, packaging, delivery, logo, customer service, website, customer reviews or a multitude of other touch points that the customer come across which relate to your business.
Each touch point will determine how people perceive you, your products, service and/or your business. These sensory interactions combine to form an amalgamation of physical, sensual, emotional, intellectual or spiritual reactions. These perceptions can be positive, negative or somewhere in between.
McDonald’s branding leaves a positive impression. Many children perceive McDonald’s as a happy place which is bright and colorful. A place where they like the food and their parents are content for them to play for as long as they like. Not to mention the excitement they experience when getting a cool toy with their Happy Meals.
For many parents, McDonald’s is all about peace of mind and convenience. It’s a place to get a quick tasty meal which is reasonably priced and more importantly the kids are happy to eat. It’s a place that most children enjoy going to. These positive feelings and/or emotions will ensure that these customers will continue to return to McDonald’s.
What Is The Importance Of Branding?
An excellent business brand is reflected and reinforced by very touch point that a customer comes in contact with. This includes anything or person that represents your business. This includes your logo, business cards, slogan, website, advertising, product, staff, business premises, website, comments on social media, and so forth.
If you have a physical business, your brand is reflected in your provision of customer service, staff presentation, uniforms, signage, overall presentation of your store, and availability of parking. It’s also reflected in your product displays, marketing materials, packaging, the product itself, product delivery, warranties, advertising, and so on.
For example, Apple’s branding isn’t just about its logo, technology or innovation. The branding is reflected in how the products look and feels, the company’s commercials, the music in its videos, product photography, and celebrity endorsements.
Apple’s store design, staff product knowledge, product packaging, the design of its website, technical support and a multitude of other factors that the customer experiences all combine together. The accumulation of these experiences merge to influence how people “feel” about Apple’s products and business.
Many people just love their Apple phone and would never consider buying anything else! This is the ultimate in branding! Apple’s branding is extremely effective and as a result the company experiences a high level of customer loyalty. This level of customer satisfaction and loyalty then ensures repeat business for Apple products.
Your brand influences your customer to form an impression of your business. Your customer’s “feelings” or emotional responses towards your business can run the gambit from trust to dodgy, from exclusive to cheap, from desirable to couldn’t care less, from popular to unfashionable, and so on.
By now you should have a good understanding of what is the importance of branding for your business. The way you brand your business and/or products and services will leave an impression on your customer. So, never underestimate the extent that branding is important for business.
Logo Verses Branding
All large or well-known businesses, companies and organizations have logos. But many people don’t know the difference between a logo and branding. A logo is only a very small part of the overall brand! A logo consists of a symbol, or icon which is associated with the business. This can be an image, photo, portrait, letters or numbers.
For example, a toddler when spotting McDonald’s logo might recall the good feelings that he/she experienced when visiting McDonald’s.
The good feelings that the toddler experiences when seeing the McDonald’s logo might be due to receiving a new toy with every Happy Meal, the good tasting food, or the enjoyment he/she experience when to playing on the play equipment. The toddler’s enjoyment doesn’t come from the logo, it comes from the accumulated experiences of the brand.
Branding is the whole package, and is what influences the customer’s perception of your business. It’s what your customers and potential customer “feel” whenever they encounter any touch points relating to your business.
The customer’s perception of your business is accumulated through such things as value for money, product performance, packaging, ease of assembly, delivery time, advertising, shopfront, staff, and/or website.
Any problems that the customer has experienced with the business, staff or product/service will also affect brand perception. With the prevalence of customer reviews on social media, how other people view your brand may also be taken into consideration by potential customers.
Small Business Branding Strategy
What is the importance of branding for YOUR business? If you want to build a successful business you need people to recognize and remember your business through your branding. Positive branding helps you to be seen in a positive light or as an expert in your industry.
Your logo will then help them to recall their positive emotions or experiences with your brand. They will then be happy to buy from you, or recommend your brand to their friends and family.
In order to nail your branding strategy, you must:
- Know your target audience.
- Solve problems or pain points.
- Focus on your unique selling position.
- Stand out from the crowd.
- Create a small business logo.
- Use best logo all time tips.
- Create a website.
- Apply your branding to the whole business.
- Evolve as you grow.
Know Your Target Audience.
Your time, energy and money are better utilized in business when you know who your target audience is! Knowing your target audience will help you brand your business correctly.
Your target audience is the person that will pay you the most for your product, service, time, advice or whatever your business provides. Successful marketers and businesses have a detailed profile of the person that pays the most for their goods or services!
If you have many different kinds of customers, concentrate on the one that pays you the most! For example, if you’re a florist, your biggest sales might be to brides. Yes, you have other customers, but your bride is your biggest spender.
In order to know your target audience, you need to create a detailed description profile of that persona. This profile can be based on one of your real-life customers, or it can be made-up.
Your target audience profile should include:
- Job Description
- Marital status
- Number & age of children
- Educational level
- What they care about
- The pain points that they experience
If you can, find a photo of someone that represents your ideal target persona. The more information you can add to your audience profile, the more likely that you will be able to find out what motivates them.
Building a target profile will help you to develop your brand so that it appeals to your target customer. For example, if your target audience is young and vibrant then your brand could be funky, light-hearted, bold or colorful. If your brand is conservative, it won’t appeal to that audience and they will leave you in droves.
Solve Problems Or Pain Points.
A detailed target audience profile helps you understand your audience. It helps you to know what motivates them, their goals and pain points in relation to your business. Another way of getting to know what’s important to your target person is by asking them. You could do this face to face, over the phone, or via social media.
Once you know what motivates your target audience, work out ways that you can help them solve their problems or to achieve their goals. Helping others leads to trust!
For example, if you’re a florist, you might find that a common complaint of brides is that they have fewer flower choices available to them in winter than in spring or summer. Another pain point might be that brides want more unusual floral arrangements than what is generally available. How can you resolve these problems?
Look for solutions within your business to help you stand out from other florists. You could also contact your suppliers to see if they can get a larger range of flowers or some props that will allow you to create unusual displays. Or you could contact different suppliers to see if they can help you out.
When you help someone, they are more likely to trust you and view you in a positive light. If you can solve common pain points for your brides, they will be more willing to buy from you rather than from your competitors. And they will be more likely to recommend your services to their family and friends.
Focus On Your Unique Selling Position.
What is the importance of branding? The importance of branding is that when it’s done right, it leads to business success. Succeeding in business is difficult and this is especially true when you are in a competitive industry!
The key to business success is to figure out what makes you better, or different from your competitors. Because if your business is the same as everyone else, why would a customer choose you over your competitor? Once you worked out what makes you better or different from others, then brand your business so that it conjures up positive emotions in customers.
With physical products, one way to distinguish your brand from similar competitors is through unique packaging. Tiffany does this to great effect. It has one of the most recognizable packaging designs ever. The Tiffany forget-me-not blue box, complete with its white ribbon, is almost as collectible as the jewelry that comes in it!
The lesson here is to never overlook your unique selling positions. Because overlooking something as simple as your packaging could potentially be a missed branding opportunity!
Stand Out From The Crowd.
Branding helps you to embrace your uniqueness and use it to get people to choose you over your competitors. Ways that you can stand out from the crowd is to:
- Always deliver extraordinary customer service. Hire staff that respect and uphold your business values. Fix any customer complaints as quickly as possible!
- Address customer pain points to help them achieve their goals. This can cover a multitude of problems. For example, you could offer advice on how to use a product more efficiently. Or you might offer free home delivery, easy payment options, or change your opening hours.
- Do business differently than your competitors by introducing new processes, products and/or solutions. For example, make use of social media and mobile apps as many people use their phones to find products and services.
- Focus on a narrower niche or on what you do best. For instance, if you’re a plumber, focus on the part of your business that you are passionate about. Or concentrate your business on your customers’ biggest demands. Doing this means that your staff will be highly skilled and knowledgeable in the areas where you have your highest demand.
- Create a guarantee such as next-day delivery/service, or offer a money back if not satisfied policy. This shows customers that you truly believe in your product/service and care about their satisfaction.
Creating A Small Business Logo
Not all businesses have a logo. But going forward, if you want your business to be instantly recognized you should have one. Once your business is well established, your customers will be able to identify your logo with your company. For example, Nike’s swoosh, McDonald’s golden arches, and Apple’s bitten apple icons are easily recognized by people worldwide.
Logos can be in the form of a simple shape such as Twitter’s blue bird. They can be a letter such as “f” for Facebook, or the name of your business such as Amazon. Logos can be in the form of the initials of your business name, such as IBM (International Business Machines Corporation), an image, or a combination of the above.
Your logo need not be static. It can change and develop as your business grows and develops. Or if you get it right the first time, it can remain the same forever. For example, McDonald’s golden arches logo has been around since the beginning despite the changes it has made to its branding.
Best Logos All Time Tips
Below are 6 great tips that you can use to make your logo memorable.
- The best logos are simple. People recognize them because they are simple, basic and uncluttered. Think of the McDonald’s aches and the Nike swoosh.
- They need to be memorable. The simpler they are, the easier it will be to remember them. Think of social media buttons.
- Consider the color of your logo and branding and all the implications of your color choice. Choose colors that differentiate you from direct competitors to avoid confusion. The colors you choose can have a significant impact on how you connect with your customers. For example: if your business is men’s fashion shoes, then your branding colors shouldn’t be pink.
- A good logo will have the ability to be scaled up or down in size without looking out of proportion. That is yet another reason why logos should be simple. Just look at the icons for social media to get an idea. They are simple yet recognizable and scalable.
- Choose a slogan or tagline that differentiates you from your competition. A catchy slogan or tagline should be brief, to the point and makes a strong impression. Although slogans use a limited number of words they can make a big impact on your business card, your website, or your Twitter bio.
- Last but not least, logos should be relevant to the product that you sell or to your business. For instance, if your business is about pets, then you would want a logo that is relevant to pets not one that is relevant to cars.
Apply Your Branding To Whole Business.
So, what is the importance of branding for your business? Branding helps your customers to know what to expect from your business. It helps you distinguish yourself from the competitors. It clarifies what makes you the better choice. Branding helps make a memorable impression on your consumers.
Your branding is a combination of every consumer touch point associated with your business. This can include your logo, website, product, customer service, packaging, and promotional material. It encompasses the way you and your staff communicate, the way you answer the phone, your reputation, what you wear, and your business’ overall color scheme.
In fact, branding is everything and anything that is associated with your business. All these aspects should be integrated and be applied to the whole of your business so that that they are consistent.
For example, if your business is one of fun and adventure, everything about your brand should reflect this. The colors you choose, the staff your employ, the music you play in your store, and the way you interact with your customers should all reiterate fun and adventure.
Consistent branding can result in a more desirable product or service. It can lead to customer loyalty and allow you to charge a premium price for your product or service. You should always deliver on your brand promise. Because failure to do so will result in customers going elsewhere.
Create A Website
You can extend the reach of your brand by creating a website. However not all physically located businesses have a website. A website is a necessity for all businesses as it can help customers to locate you or view what you have on offer. It gives you an advantage over competitors within your industry that don’t have one.
Watch the video below to find out how to create your own website for free!
Many businesses that do have a website, don’t have a blog. This could be a missed branding opportunity. This is because blogging regularly and sharing your ideas with your target audience will help you lure people to your website.
Concentrate on writing high quality content that helps your customers with issues that they may face in regards to your product. By addressing the common problems of your target audience, you connect with them and grab their attention.
Use your blog to keep your customers up to date with what’s happening within your industry. Earn their interest by providing them with your point of view on current events and how these may affect them.
People will get to know who you are through your blogs. When people feel that they know you, and are interested in what you have to say, they will then begin to trust you. Trust helps them to buy into what you are selling!
Your website is a means for your customers to communicate with you. So, share your contact details and ask people to contact you if they have any concerns. Make sure that all your links work. And at all times respond to any requests or comments as soon as possible.
Always have a call to action button on your blogs or website. These lead the customer to take the action that you want them to take. Not having call to action buttons can be a lost business opportunity.
Evolve As You Grow.
Your business is not static. It will evolve as you and your target audience grow and as you embrace new technology or change product lines. How you run your business, the design of your logo and the customer base that you attract, may also change over time.
Your brand, will therefore also evolve as you embrace new ideas and concepts for your business. McDonald’s is a case in point. They have changed their brand by adding new product lines to cater for varying tastes and preferences.
McDonald’s now offers healthier meal selections. This is an acknowledgment of their consumers’ awareness for healthier eating options. Their new home delivery option caters to people who don’t want to go out, but still want convenience food. However, whilst McDonald’s brand has changed over time, their logo still remains the same.
But not all changes are always good for your brand! An example of this is Waterford Wedgwood. After 250 years of excellent branding, the maker of luxury glassware and china, collapsed.
The major reason for the collapse, according to The Guardian, was that it moved its country of manufacture from Ireland to Eastern Europe and Indonesia. Despite the company providing cheaper products, its loyal customers deserted them.
The reason for this is because their loyal customers no longer associated Waterford Wedgwood’s products with luxury. Unfortunately for Waterford Wedgwood, the countries that were now manufacturing the goods were not held in high esteem by the buying public.
Always consider any changes to your brand carefully. The changes that you introduce might be in order to meet your bottom line. But this can have devastating effects on your business especially if your customers’ perception of your brand is negatively compromised.
So, what is the importance of branding for your business? People are attracted to uniqueness! Branding helps you to stand out from the crowd. Individuals, companies and organizations that embrace uniqueness can make themselves more appealing by being different.
Standing out from the crowd gives you an advantage over your competition. A simple difference in branding from your competitors such as design, color, graphics, slogan, pricing, guarantees, or packaging can be enough to entice someone to notice your business.
The emotional connection with your customers that your business achieves through your brand can be positive, or negative. This emotional experience can last a long time and can impact your business into the future.
Therefore, investing time, money and effort into developing the right brand for your business is essential for business success. And the better you brand your business to your target audience, the bigger your success!
What branding strategies do you use to stand out from the crowd?
I’d love to hear from you, please leave any comments below. Thanks!