(Updated: 8 March 2023)
When we think of branding, we think of a name, phrase, design, symbol, or some identifiable feature that makes a company easily recognizable and helps it stand out from the crowd. This identifiable feature forms part of your brands’ identity and helps to convey your company’s attributes, values, purpose, strengths, and passions.
A well-executed brand can have the power to influence a potential client’s decision-making process, establish a sense of trust, and encourage people to engage with your company. Whereas a poorly executed brand can have negative associations like being “unprofessional”, “cheap”, “untrustworthy”, which can harm the success of a business.
Building a brand name should not be seen as a waste of money, as there are no limits to the power of a good brand. You also do not need to spend thousands of Rands to create a good brand, all it takes is creativity and research.
Let us look at the top 10 reasons why your company needs professional branding:
1. Set your brand apart!
Customers easily recognize a preferred brand by its colour, theme, or logo and by this method are more likely to choose a product or service offered by that brand over other options. This is because they are familiar with that brand and have associated several features or benefits that come with that brand, thus making them less likely to take a risk on an unknown company.
With millions of companies worldwide, it may seem like an impossible task to set your brand apart from your competitors locally or internationally. However, having a strong brand can give your company the extra edge and a sense of originality that perhaps other companies do not possess.
2. Improve sales and enhance customer loyalty!
When a customer chooses to buy a product or service from a company, they are in essence buying into the brand and what it stands for. If a company can combine high-quality products or services with their branding, they can improve their sales and increase customer loyalty.
Let’s use Nike as an example of customer loyalty and the power of branding; if you’re looking for trainers, and you see two pairs, one is Nike, maybe selling for R1000 and another unknown brand at R500, a customer may be willing to spend more on Nike as they know the brand and the positive attributes associated with that brand.
3. Keep your brand consistent!
Once a company has established its branding which includes the logo, philosophy, brand message etc. it’s important that this is used consistently across the board. A company that can consistently market itself will be easily distinguishable from its competitors. This level of consistency within a brand helps customers relate to it more and demonstrates your company’s ability to remain true.
4. Be credible in a sea of competitors!
As the old saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, the same applies to building your brands’ reputation and credibility. Having a good brand reputation takes years of hard work to establish, but once you’ve created the strong foundations of a good brand – the rest is history.
Through this gruelling process, your company will be able to resonate with your target audience and in turn, they will view your brand as the one that will always meet their expectations. With this mindset, your customers can become brand ambassadors, promoting your brand to family members and colleagues.
5. Increase your brands’ worth!
When you have a great brand that has been tried and tested, you can add additional value not only to the brand itself but also to your products or services by charging premium rates for them. This can particularly be seen with leading brands such as Nike, Apple, Puma, or Kellogg’s etc. as they have consistently proven that consumers are willing to pay more for high-quality products.
This goes back to the fact that consumers know what to expect of that brand and are therefore less likely to risk purchasing a product or service from a brand that they are not familiar with.
6. Let your company values shine!
When it comes to your brand, your values, motives, and philosophy should be apparent to your customers. This helps consumers relate to your brand on a more personal and therefore emotional level, which makes them more likely to want to do business with you. For example, Coca-Cola constantly promotes their emotional side, whether it’s empowering women in business, enhancing communities through charitable outreach programs, or looking for sustainable environmental solutions.
Buying their products in essence says that you support their campaigns, and that your feelings are aligned with theirs.
7. Make your staff proud!
When your brand stands for something that your employees can relate to and support, you will find that they are willing to go the extra mile to ensure the brands’ success. This factor gives your employees a sense of pride and makes them feel that they are personally contributing towards making the world a better place.
A company with a strong brand tends to have a positive working environment with a unique working culture. This drives employees to work harder and helps attract new talent that can help benefit and grow the company.
8. Keep ahead in the competitor race!
If your business is set in a competitive market or perhaps you’re just starting out, staying ahead of your competitors may seem quite daunting. However, when it comes to your brand, you should always look at your competitors’ shortfalls – what are they doing, who is interested in it, how can you do it better, or how can you be different? These are the a few very important questions you should ask yourself as it will help you set your brand apart in the competitor race.
9. Let them talk!
People are the biggest name droppers on the planet! Think of the last conversation you had with a colleague, family member or friend, you may have made mention of names like Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, maybe even Amazon or Takealot during your discussion, completely unaware that you are promoting those brands.
People love to talk about their experiences and love to mention the brands that had an impact or helped facilitate those experiences. This word of mouth tool that can make or break a brand only truly applies to strong brands as they are widely used by the population. Smaller or less-established brands tend to be left out of the conversation, making marketing and advertising a little harder to get their message out there.
What companies of all sizes need to know is that word of mouth is still the most powerful marketing tool out there, if your friend or family member says something positive or negative about a brand, that immediately influences your decision to engage with that company in future.
10. Evolve and grow!
Future-proofing your brand doesn’t mean that your brand should stay rigid and unchanging forever, in fact it’s the opposite. An established and strong brand should be flexible and be able to adapt to the ever-changing environment of the economy, technology, and the buying behaviour of your customers.
By allowing your brand and business to evolve and innovate in spite of these conditions will allow your company to thrive in markets where your competitors may be falling behind on the times.
Branding does a lot more for your business than just making it look pretty, which is why homemade or cheap brand designs just won’t cut it. Give your target audience the right impression, with high-quality designs by Cognite Marketing.