This is part two of a three-part series discussing the composition, importance,
intent, and process of branding.
When people talk about a brand, they are typically referencing the visual elements — the logo, the colors, the typefaces, and/or specific marketing materials. As we discussed in the first part of this three-part series, a brand is a promise you make to your customers. It’s comprised of who you are, who you aspire to be, and who people perceive you to be. In essence, your brand is your reputation, and it is what urges customers to choose your company over the competition when the product offering is identical.
Think about bottled water. How do you decide to choose one brand over another? Of course, the price is a factor, but the choice is also influenced by how the brand makes us feel — whether about ourselves or the impression we want to give to others.
Taking the time to develop a solid brand strategy can provide a foundation for both factual and emotive elements. Here are five reasons why brand strategy is so critical.
Effective branding can promote recognition for your business. If the elements described in part one of this series (position, promise, differentiators, persona, and story) are consistent and distinguishable, customers will come to feel confident about doing business with you. It is human nature to adhere to the familiar, so establishing a visible and reliable presence will only encourage repeat business.
Sets You Apart from the Competition
Standing out from the crowd is vital in this fast-paced, highly-competitive global market. Establishing a strong brand focused on your organization’s differentiation strategy will ensure that customers take notice. Think about the brands that attract your attention. What is it about those companies that stand apart from the competition? At first, you may think of their brand story or brand promise, and while these are definitely important, it is ultimately how you communicate your differentiators that determines your position among the competition.
Creating an effective and consistent brand will ensure that customers know exactly what to expect during every experience. Aside from establishing credibility and trust, a strong brand also promotes a professional and authentic presence. Think of your brand as a representation of your promise to your customers. What do they hope to gain from doing business with you, and how can you strengthen that experience?
Most people think of physical assets when they think of value. However, consider some of the most successful global brands — Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple. What are these companies doing to add value for the customer? They likely aren’t giving customers more for their money. These brands rarely, if ever, incorporate pricing into their differentiation strategy. Yet, customers are often willing to pay the premium. That’s because the brand adds value and carries additional worth beyond the combination of materials and labor.
Brand strategy prevents ad hoc marketing efforts that can result in unclear messaging and the perception of an unreliable organization. As previously mentioned, customers trust brands they recognize. Because purchasing is more of an emotional decision than a practical one, building trust is critical to helping customers to know you on a personal level. If you meet someone dressed in a business suit one day and a denim tuxedo the next day, it will be difficult for you to nail down exactly who they are and what they stand for. It’s the same for a brand. Keep this in mind as you develop future campaigns to ensure you’re developing a brand that people recognize and trust.
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We would like to thank Whitney Lane for this post, Click Here to check out her website!