A solid brand strategy has quickly become a must-have over the years, no longer just a marketing component that's 'nice to have' on occasion. Not only does proper branding lead to visibility, awareness, loyalty, and drive your business's mission, but it is what will define you in the minds of consumers. Branding is what will humanize your businesses, molding it into more than your products/services — a dear friend.
Small Biz Genius reports studies that have found that branding speeds up the process of recall and recognition. When done consistently, it even increased revenue by a good percentage. "It takes 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember a brand," which can be time-consuming and much more challenging to reach in a suitable time. However, branding can speed that process up and build an identity that sticks with consumers.
The types of branding you implement aren't applicable if you don't first understand why branding is important. Here's everything you need to know about the importance of branding.
What is Branding?
Branding refers to the process of building identifiable features and actions that consumers only associate with your business and product/services. It includes everything from your name, logo, design, and symbol to the values, message, and mission that you encompass. The process never stops. Instead, it is continuously improved upon as your branding gets stronger and more defined.
Having a strong brand is crucial to any business because it creates authenticity, transparency, and legitimacy. It also lays out your values, clarifying what you stand for and attracting customers and talent to your organization. A great example of strong branding would be Nike. While Coca-Cola is undoubtedly at the top for branding, Nike paved a new way for themselves with branding — giving hope to many brands today. They were being dominated by Reebok and close to bankruptcy.
Of course, that was before they took charge and rebranded with their Just Do It campaign, uniting athletes and fans for one ultimate goal: to be active. Today, everything they feature and do is modeled around that same concept, making them memorable and successful.
Why is Branding Important?
Branding creates and shapes the perception consumers are going to have about you. Branding encompasses all the actions and elements that will come to mind when consumers see your products/services and hear your name.
It is, essentially, your identity. Brand identity is how you present yourself to the public — the image your company wants to showcase to consumers. If you're an environmentally-conscious company at the core of your brand's being, everything about you should convey that. Your logos, designs, etc., should all have green incorporated. Your mission statement and values should speak to a more environmentally-friendly approach to business.
Everything should align, and it should all make sense so when the consumer sees and hears about it — there isn't any room for misinterpretation or confusion. You are what you say you are.
Branding Adds Value
When you align your business with specific values and stands, you make it more valuable. People want to connect and support brands that share their takes on life and support the important causes.
In fact, 77% of consumers buy from brands that share the same values as they do. Top talent feels the same way: a study by MetLife found that an astounding nine out of 10 people would choose a company with similar values over a job that pays more.
Branding Increases Visibility
It is all too easy to get lost in all the clutter and noise of competition in your industry, but branding allows you to set yourself apart and stand out. What is it about your brand that is different and special? Use that insight to drive more awareness to your brand the offers you bring to the right consumers.
The goal is to make yourself memorable because a memorable brand will be discussed, shared, referred to, and engaged with by a large audience. Even something as small as the colors you use can boost recall and recognition by nearly 80%! Every element plays a part.
Branding Builds Strong Customer Relationships
Consumers can't build strong relationships with products and services — but they can build relationships with a brand. Through the humanized effort of branding, your business could take on a whole persona in itself, filled with human emotions, opinions, views, value, and more. Brand stories are a great display of this in branding.
You can reach and resonate with an audience that feels like they can relate to you personally through a strong brand story. Customers become loyal to brands they love and want to support. All you have to do is build a brand worth their loyalty.
Drive Your Values, Vision, and Mission with Branding
Branding is a complex concept that has many moving parts. Highlighting everything that makes up your business can be intimidating, especially since it determines who will resonate with your brand best and who will turn to other options.
Better branding campaigns can be accomplished with the help of a media partner. When done correctly, it has the potential to take a brand barely hanging on by its feet (hence, old Nike!) to a powerhouse brand that has dominated various age groups for decades now.