Over time, branding has evolved from logos and catchy jingles to become more complex. The audience is becoming more skeptical of companies trying to sell them anything. This is why branding has evolved into one of the key elements for any successful business or product.
It’s a common mistake for small business owners to start thinking about marketing tactics without considering the idea of branding. In fact, many businesses make a brand an after-thought, if at all.
However, branding is essential for your success. Branding offers you a strong platform to define your business and develop trust with your customer. Just as important is the proper use of branding elements when determining how to present your ideas to consumers.
In reality, your product or service is not the most important thing in your business. It’s not the secret sauce that makes customers choose you over other companies or local competitors.
Depending on who you ask, branding is either the most important factor in marketing or merely icing on the marketing cake. But no matter how you view branding and its role in a successful marketing campaign, there’s no denying that it serves an important purpose.
This is particularly when it comes to building brand awareness.
What is the role of a Brand?
It goes without saying that marketing is the key to the success of any business. Yet, more and more businesses are overlooking the importance of branding.
Marketing will not build a brand. What’s worse is that many companies even don’t know what their brand stands for. This can be a problem because it may be really difficult for consumers to identify with such a company.
Usually, people think of branding as creating a logo and some commercials. But this is the least effective approach. Branding is not just about getting your target market to select you over the competition.
It’s also about getting your prospects to see you as the sole provider of a solution to their problem or need. In its essence, branding is a problem-solver. Good branding should;
- Clearly, deliver a message.
- Build the brand’s credibility in the marketplace.
- Emotionally connect target prospects with a product or service.
- Motivate the buyer to make a purchase.
- Finally, build customer loyalty.
It’s important to spend time researching your customer and building your brand for growth.
Understanding your Customer
To begin with, you must understand that the same products and services do not apply to every segment of your target market. You are probably familiar with Pareto’s Law also called the 80:20 rule, which states that 20% of your customers account for 80% of your sales.
You need to truly understand the needs and wants of your customers if you’re going to create relevant high-quality products and services. But how do you know what they want? And where do you even begin?
Shaping your company’s brand is more than just creating a logo, slogan, and statement. You should implement your branding efforts throughout your organization. Implement it, in every form of marketing, your corporate website, advertising, and public relations strategies, as well as products and services.
To succeed in branding, you must understand the needs and wants of your customers and prospects. You can achieve this by integrating your brand strategies throughout your company at every point of public contact.
The Role of Branding In Marketing
Your brand is your promise to your customers. Let’s take a look at Nike, their brand promise goes way beyond its famous tagline, “Just do it.”
Nike’s brand promise is: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” To Nike, if you have a body, you are an athlete, and their brand is a perfect example of living up to the promise.
When developing a strategic marketing plan, your brand guides your key business purpose and objectives. This as a result helps you formulate the right message to communicate what your brand stands for in the eyes of your prospective customer.
It’s not just about before your customer decides to buy, it’s the brand experience as a whole. Crafting a great brand experience for your customer helps you build loyalty amongst your pool of customers.
Content is one way to help you communicate this message. According to a study, by HubSpot, 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. (HubSpot, 2020)
Branding doesn’t only create loyal customers, it creates loyal employees. People will love working for your brand and being associated with it. They will have something to believe in, a common vision.
Imagine what your company would be like if everyone was on the same page from the very start. What if everyone had the same vision for your brand? How valuable would that be for your organization?
How to Evaluate your Brand
Do you know if the brand you’ve created, or the one your business currently has, will give you the value that you need? By “value,” I mean the internal and external worth your brand has. If you’ve ever worked in traditional marketing or for a small business that had no budget for marketing, this may not seem like an issue.
But what happens when you become a large enough brand to gain national recognition? You better believe others are going to see this as an opportunity for their own gain.
The second part of “value” is external. Your company’s image will be brought up in a number of different contexts outside of your direct control. These people’s opinions of your company could have a drastic effect on how they share them with those they share them with.
Examples of Branding and Marketing
Nike, Apple, Coca-Cola, Disney—these names are synonymous with their respective industries. This is what makes branding so important in marketing today. Great brands have a way of standing out, being more memorable, and—above all—more trusted.
Their marketing is clear communication of what their brands stand for. While there are plenty of great examples when it comes to branding and marketing success stories, there is one thing that every example has in common. A relentless focus on the importance of branding.