Simplifying Branding – An Easy Reference

By Chris Wadsworth

Published in The Source – issue 37

Branding is complex but taking steps to get it right can provide a wide range of benefits, some obvious, others overlooked. This easy reference guide explains some of the main areas where branding helps businesses. 

Consistency

A key aspect of branding is to create consistency across your marketing and communications. A consistent approach to branding presents a professional image that builds recognition and credibility of your products and services.

Differentiation

Your brand is what differentiates you in the marketplace. Branding can make you stand out from your competitors, convey your point of difference and attract customers who are looking for what you offer.

Recognition

If you get your branding right you will start to build brand recognition. Customers are more likely to choose products or services from a brand they recognise, even if they don’t know much about the company.

Loyalty

When customers have a positive experience with a brand they recognise they are more willing to make future purchases and to recommend the brand to others. Over time this builds into brand loyalty making it hard for competitors to lure your customers away.

Stability

Professional branding reassures customers that you are a viable business with longevity. One of the most damaging things about poor branding is the uncertainty it gives prospects and customers about the abilities of a business.

Credibility

Customers need to trust a business or product before they will make a purchase. A strong brand breaks down barriers by creating trust and reassures the buyer that the business is professional and credible.

Professionalism

Professional branding shows that you take pride in your business and are committed to success. Customers will be more confident that you will deliver on your promises if you present a professional image.

Opportunity

A well-recognised brand creates more opportunities for your business. When you have customers who are loyal to your brand it’s easier to successfully introduce new products and services, or to enter new markets.

Perception

Branding can make a small business look larger, it can support your positioning in the marketplace, establish a connection with a customer base, and much more. Branding is used to present your business in the way you want to be perceived.

Quality

Businesses with strong brands are perceived as higher quality, resulting in more sales, higher prices and more referrals. Branding can prevent your products or services being seen as a commodity and elevate them to value added.

Strategy

Branding is where business strategy and marketing strategy meet. When you take the time to develop values that reflect your strengths and the needs of your customers it gives you a competitive advantage, aligns your business decisions and unifies your team.

Value

Branding is an investment that adds value and reduces costs. It makes all your advertising and marketing activities more effective and because you have a visual style in place it reduces the time needed (and therefore the cost) to produce new marketing and communications collateral.

Recruitment

Companies with desirable brands attract and retain the best talent. Strong brands nurture pride for employees and bring the whole business together with a shared vision.

Succession

Probably the most overlooked benefit of branding is succession planning. If your business has a strong brand it will make it easier to sell and because of the equity in the brand you can sell for more. A well-defined brand strategy also makes it easier for new management to understand the business and continue with its growth and development.

Do you understand branding?

Awareness of branding is growing, however many people don’t understand branding. Some think it’s simply a logo that you put on all your business collateral, others understand the consistent application of a style but overlook brand strategy, and without strategy branding is all aesthetics but no substance.

Posted 10 August 2018

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