Why does branding matter? What is the potential value of your brand? Branding is one of the most overlooked aspects of starting a business. When you first start a company, you began to craft the essence of your brand from the moment you choose a company name. Even if you are not trying to actively brand your business, the branding process continues as you make decisions.
There are two common mistakes that many entrepreneurs make:
- Many entrepreneurs rush the branding process and quickly choose a company name, logo, and URL without fully processing the consequences.
- Many entrepreneurs are in cost-reduction mode and choose to develop their brand on their own without the assistance of a professional.
With a better understanding of what goes into a brand and the potential value of your brand, hopefully, you will avoid these two common mistakes!
What is a brand?
A brand refers to a name, design, symbol, or another feature that identifies your business’ unique products and services. A brand is intangible and all about perception. It stems from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be.
Branding is the process of translating the intangible brand into a tangible brand identity. A logo is a great starting point, but there is much more to your brand identity.
Your brand identity encompasses your visual, voice, attitude, and physical identity.
- What is your logo?
- What colors and typographies best express what your company stands for?
- What type of photos or images will be used to portray what the company stands for?
- What types of media channels will be used?
- What is your slogan, tagline or mantra?
- What tone-of-voice fits your company?
- What is your preferred word choice?
- What are your key messages?
- What are your calls to action?
- What are the names of your products or service?
- What is your value proposition?
- Which values do you hold and portray through your company?
- How do you want customers to describe the personality of your brand?
- What adjectives or traits do you want your company to be defined by?
- What is your company culture?
- What does your product packaging look like?
- How is your office designed?
- What do your employee uniforms look like?
- What is the physical appearance of your brand?
All of these elements play a role in developing your brand. It is usually best to define your attitude identity first. Your attitude identity symbolizes what you stand for, enables your customers to identify with your brand, and is a differentiator from the competition. Your attitude identity should go hand-in-hand with finding your why or defining your value proposition. Eventually, later during the branding process, your attitude identity in turn influences your visual, voice, and physical identity.
Why does branding matter?
A strong brand resonates with your customers and can easily be identified by consumers. When crafting a brand, there are four objectives to keep in mind:
- Brand Recognition: Occurs when consumers can accurately identify your brand by a logo, tagline, or the packaging.
- Brand Awareness: Refers to the extent to which consumers can recall or recognize your logo, tagline, packaging, and brand.
- Brand Equity: Describes the value that derives from the consumer’s perception of the brand, rather than the product or service itself.
- Brand Loyalty: Pertains to the positive feelings towards a brand and dedication to purchase the same product and service now and in the future from the same brand, regardless of the competition and external environment
Once you have a brand identity, you can develop brand recognition and brand awareness. Consistency across marketing channels is a pre-requisite to developing brand recognition and awareness. Your online channels, such as your website, must be consistent with your traditional marketing channels. In time, you can build brand equity and brand loyalty.
What is the value of a great brand?
Branding is all about increasing the perceived value of the brand in the consumers’ minds. A strong brand benefits from:
- Improved public perception
- Enhanced credibility, trust, and consumer confidence
- Increase brand loyalty
- Reduced vulnerability to the external environment
- Enhanced ability to attract talent and customers
- Improved positioning for a higher price point and greater margins.
Your brand is your ability to influence how your company is perceived. You need to define your story and give the market something to talk about, otherwise, they will define your story for you.