06 Feb Understanding Branding and its Importance for Business Success
Understanding Branding and its Importance for Business Success
Branding is a concept that a lot of people still don’t fully understand, even in the business world. What it is, why it is important, and what useful benefits it can provide to a business? All these questions are often unclear, and that can lead to a lot of problems and missed opportunities. The most commonly asked question in this regard is; “is my brand image reflecting the business goals I have set?”
For a lot of people, it seems that the answer somehow always gets diverted to the company’s marketing strategy. While the marketing of the product does include branding, it is NOT about creating the brand at all. A branding strategy is an entirely different area of work, and it is so important that a lot of businesses are spending millions on branding alone!
A lot of big brands create whole themes that represent their brand and implement it across all their venues. The only purpose of doing so is to give themselves a unique brand identity that sets them apart from the competition. It does not matter if you are a start-up or an old business; branding is certainly important to your long term survival.
What is branding?
To make sure you develop the right branding strategy, you need to have a clear understanding of what branding is. Speaking strictly in terms of a standard definition, branding is an activity related to marketing where any business creates imagery, logos, or symbols that bring it an identity.
It becomes synonymous with the name of that business creating an impression in customers’ minds. This helps the customers/clients know exactly what to expect from that business, thereby, making accurate expectations.
The whole purpose of creating a brand is to give perspective to all of your marketing strategies. It is designed to make sure that your customers immediately think of your company whenever they see any marketing material anywhere. This action brings about a sense of recognition that ends up playing a major role in boosting company sales and bringing in new customers.
It is also the most reliable way of making sure that your customers grow a direct and intimate relationship with your products.
Branding as an asset
No matter how great a product you build, it will not find any appeal with customers unless you put your brand on it. The name you have created in the market for yourself is one of the key factors that determine the worth of your products. An example of this is brands like “Apple” who have created many fantastic products over the years like iPhone, iPad, MacBook, iMac, etc.
While all these products can also be referred to as generic names like a smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop and so on, they are not. The reason is simple – Apple has branded them in such a way to establish their identities in a crowded marketplace.
Another example of this is when we say we need to Google something. We do not even realise that we are talking about searching for something on an online search engine. There are many other search engines out there as well, but Google has earned a certain status as a brand that people have come to use it that way.
Creating an identity for your business gives recognition to your products as well, and that value can easily be converted to financial worth. This is why financial statements always have a separate section for “goodwill” where the image of the brand is defined in monetary terms.
Attracting new customers
For any business to keep running successfully, they have to consistently make a lot of sales. Sales are derived from the customers that a business has and branding plays a key role in bringing in new customers. By building a strong brand, what a business does essentially is it creates a positive image in the minds of the people.
That leads to the kind of satisfaction that makes your customers praise your products in front of other people. This word of mouth referral system automatically helps businesses bring in new customers without the need to spend on marketing. In fact, with a sufficiently good brand image, a business can rely only on word of mouth and still have sufficient sales.
Creating an image that is worth sharing is what branding is all about. By providing top-class services and then having a recognisable symbol or imagery attached to it embeds the idea of your brand firmly in your customers’ minds. That eventually leads to a sense of close relationship which the customers own and feel proud to talk about.
An example of this is Xiaomi, a company that took the Apple approach towards designing its products and created the image of a company that provides the best services at a low cost. The customers buying their phones, for example, got to experience flagship-level specs in a mid-range phone price. This created a level of satisfaction and loyalty that led the customers to spread the word for them, thereby quickly creating a globally renowned brand!
“our team understand what’s required to make your branding a huge success.”
Loyalty from employees
Like other areas of job satisfaction, social gratification is also a very important area for employees. If your employees think that they are working for a brand that is popular for its high-quality services, they will take pride in that fact and be more loyal to you. They will also work to their maximum capacity and try to be a part of the brand image that you are portraying. They can openly boast about their job in their social circles, and that also leads to free marketing for your business.
If you have a name that the market recognises, your employees will enjoy that recognition as well. They will associate your brand’s fame with their own, and that will also lead to their satisfaction. In addition to that, the internal environment of the organisation will also have a positive impact on the employees.
Having an office space that is properly branded and shows off your uniqueness is also very fulfilling for the employees. A lot of well-established brands take steps to maximise this feeling by providing their employees with branded merchandise. Things like branded cups, bottles, shirts, etc. are a great way to make the employee feel more intimately connected with the business.
building customer trust
To build a customer base, you need to create an image that they will always remember. Making a professional-looking brand image/logo can help new businesses gain new customers a lot more easily. It is the natural psyche of humans to put their trust in a well-established name, and they only react to the things they can see. If your branding makes you look like you are capable of providing professional services in a refined manner, people will be more willing to give you a chance.
The fact of the matter is, having an image like that of a reputable business led by industry experts gets you exactly that kind of treatment. You are much more likely to be recognized as a source that your customers can trust to fulfill their needs professionally and handle all aspects of your business smoothly. This is what branding is all about, and the trust you gain through it is what helps your business eventually take off.
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With an established brand name, businesses can easily get in touch with their customers on different platforms. Customers only talk to businesses when they see a recognised source open a channel of communication. They are also more willing to provide data that could help the business grow as well. A lot of businesses nowadays create social media presence using their brand names, and their customers follow them immediately if they are providing good services.
For established businesses, this avenue can be a great way of getting feedback directly from the customers and refining their products accordingly. Doing so will lead to the delivery of products that are much more in line with the needs of the customers. This, in turn, will create more brand loyalty and better sales as well.
None of that would be possible if a company does not have an established brand name. An example of this can be taken in the form of how a lot of businesses get their products made in China. Even though it is the supplier that is ultimately responsible for making the product, the business that orders it is the one that is recognised for providing those products.
Protection from competition
In a world where competition is finding its way to even the most specialised markets, having an established brand name can help you a lot. A lot of businesses rely solely on trust and the recognition that their brand must stay ahead of any competitors. With copyright laws not present universally, a lot of companies get away with even copying the products of an established brand.
However, with an already streamlined production that happens on a much bigger scale, bigger brands still take the lead by providing better quality.
Another thing that attracts customers to keep buying from brands, even in the presence of cheaper knockoffs is reliability. An established brand with its years of experience is well aware of how the products work and can offer warranties where knockoffs can’t. This alone is often a big enough reason for customers to spend the extra money and buy a product that is branded instead of opting for a knockoff.
So long as a company is providing the right level of branding and stellar service, there’s no reason they can’t secure customer loyalty for life. Talk in any general circle about phones, for example, and you will find that each person trusts a separate brand as their only option. This is particularly true for Apple fans who find it extremely important only to buy original Apple products.
Even though there are cases where other companies are providing much better solutions, the loyalty that they have generated ensures that the customers still buy their products exclusively.
This is only possible if constant reinforcement of the image of the brand is done by spending money on branding strategies. The main target of these strategies is to create that mental connection which ensures your customers will always trust you before any other brand.
Embracing the facts
Look around you, and you will find countless examples of how companies have used branding to enhance their sales and secure their future. Each example will also reflect all the things discussed here, so you will know that these things are all very important for business success. While some businesses can afford to dedicate resources for creating and implementing branding strategies, not all companies have that time.
Get in touch
If you are such an organisation where you want to develop a good brand but cannot find the time or resources, you can always outsource it. With the branding service provided by professional companies like edirect, you can certainly meet your branding goals and reap the benefits of that investment.