Every year, companies like Procter & Gamble, Amazon, and General Motors spend billions of dollars on business branding and advertising. This huge amount of money is mostly spent on digital, print, and broadcast media.
But have you ever wondered why companies are willing to spend billions just to promote their brand? What is the importance of branding? And how can a company build a good brand?
In this post, we will explain to you the basics of branding, how to build a good brand, and why you should invest in building a good brand that wins in the market.
But first, let’s clarify what we really mean by branding.
What is Branding?
Branding is the process of creating an image or perception that helps consumers identify a product or service and distinguish it from the other brands.
The brand is the overall essence of the business – its product and/or service, its logo and trademarks, its people and values, its messaging and personality, its customers and following, its ideals, mission, and vision – actually, everything that encompasses the business is the brand. [Read: The Difference of Branding and Marketing]
The brand of the business helps establish its identity and set itself apart from the competition. Branding helps a business secure its future as it can be a decisive factor in why a consumer would choose a product over the competitors’.
How to Create a Great Brand
Creating a great brand that stands out isn’t easy. Many of the popular brands we have now are time-tested. Some even had to experience downfall to reinvent themselves again.
So what makes a great brand and how do you build one? We’ve listed down six simple steps that top brands today have done to climb the leaderboards:
1. Discover the purpose of your brand
The great brands today have been driven by a purpose— and so should you. Ask yourself: why does your brand exist? It can be as simple as “to provide cheaper alternatives to a product” or as complex as “to empower X community.”
Having a purpose makes it easier to proceed to the next steps in building a successful brand.
2. Identify your target market
After discovering your “why,” the next thing to do is to determine “to whom” does your brand exists for. This will also help you decide what steps you should take and what strategies to implement in the future.
Research about your target market. What do they need? In what ways do they satiate their needs? Where are they usually found?
3. Perform a SWOT Analysis
Identify your brand’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) and evaluate your competitive position. This helps you craft a plan to navigate the market, minimize risks, and increase your chances of success.
4. Identify your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Your brand’s USP is the set of factors that make your brand unique. It’s what makes you, “you.” Knowing your USP lets you draw on your strengths and communicate your value to the market so you can stand out amid the competition.
5. Form your brand voice or personality
This is the part of your brand that connects to your audience’s senses— what they see, hear, or even taste from you. This is where you create your logo, choose your color, and select your typography.
Your personality will also determine what types of images you send to your audience, what tagline to use on a daily basis, or how your products are packaged and services delivered.
6. Experiment and innovate
Successful brands don’t stop at one thing— they keep on innovating, so should you. Reinvent your brand regularly and don’t be afraid to experiment every now and then.
What is the Importance of Branding?
1. Brands can affect consumers’ first impression about your product or service
First impressions last. The same is true in business. Imagine coming across a sloppy brand for the first time. That would discourage you from exploring the brand further, wouldn’t it?
That’s why it’s important to build a good brand because your brand can help you capture potential customers— a workflow that’s extremely necessary for a business.
Additionally, brands must have a compelling narrative— why should a consumer buy from you? Is it the quality? The price? The accessibility? The cause?
This narrative will be critical during the first contact and it will become a huge factor in your potential customers’ decision when making their first purchase.
2. It can direct where your business goes
Great branding can influence where the business goes. It can serve as the “why” of the business and it will determine the future actions and strategies of the business. That’s why, sometimes, businesses refrain from performing certain actions because it might hurt their brand.
As mentioned above, to create a great brand, businesses need to identify their target market and craft a personality that matches their target market’s customer profiles. They also need to constantly communicate to the target audience the value of the brand and what makes it unique among other brands.
All of these will eventually make up the do’s and don’ts of the business which will dictate where the business moves and whether it’ll become successful by doing so.
3. It can help build customer trust and confidence
Trust is one of the hardest things to achieve in business. If you miss a few key elements of branding, you will have a hard time getting people to trust your business.
Branding helps build customer trust and confidence. It lets your potential and actual customers perceive you as an established, credible business. It also makes it easier for you to convince leads to make their first purchase.
With proper branding, you can show people early on what they can expect from your business— smooth service, friendly interactions, low price, etc.
This allows you to stand out from the competition— what is the value the customer is getting from you? And why are you the only brand capable of giving that value?
4. It can establish deeper connections with customers
Establishing your brand lets you deeply connect with anyone in the consumer market. It’s a slow process but with consistent data-driven marketing strategies, your audience will get to know you more and better than the other brands.
Some brands promote lifestyles, others even spark movements. It is in strategies like these that businesses transcend beyond their goal of profiting. They become active agents of change.
This makes a company one-of-a-kind. When companies are able to pull this strategy off, they are able to achieve the coveted top-of-mind awareness— where the names of their brands are permanently etched on consumers’ minds.
5. It can help you achieve results and grow
A good brand helps you achieve results, which you will need to be sustainable and, eventually, grow. Branding lets you dominate the market, penetrate new ones, and drive sales growth.
With many people recognizing your business, building a loyal following for your brand becomes easy. Customer churn will turn low and repeat purchases will become regular.
All of these are needed to make your business stable and grow consistently. A recipe for success that’s hard to replicate without good branding.
6. It can boost employee productivity
Great branding affects the company culture and it often boosts employee morale. When values are integrated into the brand (e.g. transparency, social responsibility, or innovation), it makes it easier for employees to align their personal values to match the brand.
To put it simply, employees become representatives of the brand they believe in and they become one with the brand. This makes it easier for them to work with the brand they work for, increasing their productivity as a result.
Building a great brand takes time and grit. What’s important is companies remain vigilant, make data-driven decisions, and continue to innovate the brand.
Want to know how to use data to build a successful brand? Contact us here.