Let’s start at the top with the question so many clients ask. What is branding? I think I already have it, don’t I? I’ve got my logo and it’s on my stationary and products, that’s branding, right?
To put it succinctly, the answer to the first question is usually; you have one aspect of your company branding. Your branding is the (external and internal) image of your company, what you represent to your customers, it’s influenced by the elements, words, and creativity that surround it. And how confident your staff are with your company’s products and services. Never forget the first people you have to sell your company to is your employees.
However, branding in detail is a more flowing and hard to capture the beast.
As the culture of customers evolve and the sources they use to find your business also grow, a company’s branding needs to evolve and keep up with their changing needs and wants, as well as successfully maintaining these sources.
What is the Key Aim of Branding?
Branding is now more than just getting your chosen market to select your company over your competition. It’s about being included in the customer’s conversations in these markets, so they see you as the company they choose to find a solution to their needs or problems.
Branding should above all else, be clear.
That is when someone sees your company for the first time they are able to grasp what you do and form a positive feeling, leading to the all-important first point of contact.
It should allow and encourage an emotional connection to your product or service. Through this connection, you should see a motivation to buy from your company. Your branding, combined with the customer experience should create brand loyalty.
The First Step in Branding
We need to connect and create culture.
This connection is important as it will instil loyalty. However, there is a surprising number of companies who just don’t practice this. And their business will be affected on many levels, the most obvious are sales and profitability.
This connection must include the needs and wants of the customer and those who are yet to discover your company. The evidence of this is shown at each point of contact with the public, the showing of a singular and regular message. Your branding is an expression of who the company is and what it offers.
Now, this is where I’m going to ask you to engage your imagination.
I want you to think about your company’s brand as a living breathing entity. Now ask yourself, if it could talk, what would its answers to these questions be:
I am here because ___
I was created to ___
The problem I solve is ___
And now think about its aim in life, it would want your customers to relate to it, to understand why it exists, to form a connection with it, and want to associate themselves with it. How will it achieve these goals?
Once this is established your customers will start to truly identify with your company and its products and services. It’s the combination of all of these experiences, those you can and cannot influence that will create a successful brand.
Moving On to Applying Your Branding
Your brand becomes the basis of all your marketing projects. This covering both brand personality and brand identity. In all aspects including; your website, the way your staff present themselves and your products and services, your corporate identity, your advertising materials, video production and photography are all defined by your brand.
With every point of contact being an opportunity to further develop your relationship, each of these contact points will dictate and improve your customer loyalty and marketing choices.
The greatest choice you have is to bridle the brand beast, understanding it to be a constantly evolving creature. How to feed it. How to ride it. Own it!
Take the Next Step in Branding
Have we opened any thoughts towards your company’s branding and why it’s really really important? I hope so. If you would like to start the branding conversation with us, please contact us today.