What are the advantages of branding? In a globalised, competitive market like today’s, your brand has become more important than ever.
But what is branding and what are the advantages?
Understanding the advantages of branding will help you to make a strong and lasting impression on customers. Ultimately, this is crucial to running a sustainable and profitable business in the modern era.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is Branding?
Traditionally, branding your business would involve creating a name and logo for your company that is easily identifiable by customers. Your customers will be able to identify your products and distinguish them from the competitors.
The first step of branding involved designing and creating a logo. Then, you begin advertising your brand to let customers know where to find it. Next, you would work on improving your brand image.
This is how people perceive your company.
A positive brand image can be established by setting up customer service and promoting your products. Essentially, the importance of branding is that it introduces your products to customers and allows them to recognise and interact with your business.
This not only builds on customer loyalty but also allows you to benefit from the added value of your brand which increases your profits and establishes your business’s market share.
In addition to a logo and a name, an effective brand includes your:
- Communication channels,
- Digital presence,
- And more.
What Is the Importance of Branding?
Every business that you can recall off the top of your head is the product of their branding efforts. Branding is important for helping your business to stand out from the crowd, and stick in the minds of customers.
Arguably, branding is much more important today than your actual products and services.
Here are some of the key advantages of branding for modern businesses:
Establishing Your Business’ Market Gap
Your marketing efforts are usually aimed at strengthening your company’s position in the market. Branding is essential here, as it allows you to find a unique position and a specific customer base.
Your potential customers will be much more willing to try out your products once after they become familiar with your brand.
This gives you an edge over the competition where customers might even be willing to purchase your product even if it comes at a higher cost. Additionally, your existing customers will be much more likely to recommend your products to people they know.
That is because a well-established brand tends to have a consistent quality which gives users much more confidence in their recommendations.
Higher Profits Through Added Value
In addition to your strong brand being the ultimate form of word of mouth advertising, having a strong brand allows you to benefit from added value.
This basically means that your customers will be much more accepting of your higher prices since your branding assures them that they are receiving high-quality products.
You’ll also enjoy a higher average customer lifetime value, and better retention rates. Essentially, your brand helps you to build relationships with your customers, causing them to continue buying your products and services for longer.
Furthermore, your strong brand is very attractive to investors since a well-known brand is expected to produce consistent sales.
This significantly lowers their investment risk. Simply put, a well-known brand is much less likely to fail since it is already well established in the market.
This means that it is often a safe investment since a branded company is unlikely to introduce any major changes that might otherwise affect the consumer buying decision.
This makes your business very desirable in the eyes of investors once you have established your brand. Even if a business isn’t making any money, it’s brand can still be valuable to investors.
They can take an ailing business with a strong brand, and launch a new venture off the back of it. Hence it is critical to consider the impact and importance of strong branding.
What Makes an Effective Brand?
A brand is made up of a number of factors. Let’s take a look at some of the most important things you’ll have to consider when developing a successful brand.
Firstly, a strong brand has a well-defined target market. Very often, when you ask business owners about who they target with their product, they would say “everyone”. This is a huge mistake.
You need to know the exact demographics and market segments you’d like to target, in order to tailor your branding towards them.
It’s always easier to define who you’re trying to reach. In most cases, a product has preferred consumers. It speaks directly to their needs, as well as lining up with their values and product preferences.
Even in the rare cases when a product is truly for everyone, the business should tailor its marketing efforts to suit all the different tastes under one brand. The goal here is to maintain recognition and memorability.
Research & Creativity
Research is key to each and every decision made in business. This is no different in branding. To create a powerful brand, you need a lot of research and creativity. Research allows you to understand the market, your competitors, and where you stand from both.
Without this knowledge, a brand won’t be able to position itself in the market.
On the other hand, creativity is crucial to differentiate your brand. Let’s face it, no matter what kind of product or service you offer, there are a lot of other options.
Therefore, you must give your potential buyers valid reasons to choose your brand.
Such reasons could be logical, emotional, or economical, but at the end of the day, creating a brand requires creativity and innovation.
Communication & Brand Values
Think of the huge legacy brand names that have been market leaders for decades, what do you notice about them?
They commit themselves to a particular philosophy and tone. A strong brand has a clear philosophy represented in its values, mission, and vision. It must also have a clear message to deliver about itself through a tone of voice and persona.
Consistency is one requirement that should flow through all other ingredients. It’s the golden rule that every brand must follow across all its services.
If a brand offers optimum customer service once, then it’s a coincidence. But if it offers optimum customer service every single time, this is branding.
No matter what kind of activity your business is engaging in; advertising, customer service, quality of product, identity, design, events, values, the brand must always be memorable.
Advantages of Branding: What Are the Benefits of Branding?
Now that we know the key ingredients of a successful brand, let’s look in more detail at the core advantages of branding, and how you can achieve them.
Advantages of Branding #1: Recognition & Brand Awareness
Having a strong brand gives space for global recognition. If you’re planning to grow your business further, this’ll be important to you.
Taking a look at the psychology of buying, one easily finds that humans always prefer what they already know. We naturally fear what we don’t.
That’s why branding will always continue to be successful.
Once you step into any Starbucks worldwide, you know what you’re going to find on the menu. You get the same feel, atmosphere, and taste. This feeling of “familiarity” is a reason for many to choose a brand they recognise.
The only way to make a brand recognised is through maintaining consistency.
Advantages of Branding #2: Loyalty and Trust
If the key to recognition is consistency, then the key to loyalty and trust is all about consistent quality. Remember that one experience is never enough.
One experience is only good enough to make your customers come back again to your brand. However, if consumers come back disappointed, they won’t repeat it.
Loyalty comes from having a high-quality experience every time. That way, customers associate your business with comfort and seamless purchasing and services.
So, next time a competitor offers them the same product, they wouldn’t think of replacing your brand. Why would they bother with change when they are happy where they are?
Advantages of Branding #3: A Brand Says Who You Are
A brand has a personality, and therefore a voice, a face, and thoughts. The brand’s personality allows a business to connect with the consumers. It becomes less about “selling” a product or a service, and more about building a relationship with the customers.
The visual and tone of the brand indicate its size, quality, and level of professionalism.
For example, visual detail and aesthetic designs indicate class. In other words, a brand that gives attention to its visual identity means that it has a sense of style, accuracy, and the financial stability to afford these designs.
Meanwhile, the language and tone a brand speaks define its sense of professionalism and expresses the internal culture of the business. For instance, a bank must have a firm, confident tone to project trustworthiness.
Advantages of Branding #4: Connect with the Customer
In addition, a brand allows for that personal connection. Without it, the process of buying and selling becomes too formal and materialistic with no emotional connection. People remain loyal to brands when they feel an emotional connection, or share their values.
The products people buy become a part of their identity.
The emotional aspect of our human nature is too big to ignore. Consumers love to connect with brands. Therefore, nowadays most brands associate themselves with values and social responsibility.
This provides benefits to the brand, the consumer, and society.
Think of Nike, for instance, what does Nike’s “Just Do It” stand for? It’s all about doing your best performance. Therefore, Nike uses that to connect with the youth, especially those who dare to be, dare to play; it’s about being bold.
Nike uses that emotion and associates its brand with it. Brilliantly, this is also consistent with their values of encouraging diversity, supporting minorities and other social segments that society often hinders their progress.
Advantages of Branding #5: Scaling the Brand with Multiple Products
When customers put their trust in a certain brand, it’s highly likely that they will trust its new products.
Dove began as a brand solely known for its bars of soap.
Later, it grew to become a superpower in the shampoo, deodorant and body wash markets. In the process of becoming a superpower, it went from a 200-million-dollar company to a multi-billion-dollar company with its aggressive expansion strategy.
Establishing Brand Identity Guidelines
Brand guidelines are instructions that anyone working on your brand should follow. They relate to the design, logo, tone, language, colours, feel, and all the tiny physical details that relate to your brand.
These elements comprise a huge part of how people perceive your brand.
You need to document these guidelines to achieve consistency between all the individuals working on your brand.
Sometimes you’ll deal with an external advertising or branding agency, or the HR department will prepare for an internal event. They will need these guidelines to achieve consistency.
A brand expresses itself through its visual identity, therefore, you should always consider how your brand is presented to gain the advantages of branding.
McDonald’s did the same thing when they went from being into fast food and fries, to the McCafe type restaurant that does coffee and bakery products. This would’ve been much more difficult for a weaker brand to decide to do the same.
How to Develop a Brand Strategy
A brand strategy is a document that encompasses exactly what your brand is about. It should include as many details as possible about the story behind your brand, the problems it solves, and the purpose it aims to reach.
It should also define who your target market is, your competitors, and everything that differentiates your brand. A successful brand strategy should be customer centric. Creating a premium customer experience is what builds strong and memorable brands.
Across a range of industries, branding is an absolute essential. Finding a branding agency that caters to your niche can require some research – but there are options out there.
In fact, working with an experienced agency is probably the best way to leverage the advantages of branding. Speak to ProfileTree today to find out more about how to make your brand work harder for you.