Branding is one of those things that is difficult to define. In essence, though, branding has to do with creating an impression of your business in the eyes of consumers. For example, consider Coca Cola, which may be the most recognizable brand in the world. Thanks to their marketing, advertising and graphic design choices, Coca Cola is an instantly recognizable product and brand. This, more than anything else really, is responsible for that company’s success.
Regardless of how small or large your business happens to be, branding is vitally important to your success. You may have the best product or service in your sector, but if your business doesn’t have a clear brand – or, put another way, a clear identity – then you won’t be able to attract the attention of customers. In turn, this will prevent you from growing your business to the level that it’s capable of growing to.
That’s the basic idea of why branding is important, but there’s more to it than that. We’ll be exploring some of the other benefits of building a recognizable brand for your business below.
The Other Reasons Why Branding Is Important
As mentioned, branding allows you to create an impression of your company in the eyes of consumers. However, it’s important to remember that this impression isn’t static. Over time, consumer attitudes shift and change. Think again of Coca Cola. Aside from its brief experiment with “New Coke” the company’s basic product has never changed. What has changed is the way that Coca Cola brands itself.
Over time, Coca Cola has engaged in different marketing practices, changed its logo around, and a great many other things. Through branding, Coca Cola has been able to keep pace with the changing attitudes of its customers, remaining foremost in their minds. You can do the same with branding for your company!
In addition to this, branding can be used to shift consumers impressions of and attitude toward your business. Here you might think of Apple, which is essentially the Coca Cola of consumer electronics. If you think back several decades ago, Apple was known primarily as a purveyor of computers. However, through consistent branding – and the introduction of new products – consumers’ impressions of Apple has changed.
Rather than viewing the company as a pure consumer electronics company, people now tend to think of Apple as a “lifestyle”, so to speak. This has allowed them to further expand their business and to draw in more customers who might not have considered purchasing an Apple product in the past. Again, this is another way in which you can use branding to grow your business.
One final benefit to branding is internal. As your company grows, you’ll necessarily be building a “corporate culture”. Branding will play a critical role in defining what the culture looks like and how your employees should feel about your business. In a sense, you’ll almost be making your employees consumers.
Where to Start When Building Your Brand
That last point dovetails nicely into what it takes to build a brand for your company. To start, you will want to spend the time defining what the personality of your business is and how that personality will be best marketed toward consumers. This will require a great deal of introspection, but if you spend the time, you should hit upon the key ingredients. With those key concepts in hand (your mission and your values), you’ll need to work with your marketing team (or an outside one) to put together a comprehensive “image” that you can share with consumers. That established “image” will be what defines your brand, and it will be what allows you to enjoy the many benefits that branding offers.