“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.”
A lot of clients come to me and say they are starting their own company and they need a logo. What they don’t realize is that they don’t only need a logo and may be a website, they need to build a brand. But what is branding and why is branding important?
These two quotes wrap it up quite nicely.
“A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers”
American Marketing Association
“Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.”
What is branding?
Yes, a logo and defining your brand colors is of course part of your branding. But it is not the only one. Your aim is to deliver a message to your customers through:
your store and it’s atmosphere
your store window
your voice (written or spoken)
the price your charge
your store staff – what they wear and how they treat your customers
your employees – how they interact, work, present the company
and many other aspects within your business
Branding is not only the visual aspect of your company but it is also the whole feeling your customer gets when he or she interacts in any way with you. It is how your customers perceive your.
And it is why and how you differentiate yourself from your competition and how your customers will remember you. Hopefully you will attract your ideal customer with your brand and make them return over and over again.
A logo should combine and hold all those branding elements and values together.
Branding your business is so important, it is actually part of the core of your business, it is your identity. Something that you can rely on and always turn to when you are unsure of something. Go back to your mission statement and your (brand) values and then you will be able to make a decision.
So even before your customer communicates with you, he or she gets to know your business through visuals. And it will give them a feeling and with that an idea of what to expect.
Images and colors can already tell someone unconsciously if your product is expensive or not and if it is your style or not.
When you are walking through a shopping mall and you see the store windows, you know already if you are drawn to the store or not, without looking at the prices or talking to anyone. And you usually also get a sense of the price points inside. The same applies to restaurants. Think about McDonalds and other fast food chains and compare it with fine dining restaurants. Fast food places want to attract attention and be recognized from far away, they don’t want to make an impression with good food, but with price and being quick and efficient. Whereas a fine dining restaurant convinces through atmosphere and ambience, the good-feel factor and of course good food.
And after your customers have their first and may be second personal experience with your brand, after they have seen the products, the prices, the logo, the colors, the storefront or website and interacted with your business in written or spoken way, they get know if your business fits to them and if they will turn into a loyal customer.
So why is branding so important?
Branding is actually a strategy behind your business. It is the underlying impression and the essential truth your company gives your customers.
Good branding should make your customer remember your product and your business and what it stands for.
It will make your customer know what to expect of your brand every time they interact with your company.
Your brand determines if your customer will become a loyal customer and return to you in the future and refer you to their friends.
4. Setting apart
It also determines whether they will choose you over your competition, it differentiates you from your competition.
5. Internal motivation
A clear brand strategy does not only help your customers it also helps your employees. They know what they stand for, how to act and what is expected of them to deliver the brands message to their customers.
6. Supports you stay focused
As I said earlier, your brand values are not only important for your customers and your staff but also for yourself. In case you shift off a little bit you can always turn around and look at your brand and its idea and helps you to stay focused on your mission and vision for your company.
Therefore you need to ensure through your branding that your customers will always get the right impression – the one you want – throughout all your interactions with your customer.
I want to close with a fantastic statement which you should keep in mind when defining your branding for your company:
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
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