You might already know what branding is (we explained the basics before) and you probably acknowledge the omnipresent existence of brands in literally every aspect of our daily lives. But how can branding improve your own business – be it a large company or a small family venture?
Below are four fundamental ways in which a strong brand can elevate your business:
Branding boosts recognition:
There is no question that a strong, memorable logo improves recognition of a brand. Being exposed to logos from an early age, often reinforced by pleasant memories, even children as young as three are able to recognise brands without fail. The brand power does not end here – think of any football fan who can recognise their favourite team’s merchandise merely by the club colours or remind yourself of the last time you were shopping in a hurry and swiftly chose a household product based on its appealing, familiar packaging. A well-designed logo is essential to represent a brand in the shortest possible form and a unified format, however it should also stay in tune with the changing trends – as proved by most of the well-known brands, branding is a constant journey and innovation should also apply to visual identity to guarantee long-term success.
Strong branding generates referrals:
Word of mouth is the cheapest and most effective advertising known to date, so it’s not rocket science to figure out that investment in future referrals can bring a significant return. The best way to start is by putting a real effort into branding. A logo, name or catch phrase which is easier to remember is also easier recalled – getting people talking is the first step to success, the rest is about making sure they communicate the brand correctly. On that note, consumers love being authorities in finding and recommending new products, services and places – judging by the number of themed blogs, anyone can be a restaurant critic or a tech guru, so your branding strategy should include the innovation factor that will attract attention of today’s online influencers.
Branding inspires employees:
If your employees understand and resonate with your brand promise, they will be proud to work under your flag and will show genuine loyalty. Think Apple Store – joining the ranks of support staff at Apple’s Genius Bar is something of a social promotion for tech savvy youngsters around the world. People seem to choose a strong, reliable and well-defined brand before company profile, which might explain why lower stock value, but cleverly branded start-ups attract more young professionals than some established, yet culturally dated companies that have lost their edge in the modern time market.
Branding translates into profits:
Finally, nothing speaks better to any business owner than profit. For many companies, brand investment would take up a generous share on their balance sheet. When last year P&G sold their assets to Coty for a staggering $12.5 billion – what did they sell? Products? Machines? No, they sold brands.
When in 2010 Kraft obtained Cadbury for $18.9bn, what exactly did they buy? Chocolate bars? Factories? No. They bought much loved, English heritage brands.
To better understand the value of a brand (in case the above examples are not sufficiently convincing), let’s look at its variation known in pop culture since the dawn of time– the personal brand. Donald Trump once famously estimated the value of his brand at somewhere between $3 - $6 billion, somewhat exceeding the Forbes 400 estimate of $2 million for that year. What strikes us here most is not the whopping discrepancy but the fact that Donald Trump’s name, signature and appearance is worth actual money and even the humble $2 million seems like a figure worth investing in that whole branding thing, doesn’t it?
On every level – small or big – good branding reinforces marketing and advertising activities. There is absolutely no question that marketing is crucial for any business to flourish, however no marketing activity or advertising can exist without branding in place. That’s because ‘no-brand’ products and services are replaceable and are not relatable for consumers. Investing in your brand from the get-go will make it easier and more effective to market it in the future, as brands are easier to remember and identify with in a long-term perspective.