The first branding was applied with branding irons. Brands were the identifying marks burned into livestock and slaves, to signify ownership. Your business brand means a lot more than that now.
What is a brand?
Your brand is everything.
Much more than just your logo, it is the sum of every experience a person has with your business. It’s what they see, hear and touch from the very first time they are aware you exist. Scott Goodson, from advertising agency Strawberry Frog, says “Brands are psychology and science brought together as a promise mark”.
Your brand is a promise of what’s to come.
Think McDonalds. What does their brand promise? When you take your kids to McDonalds, you’re not really buying a hamburger with fries. You’re buying predictability, reliability, ease of purchase, speed … and the playground.
What are the benefits of a strong brand?
To market effectively, we need to make a great first impression, and then reinforce that to create familiarity. Repetition is essential. Strong brand guidelines ensure consistent perception both online and offline.
People want to feel good when they buy, because buying is driven by emotion. Good branding establishes trust in product quality and the purchasing experience.
A strong brand makes building a predictable sales funnel much easier. Consistent presentation and messages through all the contacts a person has with your business make them more likely to buy. It breeds familiarity – people know exactly what to expect.
More word of mouth
People love to share the brands they love. Word of mouth recommendation is much more likely when you’re easy to remember, and easy to talk about.
Direction and motivation for your team
A well developed brand means your team members know exactly how to talk and act, to make people want to come back for more.
Brands outlive products. A strong brand will grow with your business. Kraft didn’t pay Cadbury $19.5 billion for its recipes or factories. They bought the brand.
Tips for building a stronger brand
A strong brand doesn’t happen by accident. It requires planning and coordination. Getting guidance from a design professional is usually a very good investment.
The goal is to develop guidelines for the presentation and delivery of your product or service at every point in the buyer journey, from the first time they know about your brand to what happens after they buy.
Document what the buyer will see, hear and do across the following:
- Social media
- Business cards, brochures and other promotional material or forms
- Phone etiquette
- The way your team looks and what they say
- The appearance of your point of sale – if you have a bricks and mortar office, shop or clinic
Pay attention to all of these and your business will stand out from the competition, and cut through the avalanche of communication that’s out there.