The power of branding is limitless and shows the importance of a good strategy.
What does branding mean? It can be thrown round in all sorts of different contexts with lots of different meanings. Putting it simply a brand is an associate (or sometimes group of persons) that make a company that provides a service, sells a product or does something together as an organisation. Your brand makes you unique and gives your company an identity allowing people to differentiate you from your competitors. You can learn more about our brand service here.
Let’s talk about the power of branding. The ability to describe your company in a thousand words, with just a single glance.
Another way to look at branding is the power of icons. By that, we mean the power of association between your business and an icon that people relate to something else. For example, an icon can be a person, business or service. Imagine your business is producing fresh organic meat and distributing it B2C. An excellent icon to your brand would be linking it with a well-known Michelin star chef such as Gordon Ramsey.
He was chosen not because of his name and fame, but because of what the public opinion is of Gordon Ramsey (an icon), who is commonly associated with excellent food without compromise on quality.
In today’s world its easy for your brand to blend in and not get the attention you crave. In business, your brand is almost always the most important thing. It will represent your values and give the customer a perception of your company. It’s an easy way to add value to your business as people are generally willing to pay more for a branded product than they are something which is largely unbranded. This can work in a multitude of ways, for high-end clothing products people will generally go towards brands like Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger. Though this can also apply to the opposite side of the scale such as Tesco’s own saver range. If you were to buy food while on a budget you would generally want to buy it from a Savers range of a large brand such as Tesco as opposed to an unfamiliar brand.
When building your brand there are a few key points to think about.
Who are you? – What lies at the heart of the company and what is it you are trying to achieve.
Values – What is your companies values, what do you believe in?
Vision – Where are you now and where do you want to be.
Personality – Give your company a sense of reality, don’t make it seem like a robot.
Your brand must have a purpose and have a clear set of goals of what you’re trying to achieve. Make sure these are clear and apparent through everything you do. Your values are like your blood. they run throughout your entire company and are never forgotten or compromised upon. Vision is to have a clear path to where it is you’d like to be. Continuing to work towards that is both important for the business and the brand. Finally personality, it’s important to keep engagement with your customers and let them know you are human. Sure, mistakes can sometimes happen and people know that and it’s how you deal with the mistake afterwards. See some of the brands we’ve helped to create and learn about how we’ve developed the brand, visit our case studies here.
Brand management and storytelling.
Managing your brand is the ability to turn it into a story. You have the ability to immerse people in your values, vision and personality while telling a story about who you are and where you’re going. You have the ability to take that story wherever you’d like it to go. Make it an experience that separates you from everyone else and keeps them coming back for more and more.
People have grown to love brands such as Apple because of their amazing brand with its storytelling and the experience that comes along with it. When you buy an Apple product you learn about how it’s made and the craftsmanship behind everything they do. They explain every design decision and their reasoning behind it. Everything they produce always follows a similar pattern and sticks to the companies core values and vision. Their ability to immerse you in their brand has now almost developed to a stage where they can tell you what you want more than you can tell yourself. From their storytelling to how the product arrives in its neat minimalistic packaging, it’s always true to who they are. Their values are to provide a product that is developed around a purpose and making it the best that it can be. Their vision is a world where everything is the best that it can be with no unnecessary bullshit that comes along with it.
Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.
Well, maybe not but you get the point! Your brand is certainly a big part of who you are and what people see, that’s why they can sometimes make a decision on that basis solely. Impress them as you might not get another chance.
Branding is What sticks in your mind associated with a product, service, or organization — whether or not, at that particular moment, you bought or did not buy.” Jeff Bezos – Amazon
The quote above comes from Jeff Bezos owner of Amazon, clarity is so important for this exact reason. Even when you are unsuccessful at drawing in people initially, that’s not necessarily a bad brand, you can never get a 100% conversion rate. It’s about keeping a positive image and starting to relate your company to the product you’re selling. At that point when people are looking for a particular product, they start to think about you directly. Once you reach this stage, you can start to cut out your competitor’s completely, though it’s never easy to keep it like this. It’s a constant tug of war battle in most sectors, you’ve got to stay on the top of your game and never stop. No matter how big and established your brand may get, that doesn’t mean there is nothing you can’t improve. Building your company up is a never-ending job no matter how big or small you are.
How can I build my Brand?
There are a few ways you can effectively start building, ways that aren’t to specialist and everyone will be able to do.
It really is! Social media is great for growing and building your identity. The more people see your business the more it’ll stick in their head. You want to think about what it is people will want to see though. Nobody wants to follow a page on Facebook or Instagram to get spammed with offers and deals on their product. You want to make your content interesting to people that are following your channel. Let’s talk through how you can do this.
Let’s start with an example, you own a BMX company selling BMX equipment. What sort of things could you post that’s interesting to your reader? Competitions are a great way to get shares and interactions with customers and fans, It’s also a great way to build your following. New related to BMX is also great content to post about. Stay up to date with all the professional riders, competitions and even BMX YouTubers. This is the sort of content your audience will enjoy reading about and it’ll get you a lot more interactions on your page. Fashion and trends are important to keep track of, so you know what to try and sell more than others. Keep an eye on the market and focus your content towards that.
Now, this might not be viable at your moment in time, but even if it isn’t read on. Sponsorship can strengthen a brand beyond your wildest dreams if you do it right. Again, sticking with the BMX equipment example, we’ll discuss how this can help. Associating yourself with professional BMX riders will give the perception your products are good enough for the best, so they are good enough for me. The answer is, they are! Also bolstering the amount of exposure your branding is receiving, especially it being the right target audience, it really is priceless.
Branding quality control is possibly the most important thing though. No matter what you’re doing to grow and expand, it must always be a 110%. All of your content on social media must be the best it can be, not some slob. By that, we mean quality photographs that look professional, not on your iPhone 4. Everything you post about is represented by your brand. If you can’t be bothered to make it the best it could be, that’s giving the perception that maybe your products are the same.
Overall let’s round up
Overall it boils down to a few key points. Perception is incredibly important, you can make your audience believe in your brand if you market it in the correct way. Quality is important. Everything you produce, be it products or content on social media, it needs to be amazing. Not good… Amazing! Your competitors will be making sure everything they do is the best, so you have to too. (and if they aren’t then even more reason to!) Finally, no matter how big you are, it’s always important to keep promoting and building your brand.
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