Building your business can be a long and difficult journey, made even harder if you lack the right branding. Branding can boost your business in a myriad of ways, such as creating trust with your customers and inspiring your employees. But what really is branding and how can it be used to benefit your business?
Before you can begin to grasp the concept of branding, you need to understand that your brand only ever exists in the minds of your customers. In layman’s terms, a brand is the collective of all the perceptions the customer has, based on your company, products and every experience they’ve had with you and your business. Creating a brand for your customers will help guide their opinion, create a stronger sense of recognition and give the customer a sense of trust. We often fear what we don’t know, so branding yourself well will allow your target audience to feel like they’ve gotten to know your business and will consequently allow them to feel more comfortable choosing you over your competitors.
Having a well-established brand will make it much easier to draw in new customers and even has the availability to reach new audiences. Tools, such as word of mouth, are an extremely effective way of gaining awareness and, in turn, more customers. However, without one, it’s more likely that these tools won’t work as you won’t be easily recognised. This can be very detrimental to your business. It’s been shown time and time again that customers would often prefer to pay a little more for a brand they recognise. A strong brand awareness usually means there’s a positive impression of your company among customers and they like to use your business because of the assumed dependability of using a name they can trust.
A clear brand isn’t just good for customers, it can provide your staff with the clarity they need to be successful. It can give them an understanding of how to act, how to meet the company’s goals and what your expectations of them are. An employee is much more likely to truly agree with your company values when they work under a well-respected brand. They will take more pride in their work and will be more inclined to want to tell all their friends and family about where they work. Having a good relationship with your employees keeps moral high and gives the customer a greater image of your business as it can show just how much you care about what you do.
Loyal employees are essential; a strong brand will give them something to stand for, but it’s just as important for you to gain loyal customers too. Without happy customers continuing to buy from you, your business can collapse very quickly. New customers are always fantastic, but they usually don’t spend as much money as your loyal customers and they can cost more to acquire. Loyalty can also be a terrific source of free marketing! A happy customer that uses your business frequently is much more likely to promote you to others, often explaining why it is they love your business and continue to use it over your competitors.
It’s all well and good knowing the benefits of creating a brand, but it’s also vital to know what exactly you want your brand to portray. A very important part of branding a business is to relate to your target audience in a way they can instantly “get”. In our current society, the average person doesn’t want to work hard to understand something such as a brand, they need it to be easily accessible and understandable. If your brand doesn’t adhere to this, you can lose a large portion of your audience pretty quickly and limit the customers you can pull in from outside your target audience. If you incorporate a lot of jargon or “specialist terms”, you’re going to be making those circles even smaller. You really want to make sure that your brand is simple, to the point and easily accessible for the biggest chance of success. Don’t over complicate what you’re trying to convey, and you should be on the right track.
Another essential role for your brand to fulfil is to reflect the brand promises made to your audience. If your brand makes commitments to uphold certain morals and ideals, then it is imperative that your company aligns with and stands by those claims. If you’re trying to give off an impression that is deceitful about your company’s values, the customer will eventually figure it out and your business will be left behind. Customer’s want to feel appreciated, valued and able to trust you, so keep your brand honest for the best chance of customer retention.
Good branding isn’t just beneficial for you and your business, it’s great for the customers and employees too. It can improve your recognition, create trust, build financial value, generate new customers and so much more! It can be the final push you need for your business to really flourish. Make sure to keep your brand honest, easily accessible and something you are proud to stand by. Every big brand you’ve ever heard of wouldn’t have become what it is without a clear, well thought out branding strategy. Your business could be next! So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get branding!