10 Benefits of Branding
What is a Brand?
There are numerous ways to describe a brand and what branding actually is, The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as “a name, term, design, symbol, or any other features that identifies one sellers good or services as distinct from those of other sellers.
David Ogilvy, “Father of Advertising” defined brand as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.”
Jeff Bezos, founder, chairman, and chief executive officer (CEO) of Amazon.com, Inc., “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room,”
Ryan Borna, founder, and chief executive officer (CEO) of Bornite Inc., “Branding is about expressing the company’s personality and values, building a comprehensive and consistent experience that resonates with customers and nurtures lasting relationships.”
What Makes a Strong Brand?
There are many things that contribute to a strong brand. Uniqueness, product features, memorable visual graphics, exposure, and competitiveness are just a few. But by far the most important quality that a brand can have to stand out from the competition is brand strategy.
What is Brand Strategy?
Brand strategy is a “big picture” plan, a clear vision and articulation of how a brand will deliver distinctive and relevant benefits to target customers. An effective brand strategy answers five critical questions:
What are the most profitable customer segments to which the brand must appeal?
What is the single-minded value proposition that is going to compel these high priority customers to repeatedly choose the brand?
Why should these high priority targets believe in the brand?
What are the facts that support the value proposition?
How do we communicate and implement the branding, marketing, and operational plan so employees and sales channels will adopt it?
There is no prescription or template for developing a brand strategy. Many different models exist, but all should be rooted in the brand’s vision and driven by the principles of differentiation and sustainable customer appeal. And they must be based on specific industry and competitive variables.
How to create a Brand Strategy?
In order to craft the perfect brand strategy we should clearly identify our customers (customer segmentation, and user profiles), find their pain points (external, internal, and philosophical), and position our business, service or product as the reliable guide that calls them to action and helps them avoid failure and achieve success.
Focus on your customers.
While it’s great that your team thinks your brand looks cool, but the focus of your brand should be on your target audience. If it doesn’t connect with the customers you’re attempting to convert, it may all be for naught.
Finding customers pain points
What is a concise summary of the attitudinal and demographic description of the target group of customers your brand is attempting to appeal to and attract?
Positioning your brand.
What category is your brand competing in and in what context does your brand have relevance to your customers? Define the brand’s personality, functionality, and physical traits through visual and verbal identity.
A reliable guide.
What is the most compelling (emotional/rational) benefit to your target customers that your brand can own relative to your competition? And what is the most compelling evidence that your brand delivers on its promise?
Call them to take action.
People depend upon the CTA (Call to Action) at the end of your engagement with them to take the next step. They’ve read your ad copy, watched your video, or skimmed your website and are interested in engaging with your brand and look for the CTA to learn what to do next. Omitting the CTA can confuse customers and hurt your chances of sealing the engagement. CTA makes it easy for customers to do what you want them to do.
Guide them in solving their problem.
The most successful brands pick their message and make promises carefully, aware that they are always able to keep them. If you are guaranteeing something and staking your brand’s reputation on it, breaking your audience’s trust will do more damage than any physical loss could. Always deliver on your promises.
Add a superpower to your business
Just like every high-grossing movie, a brand should have a well thought out story behind it. In which the customer is the hero of the story, and the business or the product should act as a guide to help them avoid failure and succeed in fulfilling their needs.
In the book, Building a Brand Story, Donald Miller talks about how you can clarify your message so customers will listen. In his book, he teaches the seven universal story points all humans respond to, and the real reason customers make purchases.
The seven universal story points.
A character who wants something encounters a problem before they can get it. At the peak of their despair, a guide steps into their lives gives them a plan and calls them to action. That action helps them avoid failure and ends in success.
Character: The customer is the hero, not your brand.
Problem: Three levels of problems should be identified: external, internal, and philosophical.
Guide: Customers aren’t looking for another hero; they are looking for a guide in the process.
Plan: A clear path that we laid out takes away any confusion they might have about how to do business with us.
Call to Action: Customers do not take action unless they are challenged to take action.
Avoid Failure: We must show the cost of not doing business with us.
Success: Never assume people understand how your brand can change their lives or their business. Tell them.
10 Major Benefits of Branding
Saves money and time
With rock-solid branding in place, you can easily keep everything consistent, make decisions more quickly, act faster, gain more quality customers, and improve your Brand Equity. Brand equity develops and grows as a result of a customer’s experiences with the brand.
It might seem cost-effective to just go with the cheapest solution at first, but without proper brand strategy in place, you won’t be very consistent and you may want to change your strategy, logo, messaging, website, marketing, trademarks and copyrights, and everything else several times before it resonates with your customers. That leads to spending more money fixing the issues caused by cheap solutions, wasting valuable resources (time, energy and human resources), losing customers in the process, and missing business opportunities.
Depending on your business goals you might need to find investors to launch a new product or service, scale your business, or at some point sell your business. With a solid brand established, you will come across as a professional and therefore you can charge like one! If you show that you produce high-quality work or products, investors will be more likely to value what you offer and pay higher prices for it.
New York-based firm, Interbrand, releases Best Global Brands report every year. The three key indicators that determine the brand value in this ranking are the financial performance of the branded products or services, the role of brand in the purchase decision process (the price premium you can charge over a no-name product), and the strength of the brand.
Click here to see Interbrand’s 2018 Best Global Brands Rankings.
Lowers marketing expenses
Once your brand is created, you can maintain it without having to tell the whole story about the brand every time you market it. Consequently, you waste fewer resources strategizing, and creating creative pieces from the ground up. And you have more reusable content in the long run.
Customer recognition,loyalty and credibility
With great branding, all of the energy, time, and money that has gone into building a company comes together as a coherent and remarkable presentation. Branding exists to amplify the business by engaging with customers and making them pay attention.
Consumers buy the most well-known brand, not the best product.
Amplifies Customer Retention Rate
Customers are interested in brands that share similar values with them. When you deliver what your brand promises and have a unique identity, your customers will remember you. If they ever need your services or products in the future, they will think of you first and will most likely refer you to their friends.
Maximizes new product launches
and makes it easier to introduce new products or services. If you already have loyal customers and a strong brand, it will be easier to introduce new products or services. Your audience will already be interested in what you do, so they will be more inclined to accept, participate in, or celebrate the new things you are offering.
Builds a barrier to entry
Barriers to entry act as a deterrent against new competitors. They serve as a defensive mechanism that imposes obstacles to new entrants and competitors. Common barriers to entry include special tax benefits, patents, strong brand identity or customer loyalty, and high customer switching costs.
Shortens the sales cycle
When customers experience clarity and transparency with your brand and share similar values with your business, they understand your value, there is less push-back on price, less resistance with their subconscious mind, and greater chances of closing.
Trademark protection for your business
Building a distinct brand is an important part of any business. Everything that sets you apart—company name, product and service names, slogans, logos, taglines, and even sound marks—produces a brand image that your customers come to know.
This value can become so great that you can use it to bargain for financing with banks and other lending institutions.
By having a distinct brand you can utilize trademarks and copyrights to shield your brand (IP) against competitors, and stop others from using confusingly similar marks.
It also helps you license your brand to create passive income and increase your brand popularity.
A branded business, attracts attention, and often those who are noticing are talented engineers, influencers, social media marketers, designers, concept builders, or strong salespeople.
When a business is doing a remarkable job with their brand, this caliber of thinker often wants to be a part of that business. Consequently expanding company’s capabilities, and developing your most valuable asset, its human resources.
A company’s success depends on having a strong brand and a solid vision for the future—and employing an engaged team that is dedicated to making that vision a reality.
By having a clear brand positioning, personality, and values; you can boost employee engagement, improve productivity, and reduce employee turnover.