Whether you are a small, medium or large business, effective branding is essential to the long-term success of your business. In this blog post, we discuss why branding is important – and how you can use it to grow your business.
Tried and tested or brand new?
Branding has been around for longer than you might realise. It’s thought that branding originally dates back to around 2-3000 BC when farmers would brand their cattle to identify ownership of their livestock and to help avoid theft.
Buyers then referred to the branding or labelling as a way of understanding the quality of what they were buying – after all, we often want to buy from an established and reputable source and if a farmer consistently delivered good quality products, their branding could be used as a way to identify livestock of the highest quality.
Branding in marketing has evolved a lot since those days, but the foundations of how it works (and why it works) remain. When you see a brand name and logo, you instantly know plenty of information about the product or service that’s being offered. It will also stir up emotions and feelings based on previous experiences or interactions with that brand.
Take some of the big brands, for example. If we say McDonald’s, Ferrari or the iPhone, you should instantly know we are talking about fast food, sporty cars and mobile phones – but your knowledge and perception go beyond that.
You know that the fast food retailer is going to deliver a clean, low-cost service that’s child-friendly – rather than a 5-star Michelin service with romantic music and a bottle of their finest red wine.
Similarly, if a friend tells you he or she has bought a Ferrari, you wouldn’t expect to see them turn up at your home with a 6-seater minibus that’s painted in green.
The brand of a company isn’t just a name and a logo. It includes perceptions and a set of expectations that have been built up over time.
The power of a strong brand
A strong brand can be powerful enough to generate a customer base of loyal brand advocates – people who effectively fall in love with the brand and everything that it’s associated with.
There have been occasions in the past when the latest iPhone launch has led to hundreds (possibly thousands?) of people waiting for days outside Apple stores around the world to be the first to have the latest and greatest on offer from a brand they know and love.
This might be an extreme example, but a strong brand is a proven way to build revenue over the long term. Having repeat customers is lower cost than it is to acquire new customers.
If a potential customer already knows and trusts your brand, they are more likely to buy from you rather than shop around.
Customers who are loyal to a brand are also likely to spend more on each transaction, for example, by purchasing the premium rather than the standard option as well as extras and add-ons.
Tips for creating a powerful brand
At the heart of any brand is a set of expectations of what you are going to deliver.
The first step in any branding strategy is to make sure you are clear on how your brand will be positioned compared to your competition – and then create solutions that are consistent with this.
Deliver to expectations
It’s also important that you meet or exceed the expectations that you set. If you deliver a great product or service the first time, and then underdeliver the second time, customers will start to associate your inconsistencies with your brand.
If, however, you consistently deliver a great product or service, customers will quickly build up a more positive perception of your brand.
Next focus on the branding itself – make sure you use the right colours, fonts and styles that blend together – and that are in line with your overall brand.
Customers should be able to land on your website or see your logo and instantly recognise your business.
Consistency is key and if you start using different styles and colours then it can negatively impact how your brand is perceived.
A restaurant that positions itself as being upmarket needs to create an atmosphere that reflects that – with the right lighting, sound and interior design. It also needs to have the right logo and marketing that sends the right impression.
A low-cost retail store or app, on the other hand, might use bright colours and fonts that send a different message. Pricing that’s in yellow, for example, can suggest that a product or service is cheap.
The design of your logo is also important. It should reflect what your brand is about and should be easy to recognise.
To ensure your brand strategy works, it’s recommended to work with a professional marketing company that has experience building brands. It’s also a good idea to get feedback on your branding before going live to the market. This helps to ensure that your branding reflects what you want to achieve.
Need help with your branding?
If you need help building your brand identity, get in touch. At Kamreno, we work with businesses to ensure that their marketing activities and branding are focused on creating a successful brand identity.
Call us today to find out more.