Just Do It.
I’m Lovin’ It.
Based on just those slogans, we’re willing to bet you know exactly which three companies we’re referencing. These phrases are so strongly associated with those companies that you will be able to conjure up their name, their logo and what they sell before you’ve even finished reading it. And there’s one simple reason for that – great branding.
We all see examples of branding every day. When we’re shopping, watching TV, reading the news, or searching the internet for a product or service we want to know more about.
So, the question to ask yourself is, do you have a brand?
This might seem like an odd question but bear with us for a second. Because, you see, not all businesses have brands, but all brands belong to successful businesses. Today, we wanted to share with you what a brand is, why it’s important, and what you need to create your own successful brand.
What Is a Brand?
By definition, branding is a marketing practice that includes everything from creating your logo, symbols and other design elements that make it easy to identify your products or services. But at Clever Marketing we think it’s much more than that.
Your brand is the overall experience a customer has of your business – from your name and logo to your website, your social media, the way you answer the phone and even the level of service they receive from you. It’s how you make them feel, what they remember you for and how they pick your business out of a crowd next time. At its core, branding is all about making a memorable impression on consumers and allowing your customers and clients to know exactly what to expect from your company. It’s the way you distinguish yourself from the competition – how you stand out and why you are the better choice. It’s different for each and every company, and while most businesses will have all of that information in their heads, many don’t turn it into a brand on paper.
Why is Having a Brand Important?
Imagine you’re standing in the condiment’s aisle at the supermarket, looking for ketchup. On the shelves there are hundreds of bottles, all of which contain the same red liquid, most of which were probably made in the same factory. The only difference is the name on the label. Which one do you choose? Most of you would probably go for Heinz. That decision, that impulse is why branding is important.
Branding can change how people view your products and services, or your business as a whole. It can drive new business, increase brand awareness and help you differentiate from your competitors. The most successful companies will leverage their branding to promote loyalty in their customers, with big brands even becoming household names. On top of that, good branding can also:
Create Recognition: This is maybe the most important function of branding – to make people recognise your business and become known to consumers. For this, you need a powerful, easily memorable logo that can make an impression at first glance and stay at the front of people’s minds.
Increase Business Value: Branding is important when trying to generate future business, and a strongly established brand can increase a business’ value by giving the company more leverage in the industry. This makes it a more appealing investment opportunity because of its firmly established place in the marketplace.
Generate New Customers: A good brand will have no problem drumming up new business through referrals and directly. Strong branding generally means customers get a much more positive impression of your company, and if you’re familiar to them then they are more likely to do business with you over others.
Build Trust: Customers need to trust your business before they will buy from you. But having a professional appearance and well-thought through branding will help establish and build trust in you and what you do. Being properly branded also gives the impression that you’re an industry expert, making the public feel as though they can trust you.
Improve Employee Satisfaction: Many employees need more than just work — they need something to work toward. When employees understand the mission of a business and its reason for being, they are more likely to feel that same pride and work in the same direction to achieve the goals the business owner has set. Having a strong brand is like turning the company logo into a flag the rest of the company can rally around.
What Makes a Good Brand?
So, after all that, how do you create a brand for your business?
A few characteristics of successful branding include:
- Audience segmentation– if you try to appeal to everyone, your message will be diluted and ineffective.
- Exposure – You need to be able to reach customers through multiple channels and mediums.
- Unique approach – Being the same as another brand only means you will be mistaken for them. You need something distinctive and unique to your business.
- Leadership – Whether it’s the CEO, the owner or the marketing manager, successful branding always has a champion behind it.
- Passion –While you can build a brand in the short-term without passion, you need it to sustain and grow your brand in the long-run.
- Unified approach to service – ultimately all parts of your business are part of the branding exercise, so your approach needs to reflect your brand values.
You will also need:
- A good logo.
- Strong and consistent brand identity (including colours, fonts, format, communication style and tone)
- Consistent visual elements.
- A great website.
- A marketing, advertising and outreach plan.
But most of all, you need a great marketing team to help you create and implement all of those things.
At Clever Marketing, we provide a full suite of design and marketing services to help you create and maintain a great brand. Our services include everything from initial logo design and developing your brand identity (including colours, typography and other creating visual assets), to refreshing your branding and helping you roll out your new brand company-wide on everything from stationery to signage. Not only that, but once we’ve created your exciting new brand, we can help you write a set of brand guidelines for your business, so you know everything you produce will be consistent and match the brand you’ve worked hard to create.