The general perception of business owners is that they don’t need to waste money on branding. What they have to offer is so exceptional that clients will do anything to get it. Wrong! If you’re a new or small business, then it’s imperative to create your branding and follow its guidelines to the last detail. According to Forbes.com, brands convey a uniform quality, credibility and experience. Apple is still a brand, and it sells based on that. So do many other corporations. Branding is all about telling the world how you see yourself. If you deem yourself as unqualified or unfit for something, the world will take that for granted. They don’t know about your secret skills unless you show them constantly.
1. Branding makes you different from your competitors in the eyes of customers. You have a unique selling proposition (USP) and unique features and you want people to know how you differ from other businesses doing the same thing you’re doing. Whatever advantage you have, branding makes you stand out from the crowd.
2. Branding establishes a connection at the emotional level. It brings feelings and emotions to the surface. Think of the Coke commercials about celebrating life. You can identify yourself with that and relive the joy of every meal with the extended family. People have stopped buying just products, they are buying experiences. And those experiences can be created only through branding.
3. Branding offers credibility. When you set certain standards for your business and you are working hard to reach them, people will notice. Moreover, you have to convince them you can be trusted to do that. Branding is like building the foundation of a house, it’s an element which keeps everything together, but which is given little consideration. Without a solid foundation, any house will collapse.
4. Branding builds reputation. That’s especially important for new and small businesses, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post. It’s their chance to make an impression. If people buy something and they are happy with the experience, they will most likely remember the brand. They will recognize it the next time they come across it, and familiarity is an advantage when it comes to buying decisions. What would you choose? Something you’ve used before and were happy with, or something new you haven’t heard about?
5. Branding sets expectations. Once customers have engaged with your brand, they go through your brand experience. They know what to expect from your business the next time. They will remember the phone operator who was nice and helpful, or the emails that never got an answer. They will remember all the small details that will make them come back every time or avoid you for good.
6. Branding can help you attract new employees. By sharing your company culture, people can see how great it feels to work for your business and they will want to join in on the fun. People appreciate sneak peaks of what it’s like to work in another place. Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time online doing anything except what we’re supposed to be working on, so why not offer the others food for thought.
7. Branding can help you attract new investors or partners. Once you have established a reputation, a good one let’s hope, people start noticing you. By people I mean CEOs, investors, and the bunch. Word of mouth is still a very important way of recommendation, so remember to be nice to everyone. They all want to check out newcomers and establish some sort of relationship with them.
8. Branding makes the strategy of the organization clear. Without branding, everything is inconsistent. Imagine your employees running around the office and asking you for simple things such as the logo in PNG format or the size and color of the fonts to use on the latest print. Or the email signature template. Or how to talk to the customer who’s already on the line. Or anything of the kind. The crucial aspects of the business are ignored while wasting time with these menial tasks.
9. Branding will get you everywhere. Literally. With the expansion of the online, new markets have opened. The problem is that you need different branding for different parts of the world, because people have different values and needs. Once you manage to create your branding around a cultural movement, sky is the limit.
10. Branding costs very little, but it will grow your business and increase your valuation. Yes, hiring an expert to design your brand strategy will cost you, but you should think of it as an investment. You have social media and the internet at your disposal, for free. You can reach your target audience anytime, anywhere. Once you have established a powerful brand, your valuation can increase significantly. In case of exit, you will not be selling just your technology or product idea, but first and foremost the brand.
So there you have 10 reasons why you must brand your business right now. If you think I can help you with that, drop a line in the comments and I’d be more than happy to assist you. And remember, if you work hard & you’re kind, amazing things will happen.