No matter in what industry you are operating, you cannot underestimate the power of branding.
It is a common misconception that branding simply equates to a logo, an image you use on your business cards or letterhead. What if you take that image away? What is left in regards of your branding?
So what exactly is branding?
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, said
Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.
Your branding involves visual aesthetics – logo, colours, typeface, taglines, slogans, packaging and imagery. It also encompasses every other aspect of your business, most importantly your unique selling proposition. Think about it. What is your business position, promise, personality and story?
Through your branding, your prospects should be able to determine what your business stands for, what products and / or services you are delivering and also, what core values you incorporate.
Branding is communication. It is influencing the way your market sees you. It’s manipulating the image your prospects and customers have in their mind. It is shaping a culture around your business.
Good branding separates you from competitors and other players in the market
Branding is so powerful that it evokes emotion that ultimately influences buying behaviour. As today’s marketplace is competitive and there isn’t much tolerance for businesses that don’t stand for something or that look dicey, your company will be judged on its branding. Let’s face it, we’re a judgemental race. Within seconds of being exposed to a brand for the first time potential customers are subconsciously making assumptions about our business – the quality of our products/services, how we are priced, if we are trustworthy, and so on. If our branding isn’t compelling and doesn’t accurately reflect our value proposition chances are we’re missing out on customers.
Consistency also plays a key role in the success of branding. And it takes time, commitment and creativity to continually deliver our image and message(s) over the multitude of platforms available without boring the market. Your business’s message should not change and it needs to be delivered to your target market repeatedly, constantly reinforcing why customers should be choosing you.
Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual re-invention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions; and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful.
– Sir Richard Branson, CEO Virgin.