Branding is a lot more than a company’s logo. We can define a brand as ‘all the reasons someone buys a product or service’. This includes reputation, price point, promotions, communications practices and a number of other areas.
All we know about every product we use can be attributed to branding. It can be rightfully described as the link that connects the company to the customer and vice versa. Branding is necessary for every small, startup, partnership and corporation, let’s consider 7 reasons why branding is important to your business.
Brand recognition is when a customer can recognize the brand and is able to differentiate it from other brands when he comes into contact with it. It also means aided recognition through visual recognition for instance, when viewing an ad, seeing its logo or auditory recognition when listening to a jingle associated with that company.
Once the audience understands what the company offers and the company has gained enough popularity, people begin to recognize it. People can recognize the company whether they are customers or not.
This can be achieved when a company’s products (both goods and services) outperforms the competition on some aspect that matters to customers and prospects. This is very important as it sets your company apart from others who compete for your customers and gives them a reason to buy your product over those provided by your competition.
Even if your products are almost identical to your competitors’ products, you can ensure yours stand out by differentiating them and building a strong brand that aligns with the unique features of your products. A strong brand makes your products instantly recognizable and adds value which goes beyond the product’s tangible benefits. Understanding your target market and what appeals to them and then developing your branding based on this knowledge ensures your efforts hit the mark. You can then use this to your advantage to build a loyal customer base and keep your business way ahead of the competition.
This happens when customers choose to make a long-term commitment to brands based on products quality, trustworthiness and values. When a customer shows loyalty to a brand, he feels an emotional connection to that brand, because of its products or mission statements.
Customers with brand loyalty often remain loyal even when competitors offer a lower price. Such loyalty comes from trust rather than price. Customers are likely to develop loyalty from the way they perceive an organization’s reputation, mission statement or product quality. For instance, a customer who usually buys the same brand of wristwatch without considering cheaper options is loyal to a brand and reputation and likely won’t consider an alternative.
Strong branding basically means that there’s a good impression about the brand in the minds of consumers and they will likely do business with you because they are familiar with you and find you to be dependable. A strong brand translates to value or equity which could mean influence, mindshare or price premium.
Similar to an individual’s reputation, a brand’s reputation precedes it. When a certain perception of the brand has been established in a market, a lot of competitors try to discredit it. Word of mouth continues to pass the perception around and probably continuing to either reinforce or tarnish the image of that brand. If the reputation of the brand is positive, it attracts new customers who already have a positive association in their minds and makes them more likely to make a purchase from this brand over its competitors.
An effective brand has the power to influence the market price of its goods or services because of the reputation it has developed in the minds of its customers. Why do we pay so much for an item when we could get it much cheaper from a competitor? Perhaps the product may be different and have a better quality. But more importantly, their reputation and supporting brand is responsible for the more we’re willing to pay. The better the brand, the more its value.
When a company clearly defines and develops its brand, the company becomes attractive to top talent. Which means that its job applicants will try to make themselves stand out from the crowd, so they are irresistible to the brand. Given a choice of two companies, there’s a high chance that job candidates will gravitate towards the company with better perception and reputation in the market — that is, the company with a better employee brand.
In the very competitive job market, employer branding could be the edge that attracts top talent and hard-to-get, in-demand talent and encourages employee retention in the long run. The best employees will want to work for reputable companies that are perceived as being among the best in their industries. A brand needs to provide a well-defined message about the benefits of working for your company that will attract top candidates who will easily mesh with the company culture.
Building early credibility as a young company is never easy. Top-tier products and exceptional customer service are the underpinnings of such trust and need to be consistent day in and day out. But companies do well to highlight their products by featuring customer testimonials and bringing industry leaders to the team as advisors, investors or partners.
Ultimately, if a company is successful enough, it will have to fend off competition from younger upstarts just starting to gain credibility. Branding can help show your potential customers that you’re an established, credible business.
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