What is Branding and Why Branding is Important?
- Branding is a marketing practice in which an organization creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company. Branding is important because not only does it leave a memorable impression on consumers but it allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company.
- Branding is absolutely critical to a business because of the overall impact it makes on your company. Branding can change how you perceive your brand, it can drive new business and increase brand awareness.
- A good brand will have no trouble drumming up referral business. Strong branding generally means there is a positive impression of the company amongst consumers, and they are likely to do business with you because of the familiarity and assumed dependability of using a name they can trust. Once your brand is well-established, word of mouth will be the company’s best and most effective advertising technique.
- When an employee works for a strongly branded company and truly stands behind the brand, they will be more satisfied with their job and have a higher degree of pride in the work that they do. Working for a brand that is reputable and held in high regard amongst the public makes working for that company more enjoyable and fulfilling.
- A professional appearance and well-strategized branding will help the company build trust with customers, potential clients and customers. People are more likely to do business with a company that has a polished and professional portrayal.
Attributes of Good Branding
- Good Design – Standing out from the sea of competition
- A Lot of Personality – Connecting with the right target to be effective.
- A Plan of Action – Potential clients look through your website and marketing materials to gain a strong sense of trust about your business. Implementing a strong and cohesive visual strategy will pay off with repeat and long-term customer loyalty.
Brand Analysis and Audit – Initial process of having a detailed analysis that shows how your brand is currently performing compared to its stated goals and to look at the wider landscape to check how that performance positions you in the market. This is when you have to develop brand strategies, plans, evaluations, metrics and estimates.
Have A Clear Mission & Objective
Whether we are focusing on the corporate brand or product branding, all branding strategies must have a clearly defined mission and overall objective.
Creating a strategy and running with one without this information, leaves for a disorganized brand that may be missing the true nature of what a company may want to achieve.
A big part of your company’s brand strategy is making a profit, but the mission and objective needs to go beyond the “sale.”
Why should people trust your brand? Why should they become loyal customers? What problems do we solve? What is our story?
It also matters for employees, who help your company succeed. They too have to believe in the company brand and believe in what they do matters. That impacts the quality of work, engagement, and much more.
Develop Consistent Messaging
While branding strategies will vary company to company, for the brand to succeed all must have consistent messaging. Much of this is related to social media, advertising, your company’s website, and overall digital presence.
The words, the mission statement, the colors, the tone of voice, the imagery — everything needs to connect and align together. Otherwise, you risk confusing audiences and create inconsistencies that make the brand seem disorganized.
A big piece to ensuring your brand is consistent, is to develop an agreeable style guide that is used throughout.
Find Your Target Brand Audience
A question that also matters for all branding strategies is, who are my target audiences? By not clearly defining and knowing this, your brand could be all wrong.
This also matters too before your company unleashes any marketing, because you need to ensure who you are targeting and what is spot on. It’s important to define a series of questions that can help your company define the target market.
- Who are we trying to target?
- What is their educational background?
- How old are they?
- What is their income range?
- What are their occupations?
- What problems do we solve for them?
That is only a selection of questions, but building a customer or buyer persona will be of extreme value to your brand strategy.
It will steer your brand’s visuals, emotional connection, and messaging. It’s also important for your sales and marketing teams as well in their quest to drive revenue.
Active Employees as the Face of the Brand
A big piece of a successful brand is also involving employees. While your company’s branding is important to attract customers and prospects, it also needs to be attractive to your employees.
Your company’s employees — as mentioned earlier — also need to believe in the mission and value of the brand. It’s what motivates them to come to work, be highly productive, and be engaged with their work.
Additionally, with social media and access to technology, employees have a voice about their employers and brand. Your organization can help drive support for your brand, be more involved with company initiatives, and be eager to talk about the love for their jobs online.
Competitive Awareness & Analysis
All branding strategy frameworks should also include a dedicated section to understanding competitors and analyzing their branding. This will be crucial to understanding how they position themselves, what they do well, what they might be missing, etc.
But more importantly, these questions help you differentiate your company’s brand and how to position yourself better against the competition.
Without doing this research and answering some important questions, your company brand may design, create, and say the same things that a bunch of other similar brands have already established. This kills your chances to connect with audiences and prove your own value.
And at the same time, you also don’t want to get lost in everything your competitors do and be too controlled by their moves. Monitor as needed, but focus more on what your company is doing and how the brand can continually grow.
How Employee Advocacy Strengthens Your Brand Strategy
One of the key components to the framework of a solid brand strategy is getting employees involved.
As I mentioned in the above main section, they are the face of the brand, have access to customers, prospects, job applicants, and others all through social media and their job roles.
With the way information is consumed in our digital world, companies can no longer rely on advertisements as the most valued or trusted form to distribute the brand. 76% of individuals surveyed say that they’re more likely to trust content shared by “normal” people than content shared by brands.