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October 14, 2019

But, what is branding?

I get asked this question a million times. Seriously, I promise I’ve lost count. “Is branding just the new word for marketing? Is it social media? What does that mean?” 

First things first, branding goes way beyond just logos and websites. It’s way more than your SEO analytics and paid Facebook posts. When you think about your brand, whether business or persona, you really have to think about the experience it provides. It’s everything from your logo, your website, the social media experience you provide, the way you answer the phone, the way customers interact with your staff and YOU! It’s your company’s PRESENCE, and that is beyond important for your personal and business brand. 

So, when you realize this, it can be overwhelming to think about all of the things that are involved with an outsider’s (read: customer or client’s) experience with your brand. It’s how they perceive your product or service.  It’s even more overwhelming when you realize how critical it is to be aware of your brand’s experience and to have a plan to create the experience you want. Great branding doesn’t just happen. It’s strategic and well thought out. 

The average small business or startup neglects to spend the necessary time to curate their brand. Mostly because they don’t think of it in a broad sense and disregard the impact it has on a business. Digging into your brand and strategically thinking about is important for a few reasons: 

RECOGNITION = BRANDING
Bottom line, people like familiarity. Keeping your branding consistent, makes it easy to recognize so that people become more at ease with purchasing your product or service.

STANDING AWAY FROM YOUR COMPETITION
It’s imperative that you set your brand apart from the competition. Today’s market isn’t just a local stage. As soon as you set up a website, twitter account, Instagram or Facebook page your market becomes global. So, you have to make sure you stand out from the thousands or millions of similar company personas across the globe. So think big and do some research! 

YOUR BUSINESS DNA COMES OUT IN BRANDING 
Each point of entry to your company must tell the right story about your brand. From the way your phones are answered to the visual colors of your logo. Customers and clients are judging whether it makes sense and whether it’s appealing enough for their dollar.  Every element must provide an experience that’s worth their while. 

SOLID BRANDS MOTIVATE STAFF
When your staff understands the brand and how it correlates to your business’s overall goals, they inherently know what success looks like. It is a subliminal guide on how they should handle customers and be great employees on a daily basis. 

REFERRALS FLOW IN
People love to tell others about what they are doing. Hello, fifty million social media sites. They tell you what brands they love and which ones they hate and why. People want to talk about what they’re wearing, listening to, eating, watching, the list can go on forever. But people can’t refer you if they can’t remember you. Strong branding is critical for genuine referrals and viral traffic.

CUSTOMER EMOTIONS = PROMISE + EXPECTATIONS
You have to remember that you, your staff, and your product or service all make up your brand. So it’s important to realize those all serve as marketing materials to what you promise to customers. When customers know exactly what to expect from your brand’s promise, it put them at ease because you are consistent in their mind, read: RELIABLE.  At the core, you always want people to feel good at an emotional level when engaging with your company, they have to feel good. 

CLARITY & FOCUS
As a business owner, it’s very easy to get lost in the plethora of ideas you have on a daily about your business. But you have to stay focused. If you wander from idea to idea, it’s easy to go outside your original idea, let alone goals. Your brand strategy should be aligned with your business plan goals. It can help confirm that your marketing efforts are strategic while saving time and money.

VALUE ADDED
Strong brands have high values. For example, Whole Foods, Apple, Mercedes Benz are all known for the experience their company products and services provided. That means they are inherently worth more than just their equipment, products, warehouses and factories. Their brands have valued experiences that far exceed their physical asset’s value.
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The point is, your brand needs to OOZE out of your company! If your product or service is solid, your staff can hold on to, commit and consistently deliver your brand because they are clear on how it fits within your company. They believe in it because of its inherent in every operational process you’ve established. Building a brand creates loyalty among your customer base. They will automatically trust and believe in it when they see your core values shining through on every public-facing experience. 

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Need help with figuring out your brand or incorporating it into your operations? We can create your initial brand strategy or revamp your visual identity and operations in a free consultation. We love making things greater and improving a company’s story. Give us a shout! 

Remember,

-give your brand the good life-

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