“Do you need a brand?” The answer to that question may surprise you!”
To put it simply, if you already have a business, you already have a brand.
Every way you present your business creates an outward impression, and that impression is your branding. Your branding is the personification of your business and its products and services. This impression is constantly impacting your success. So since you already have a brand, you might as well use it to your advantage, right?
A Recipe for Success
In case you are wondering what branding is all about, there are several main ingredients that typically play a role. Generally, the first thing that goes into the mix is building confidence in your products and/or services. If you are a cobbler, you want your branding to convey that you make excellent shoes. Next, add in your point of difference. What sets your shoes apart from all the other cobblers’ shoes?
Now the recipe gets a bit trickier. What emotional response do you want your branding to create? If your business identity is modern and fun, you don’t want your branding to convey a serious and traditional image. Emotion is a vital ingredient of branding and it requires equal parts of creative thinking and research; your branding must resonate with how you feel about your business, but it also must reflect how your target clients perceive your business.
Finally, for a solid brand, you need to add consistency. Make sure that your business performance can consistently live up to and exceed whatever image your branding conveys. Otherwise the recipe is destined to fail.
Once you have all the ingredients, you just need a visual image that completes the picture.
What’s in it for me?
Strategic branding requires time and investment. If you are doing alright now, why should you bother? Well, the fact is that there are tangible results involved, and these results can be very valuable to a business.
The obvious benefit of powerful branding is increased customer confidence and customer loyalty. The stronger your branding is, the more your customers will remember the experience of working with you and return to you again. Good branding can help you generate more referrals as well; if someone is referred to you, there is a greater likelihood that they will follow through and contact you if they are already familiar with your brand.
If your brand establishes an emotional connection to your clients, price sensitivity will becomes less of an issue, as the perceived value of your product or service is no longer just a bottom line figure. Solid branding will also make it easier for you to hire and keep good employees, or get financial assistance, because the reputation of your business will make it more attractive to them.
Once your brand is established, what's next? There are a few things you should do to ensure your brand works for you. One of these is to make sure your employees understand your brand and are working to reinforce it. If you are branded as a friendly service, your employees must act the part. Otherwise, the branding will quickly lose credibility.
Also, to reinforce your brand, you should include your logo, tagline and website address on all points of customer communication. Remember, branding doesn’t work instantly. It builds up over time as a result of repetition and familiarity. Keep your branding fresh in customers’ minds by including it on your letterhead, business cards, email messages, vehicles, and uniforms.
Out from the Crowd
What sets you apart as a business? Do your competitors offer similar products and services to yours? Frequently, the answer is yes. You could set yourself apart by lowering your price, but this is clearly not the most profitable option. In reality, your branding is the one element about your business that is completely unique to your business; what people experience when doing business with you and the way you express that experience in your branding are keys to help you stand out from the crowd.
Contrary to popular belief, banding isn’t just for big corporations. The big players definitely know how to capitalize on the power of branding, but branding can work well for businesses of any size. Get out there and use your brand to your advantage.
If you need help developing your branding, whether it be your logo, stationery, marketing communications, or website, give A Designing Woman a call at 602-840-1117. We will help you decide what needs to be done to put your brand front and center.
Call us today at 602-840-1117 today to learn more.
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